[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 Grace Kitayama 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 

» Santa Barbara County is reporting a slight increase in the number of new daily COVID-19 cases. This is the first time since July that an increase has been reported. 

» There was a 4.1% increase in PCR-confirmed cases last week, according to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

» The number of local hospital patients testing positive for COVID-19 remains low, with 17 reported on Monday (including two in intensive-care units).

» The county reported one death last week related to COVID-19. Thirteen deaths have been reported in the past month.

» Researchers are questioning whether “Paxlovid rebound” is real, the Los Angeles Times reported. Some people infected with COVID-19 have reported feeling better and then feeling sick again after taking the antiviral drug, which reduces the risk of becoming severely ill or dying of COVID-19. These relapses, or rebound, may be a characteristic of the virus, since studies have shown they happen in patients who have not taken the drug, according to the newspaper.

» Lompoc Valley Medical Center is reducing its Friday hours for COVID-19 vaccination clinics. Shots will be available by appointment and a limited walk-in basis from 3 to 5 p.m. rather than staying open until 6 p.m.

COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker

In Santa Barbara County, 69.7% of people have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, and 58.3% are fully vaccinated and have received at least one booster shot, according to the California Department of Public Health. The state reports that 14.2% of people in the county have received the bivalent booster vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 81.3% of people over the age of 65 in the county have been fully vaccinated and received a booster shot for COVID-19.

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

» Find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you on the Vaccine Finder search function of https://www.vaccines.gov/search/. You can search for providers by location and by specific vaccine available (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax and Johnson & Johnson). You can also find providers on the county website, publichealthsbc.org/vaccine, or at myturn.ca.gov. Some facilities offer walk-ups as well as appointments.

» Text your ZIP code to GETVAX (438829) for a list of vaccine providers in English, or text your ZIP code to VACUNA (822862) for a list in Spanish. 

» There are free COVID-19 testing facilities around the county.

» Find more local pandemic-related information on the Public Health Department website.

» Click here for Noozhawk’s complete Coronavirus Crisis coverage.

Help Support Noozhawk Today

Our team has worked hard to build Noozhawk into the trusted local news platform it is today. We are a vital part of this community.

We’re excited about what we do, but we need your help to continue bringing you the thorough local news coverage you rely on.

Your paid membership in our Hawks Club ensures that we can continue to deliver the news you need and want, 24/7. Will you help us by making a financial commitment today?

Click here to make an online donation.

Thank you for your support.

P.S. — Contributions to Noozhawk are not tax-deductible. Checks can be mailed to Noozhawk, P.O. Box 101, Santa Barbara 93102. Please include your email address so we can contact you.

Noozhawk staff writer Grace Kitayama can be reached at gkitayama@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.