Santa Barbara County plans to cut back on its mobile vaccination program, which has been providing teams of COVID-19 vaccinators to schools, community centers and other venues for the past year.
The county Public Health Department will scale down the program at the end of March, and “will continue working in a limited, but directed way with local community partners” through June, the county said Tuesday.
About 30,000 people received COVID-19 vaccine doses through this program, which hosted more than 360 clinics, according to the Public Health Department.
COVID-19 vaccine doses are available for free at pharmacies and local health care providers across the county.
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Public Health is winding down its overall pandemic response as the county sees continued declines in new novel coronavirus cases, COVID-19-positive hospital patients, and test-positivity rates.
State-run testing sites, which offer free PCR novel coronavirus testing, will close in June, and the county is increasing its testing capacity at healthcare centers to make up for it.
Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso told the Board of Supervisors last week that contact tracing investigators are going away, and the county will establish a public information phone number for people who test positive.
The county also likely will stop reporting as much local COVID-19-related data, and instead rely on state and federal data once the local emergency health order is lifted.
There’s no estimate of when that will be, but county officials plan to talk about it in April.
Strategies may change in the face of new variants or future surges in cases, but tools will likely stay the same, Do-Reynoso said: vaccines and booster shots, high-quality masks, PCR and antigen testing, and therapeutics including antiviral medication and monoclonal antibodies.
— Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.