The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department confirmed five new cases of coronavirus on Sunday evening, bringing the total number of cases in Santa Barbara County to 18. 

Two cases, one person in their 40s and one in their 50s, reside in North County, according to a press release sent out by the department. The other three — two in their 20s and one individual in their 70s — live in South County. 

The department will be investigating how the residents contracted the virus as well as “identifying persons with whom they may have had close contact,” the press release stated. The 13 previous cases, confirmed last Monday, Thursday and Saturday, are also under investigation by the department. 

The press release emphasized the importance of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Monday stay-at-home order that asked residents to remain at home for all nonessential activity. 

“By working together to flatten the curve, we will help to prevent Santa Barbara County’s healthcare systems from being overwhelmed, and reduce the possibility of casualties from the virus,” the press release said. 

To help prevent the spread of the virus, residents should avoid close contact with sick individuals, wash their hands with soap and water and stay home if they fall ill. 

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Holly Rusch
Holly Rusch is an asst. news editor for the Daily Nexus. She can be reached at news@dailynexus.com or hollyrusch@dailynexus.com.