Three fully vaccinated individuals within the UC Santa Barbara Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have tested positive for COVID-19 as of July 27. All three cases are unconnected, according to an email sent by the department. 

University spokesperson Andrea Estrada said that the university has no current outbreaks.

In the email obtained by the Nexus, Professor Mattanjah S. de Vries, the chemistry and biochemistry department chair, said that the infected individuals were fully vaccinated and had each separately been in contact with someone who had tested positive outside of the department. 

“Everyone involved is fully vaccinated, which reminds us that vaccination may limit the risk for infection and reduce severity but clearly it does not eliminate the risk,” de Vries said in the email.

“With that in mind and with cases increasing everywhere, I would like to reiterate the urgent request that everyone in the building use masks, whether vaccinated or not. I know it is uncomfortable but I hope you will do so out of caution and out of respect for others. It is also in line with the county recommendation.”

According to de Vries’ email, the infected individuals currently have mild symptoms, including dizziness, a fever and a mild sore throat. 

Currently, the UCs are planning for in-person instruction come fall. Santa Barbara County has a case rate of 8.7 per 100,00 people as of July 22, according to the Santa Barbara County Community Data Dashboard. 

This is an ongoing story, and this article will be updated.

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Atmika Iyer
Atmika Iyer (she/her/hers) is the County News Editor for the 2021-22 school year. She's a lover of loud music, loud laughs and loud prints.