Santa Barbara County COVID-19 Press Conference Recaps

The Santa Barbara Public Health Department (SBCPHD) holds a weekly press conference every Friday at 4:30 p.m. via Zoom. 

During the press conferences, Van Do-Reynoso, SBCPHD director, and Henning Ansorg, Santa Barbara County health officer, provide updates on the status of COVID-19 and vaccine distribution in the county. They also field questions from local newspapers. 

The following links provide recaps of the weekly press conferences. To view recordings of past press conferences, click here.

Kelly Yan / Daily Nexus

Feb. 19: “We are seeing positive trends in our county. Our case rates are trending downwards. Our active cases are trending downward. I want to encourage everyone to continue to be vigilant in being effective,” Do-Reynoso said.

Feb. 26: We are somewhat worried about the plateauing, the slowing down of the decrease in our cases and testing positively,” Do-Reynoso said.

March 5: “During the latest trial for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 85% of vaccine recipients achieved protection from severe COVID 28 days after having received this shot. Protection against dying from COVID was 100%,” Ansorg said.

March 12: “[Re-opening in the red tier] also presents us with a challenge to continue to be safe and not fall back into another virus surge. The only way to prevent another surge is by adhering to the good practices of mask wearing, social distancing and avoidance of crowds and other risky behaviors,” Ansorg said.

March 19:Getting a vaccine is the kindest, is the most charitable way to show your immediate family and those around you that you care for them,” Do-Reynoso said. 

March 26: “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.

April 2: “Nationally, and statewide, we are considering activities that vaccinated people can participate in. It’s critical that you hang on to that vaccination card. Keep it in a safe place and take a photo of it and keep it on your phone,” Do-Reynoso said.

April 9: “We need to convince the people who are not yet decided on whether or not they want to be vaccinated to make up their mind and get the shot. If you had your shot, please talk to your friends and neighbors about your experience with the vaccine. Please encourage them to follow your example,” Ansorg said.

April 16: The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department’s April 16 COVID-19 update was filmed as a video and not conducted as a press conference. To view the April 16 updates, please click here.

April 23: “We haven’t see low case rates like this since September,” Ansorg said. “We’ve never made it into the orange tier [before] so we’ve never seen ICU admission rates at 10 or 12 … since September.”

May 7: Henning Ansorg, the county’s public health officer, said that public health is collaborating with UCSB and other colleges in the county to help students get vaccinated before the fall quarter/next semester.