(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) — The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) is confirming the first positive case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a north county resident. This is the only confirmed case of COVID-19 in Santa Barbara County at this time.
The person identified is in their 60s and does not have underlying health conditions. The individual is recovering in isolation at home until cleared by the Public Health Officer. PHD is taking steps to identify persons who may have had close contact with this person, including friends, family members, or health care professionals. PHD will monitor them and take appropriate measures, including testing for infection, if needed.
This person has no history of travel within or outside the United States in the last six weeks, and it appears that this is a case of community transmission. The individual is working with the Public Health Department in their investigation. PHD will notify the public immediately should the investigation indicate any further action or if additional precautions are needed.
“The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has been actively preparing to ensure that we have a structure in place to effectively reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our county,” said Dr. Henning Ansorg, Health Officer for Santa Barbara County. “At this time we are mandating social distancing measures to slow the spread of the virus. All large nonessential professional, social, and community gatherings should be postponed or cancelled, and smaller gatherings should be modified to allow for at least six feet of space between participants.”
Since human coronaviruses most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, community members are reminded to take measures to prevent the spread of respiratory illness:
- Wash your hands with soap and water
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough
- Keep surfaces (especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, and toys for children) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant.
For more information about COVID-19 and PHD’s response, please visit www.publichealthsbc.org or call the COVID-19 Call Center at (833) 688-5551 on Sunday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.