[Editor’s note: Noozhawk’s weekly COVID-19 email newsletter is delivered to subscribers on Wednesdays. You can sign up here. We are republishing the newsletters on the website so more readers have access to them.]

Welcome to Noozhawk’s Weekly COVID-19 Briefing. 

I’m Noozhawk staff writer Serena Guentz with the latest COVID-19 news in Santa Barbara County.

This newsletter is a way for Noozhawk readers to get important updates in one place. 

It is emailed out every Wednesday, for free, to everyone who subscribes

Here’s What We Know 

  • Last week’s daily average of new COVID-19 cases decreased by 14.1% compared to the previous week, according to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.
  • According to the county’s data dashboard, 327 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the week ending Jan. 9 — the most recent data available. The previous week reported 408 new cases.
  • There were two coronavirus-related deaths reported last week. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 750 Santa Barbara County residents have died of coronavirus-related causes. 
  • As of Friday, 47 coronavirus-positive patients were hospitalized in the county, with four of of them in intensive-care units.
  • Santa Barbara County remains in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s low COVID-19 community level.
  • The New York Times reported Tuesday that this winter has not seen as dramatic of an increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths compared to the two previous winter. “By now, hospitalizations in particular would have started to sharply rise,” The Times said. “Instead, data suggest that more of a COVID bump than a surge has emerged.”

COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker

Nearly 70% of Santa Barbara County residents have completed the primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine, 60.8% have also received a booster dose and about 22.7% have received the bivalent booster.

The county’s vaccination rates are similar to statewide numbers, with Santa Barbara County having slightly lower rates for residents completing the primary series — for which, the statewide rate is 72.5% — and for residents who have received the bivalent booster — where the statewide rate is 22.9%.

California Department of Public Health photo

Everyone over the age of 6 months is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Click here for more information on receiving the vaccine or getting a booster dose in Santa Barbara County.

Got Questions?

Readers have sent us dozens of questions about pandemic-related issues. Please send yours to news@noozhawk.com and we’ll try to include them in future newsletters and Noozhawk Q&As.  

Reader Resources

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Serena Guentz, Noozhawk Staff Writer

Noozhawk staff writer Serena Guentz can be reached at sguentz@noozhawk.com.