The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department announced four new cases of coronavirus Saturday evening, bringing the total number of cases within the county up to 13.

One of the new cases, an individual in their 60s, lives in North County. The other three, one person in their 20s and another two in their 40s, reside in South County, according to a press release sent out by the department.

The department is conducting an investigation as to how the three individuals contracted the virus, it said in the press release. The department announced the county’s first cases on Monday and Tuesday; six new cases were diagnosed on Thursday.

Earlier this week, the health department recommended that all bars and wineries shut down, and that all restaurants convert to takeout and delivery.

On Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a “stay at home” order in place for all Californians; following the governor’s order, the university curbed the number of employees allowed on campus, stating that only employees who “maintain critical operations” will be allowed to work. Those who are not classified under these criteria are eligible for paid leave.

“We are urging our community to stay home when they are sick and practice consistent

social distancing practices,” Van Do-Reynoso, public health director for Santa Barbara County, said in a press release sent out by the county. “It is critical that we all take the necessary steps to slow the spread of this illness in our community.”

Community members should avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, should avoid close contact with people who are sick and should wash their hands with soap and water.

Evelyn Spence
Evelyn Spence harbors a great love for em dashes and runs on nothing but iced coffee, Jolly Ranchers and breaking news. She serves as the managing editor and can be reached at, or at @evelynrosesc on Twitter.