[Editor’s note: Noozhawk’s weekly COVID-19 email newsletter is delivered to subscribers on Wednesdays. You can sign up here. We are republishing the newsletters on the website so more readers have access to them.]
Welcome to Noozhawk’s Weekly COVID-19 Briefing.
I’m Noozhawk staff writer Serena Guentz with the latest COVID-19 news in Santa Barbara County.
This newsletter is a way for Noozhawk readers to get important updates in one place.
It is emailed out every Wednesday, for free, to everyone who subscribes.
Here’s What We Know
» As of Tuesday, Santa Barbara County has surpassed 100,000 reported COVID-19 cases. This is an undercount since the results of most at-home tests are not reported to the county Public Health Department.
» In the week ending Sunday, the Public Health Department reported 851 new COVID-19 cases and no new related deaths. In the previous week, there were 1,126 new cases.
» The decrease in new cases moved the county to the “medium” level from the “high” level under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 community metric.
» Public Health Department officials say the county doesn’t need a mask mandate right now, but they recommend everyone wear them in indoor public places.
» There are 43 coronavirus-positive people hospitalized in the county, with three in intensive-care units.
» As of Sunday, the seven-day test positivity rate in Santa Barbara County is 16.1%, an increase from 15.5% the previous week.
» The Food & Drug Administration recently authorized pharmacists to prescribe Paxlovid to treat COVID-19, although most local pharmacies are not yet offering the drug. Local pharmacists will fill Paxlovid prescriptions from patients’ health-care providers, however. Read the full story here.
COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
According to data from the California Department of Public Health, 69% of Santa Barbara County residents have completed the primary vaccine series for COVID-19.
Children under 5 have the lowest rate of vaccination at 0.4% and the population of adults over age 65 continues to have the highest rate at 93.7% fully vaccinated.
The 50-to-64 age population is 84.5% fully vaccinated as is 71.8% of the 18-to-49 population.
The 12-to-17 age population is 62.4% fully vaccinated, but only 31.1% of the 5-to-11 population is fully vaccinated.
Booster Shots for Children
A Noozhawk reader asked how many booster shots are recommended for children.
Booster shots are available for everyone age 5 or older, and second booster shots are available for people older than age 50 and younger people who have certain kinds of immunocompromise.
In May, state health officials said that “COVID-19 vaccines are the best way to prevent hospitalization and serious illness, and data has shown that California’s vaccination efforts have saved tens of thousands of lives.”
“The Omicron surge and its infectious subvariants have shown that children are also vulnerable, with their case rates and hospitalizations increasing across California,” the statement added. “We support the recommendations of our federal and state partners to authorize and recommend the use of a booster dose for children ages 5 and up. It’s important to get kids vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible.”
Send your coronavirus-related questions to [email protected] and we’ll try to include them in future newsletters and Noozhawk Q&As.
» Find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you on the Vaccine Finder search function of https://www.vaccines.gov/search/. You can search for providers by location and by specific vaccine available (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson). You can also find providers on the county website, publichealthsbc.org/vaccine, or at myturn.ca.gov. Some facilities offer walk-ups as well as appointments.
» Text your ZIP code to GETVAX (438829) for a list of vaccine providers in English, or text your ZIP code to VACUNA (822862) for a list in Spanish.
» Find more local pandemic-related information on the Public Health Department website and the county’s COVID-19 recovery page, with resources for business reopening, rental assistance, food assistance and more.
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