(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) — Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) is reporting the 61st death of an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. The individual was over 70 years old, resided in the city of Santa Maria and had underlying medical conditions.  The death occurred during the last week of June. Deaths are reported, when a death certificate is processed that lists COVID-19 as a cause or a significant condition, and therefore may be delayed.

“We share in sadness with those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19. The best protection we have against COVID-19 continues to be to avoid gatherings with those you do not live with, stay at least six feet from others, wash your hands frequently, self-isolate if you are sick and wear a face covering. We can be safer in the community if we follow the directives issued by public health. Together we can slow the spread of COVID-19.” said Henning Ansorg, Santa Barbara County Public Health Officer.

Although most cases of COVID-19 exhibit mild or moderate symptoms, PHD recommends additional measures to prevent exposure among vulnerable people, including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions (such as diabetes, cancer, immunodeficiency, asthma, COPD and others). PHD recommends that residents:

  • Stay home when possible.
  • Remain six feet away from others and wear a facial covering when engaging in tasks away from home.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water regularly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick. Do not go to work or other places.

All local employers and business owners are urged to adhere closely to sector health and safety guidelines. Ensuring a safe environment for both employees and customers is critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and assuring that businesses remain safely open during this time. 

For general questions about COVID-19 and precautions currently recommended by Santa Barbara County Public Health, residents may call the Santa Barbara County Call Center at (833)-688-5551 or visit

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