Santa Barbara County has been pushed into the highest COVID-19 community transmission level of the CDC metric due to positive COVID-19 hospital admissions, though UC Santa Barbara is not experiencing the same level of exponential increase in positivity rates. 

Case rates per population of 1000,000 rose to 276.37, and the rate for new COVID-19 admissions per population of 100,000 is 10.3, as of July 14. The CDC recommends counties with high COVID-19 community transmission level to wear masks indoors in public and on public transportation, stay updated with COVID-19 vaccinations and for individuals to get tested if symptoms show. 

The number of total deaths within the last seven days as of July 14 is under 10. New admissions of confirmed COVID-19 positivity per population of 100,000 in the last seven days is 8.9 with a 16.10% change in new admissions from the previous seven days, as of July 13. 

In contrast, UCSB is witnessing a departure in positivity rates from late May and early June cases, which saw surges in positivity rates with the highest being 79 positive cases on May 25 and 71 positive cases on June 2 alone.

However, the community is currently experiencing a slow increase in positivity rates — though not as exponential as the rest of the county and is still lower than case numbers in May and June. As of July 10, a 3.59% case positivity rate was observed, with 42 positive cases reported via testing and 41 self-reported cases. 

In the greater county, Santa Barbara County Public Health (SBCPH) reported an increase in COVID-19 cases and a continued “high level of virus transmission in the community,” their weekly summary from July 8 to July 14 read

The weekly average of positive PCR tests decreased by 4.9%, but SBCPH acknowledged the underreporting of COVID-19 cases due to many rapid antigen home testing often not being reported to SBCPH. However, the positivity rate for the county is now at 16.4% this week. 

52 positive patients are currently hospitalized in the county, with five positive patients in the intensive care unit, leaving 22 beds currently available in the unit.

There are currently 1,033 active cases in the county, with six deaths reported within the week of July 8 and July 14. 

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Asumi Shuda
Asumi Shuda (she/they) is the Community Outreach Editor for the 2022-23 school year and the 2021-22 school year. Previously, Shuda was an assistant news editor during the 2020-21 school year. She can be reached at asumishuda@dailynexus.com or news@dailynexus.com.