Hart presented a sobering accounting of the surge of the highly infectious virus in the county during the past two months:
On Memorial Day weekend, the county was averaging 13 cases per day, rising to 25 cases two weeks later.
A month later, there was 60 cases per day, and after six weeks there were 96 cases.
As of Friday, the county had rocketed to an average of 121 cases per day.
That’s a far cry from the state’s standard for fully reopening of only eight cases per day, Hart noted.
“We can’t go on indefinitely like this,” Hart said, “with students not in schools and businesses not able to fully reopen.”
The Second District supervisor urged county residents to redouble their efforts to prevent the disease by wearing face masks, practicing social distancing, avoiding gatherings and interactions with non-household members, and washing hands frequently.
“We can reduce our cases by half by the end of August if we all work together …” he said. “We all have to bear down to achieve that goal.”
He warned that failure to take action now could lead to further shutdowns going forward.
The county Public Health Department reported 133 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, with 85 patients being treated in local hospitals, including 26 in intensive care units. The latter numbers decreased slightly from the previous day.
New cases reported July 24 Active cases by region Total cases reported to date Montecito, Summerland, Carpinteria 4 11 112 Santa Barbara and Mission Canyon 12 47 667 Goleta 3 6 121 Isla Vista 3 5 40 Western Goleta Valley and Gaviota 0 6 94 Santa Ynez Valley 2 7 63 Lompoc, Vandenberg Village, Mission Hills 12 39 382 Lompoc federal correctional complex 1 7 1,011 Santa Maria 77 183 2,496 Orcutt 1 10 173 Guadalupe, New Cuyama, Garey, Casmalia, Sisquoc 7 15 229 Pending 12 33 188 Santa Barbara County total 133 369 5,576
No new coronavirus deaths were reported Friday, with the county’s total remaining at 32.
Of the new cases, 85 were in the Santa Maria Valley, which has been a hotbed for the disease locally throughout the pandemic.
Santa Barbara and Lompoc recorded 12 cases each; Goleta, Isla Vista and Montecito/Summerland/Carpinteria reported three cases each; the Santa Ynez Valley had two cases; and the Lompoc Federal Prison Complex had one case. Geographic locations were pending on 12 cases.
The county’s case total rose to 5,576.
There were 980 test results reported on Friday, for a daily test-positive rate of 13 percent. The seven-day average positive-test rate stood at 8.9 percent.
Paige Batson, deputy director of the Public Health Department, noted that “the key way COVID is spreading is through gatherings” — barbecues, family celebrations and the like.
“Our only defense,” she said, “is social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands.”