The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reported Isla Vista’s first COVID-19 death on Thursday afternoon. 

The decedent was between 50 to 69 years old and had underlying health conditions, according to a press release. The individual died on Tuesday and was “associated with a congregate care facility,” according to the press release.

Since the state is not required to name assisted living facilities with coronavirus cases that have six or fewer beds, the congregate care facility associated with the I.V. resident was not named in the press release. Congregate care can include skilled nursing, assisted living and Alzheimer’s care, according to a Senior Resource definition.

As of Aug. 19, 19 skilled nursing and assisted-living facilities in Santa Barbara have reported coronavirus cases, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, 131 of Santa Barbara’s 7,578 confirmed cases have been in I.V., the majority of which have occurred in the past few weeks in a sudden spike of cases

The I.V. resident was one of two deaths announced by the county on Thursday, bringing the county’s total death count to 84. 

In the county’s Aug. 11 COVID-19 press conference, Jan Koegler, Santa Barbara County Public Health Department manager, said that the county was focusing on increasing testing at congregate care facilities across the county. Koegler said the county is “work[ing] on approximately 25 facilities per week that are implementing widespread testing in response to positive cases.”


Holly Rusch
Holly Rusch (she/her) is the Lead News Editor for the 2022-23 school year. Previously, Rusch was the University News Editor and co-Lead News Editor for the 2020-21 school year. She can be reached at or