Santa Barbara Co. Health officials: More COVID-19 testing kits on the way

Posted at 5:57 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 21:46:37-04

Santa Barbara County Public Health Department officials said Monday they don't have as many coronavirus testing kits as they'd like, but more are on the way.

Dr. Henning Ansorg with the Public Health Office said they expect to have a better capability to conduct tests for COVID-19 in the next week to ten days.

As of Monday afternoon, health officials said 128 tests had been conducted on residents in Santa Barbara County. One was positive, 31 were negative, and 96 are pending.

Health officials said they've conducted a very thorough investigation of the confirmed case in northern Santa Barbara County, also working with San Luis Obispo County to help identify other people who may have been exposed. Several people in the Santa Maria area are reportedly being quarantined as a result.

Cottage Health Laboratory Director Dr. Stewart W. Comer said the county currently has more than 1,700 collection kits and are focusing on symptomatic patients.

County officials are encouraging residents to follow social distancing guidelines and say seniors and those with underlying health issues should stay home and away from others.

Residents with questions about the coronavirus pandemic may visit the county's Public Information Portal website or call the COVID-19 Call Center at 833-688-5551.