To view the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department’s March 26 press conference, please click here.

Vaccine Update

  • Within Santa Barbara County, 63% of residents age 75 or older have been fully vaccinated, 25% of residents age 65 to 74 have been fully vaccinated and 79% of residents age 65 to 74 have received their first shot. 
  • As of Friday, the county has received 154,030 vaccines and has administered 88.5% of them. In addition, 86,442 of those vaccines have been administered as first doses and 45,676 as second doses. Of the total vaccine count, 3,967 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine have also been administered. 
  • Per Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent announcement, people age 50 and older will be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the state of California beginning April 1. Two weeks later, on April 15, people age 16 and older will be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the state of California and will be able to make an appointment through https://myturn.ca.gov/ beginning April 12. 
  • The closest vaccination sites for Isla Vista residents are in Goleta. Residents without cars would have to visit a clinic, such as the Cottage Health Urgent Care in Goleta, instead of Cottage’s drive-thru vaccination site. There are no ongoing efforts to expand vaccination sites, according to Van Do-Reynoso, director of the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.  
  • Henning Ansorg, the county public health officer, said that the vaccines in circulation have been highly effective in protecting against various COVID-19 variants. 

COVID-19 Numbers and Data Update

  • Santa Barbara County’s case rate has decreased by 23% over the past week. However, Do-Reynoso cautioned that the county’s case rate has flatlined in the last couple of days. 
  • As described in Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, a county has to spend at least three consecutive weeks in a tier prior to moving into a less restrictive one. Santa Barbara County has now spent three weeks in the red tier and could move into the less-restrictive orange tier upon meeting the necessary case metric requirements for an additional two straight weeks. Do-Reynoso predicted that the county will meet the necessary criteria to do so.
  • The most widely circulating variant in the state, according to Ansorg, is B.1.429 and B.1.427 — the California variants. “The U.K. variant, also known as B.1.1.7, has not been able to suppress the spread of the California type as of yet,” Ansorg said. He added that all data on the spread of each variant is lagging by around a month’s time. 

Public Health Official Statements

  • Ansorg asked that students traveling out of state or internationally for spring break quarantine for 10 days upon their return. 
  • Ansorg once again discredited the conspiracy theory that vaccines can cause infertility and added that many women of childbearing age who participated in vaccine trials were able to conceive a child. There is no anecdotal or scientific evidence to suggest any impact on fertility from receiving the COVID-19 vaccines.
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Atmika Iyer
Atmika Iyer is an assistant news editor. She's a lover of loud music, loud laughs, and loud prints.