By edhat staff

Santa Barbara County remains in the Purple Tier with a lower adjusted case rate, California announced Tuesday.

The county’s adjusted case rate is 16.9 per 100,000 population and testing positivity of 6%. This lowered adjusted case rate allows schools serving TK through 6th grade, with approved safety plans, to return to in-person learning as early as Wednesday.

As local metrics continue to trend downward, the need for more testing could improve weekly adjusted case rate leading to further reopening in the near future, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) said in a press release.

In order to keep schools open, PHD states parents and schools will need to ensure daily screening of kids, keeping them home when not feeling well, limiting gathering with people outside of their households, maintaining social distancing outside of their home, wearing face coverings, and following isolation and quarantine guidance when a family member or close contact tests positive.

“COVID-19 is largely transmitted in the community and not in a TK-6 school setting. When everyone does their part to follow the safety guidelines and protocols, our children can return to school in a safe environment for themselves and for school staff,” said PHD Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg.

Dr. Ansorg continued to state testing is critical to allow some students to return to in-person learning as more than 50% of transmissions happen unknowingly because the infected person does not have any symptoms yet and is already spreading the virus.

In order for the county to move into the Red Tier, testing volume must remain high to lower the case rate. Community testing sites are available throughout the county. Many sites are open until 7 p.m., allow walk-ins and have no wait times. Turnaround times for tests have also decreased.  More information on testing locations can be found here: https://publichealthsbc.org/testing/

Tuesday’s Numbers

On Tuesday, PHD reported two COVID-19 deaths and 64 new cases. The individuals were 50-69 and 70+ years of age. Both individuals had underlying health conditions and neither death was associated with an outbreak at a congregate-care site. The individuals resided in the city of Santa Barbara and the unincorporated area of Goleta.

There have now been 398 deaths.

There are currently 435 active cases in the county. Of those, 76 are hospitalized including 17 in the ICU.

For information about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit https://publichealthsbc.org/vaccine  or reach the County Call Center for vaccine information by calling 2-1-1 and selecting option 4. This line is available 7 days a week between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.