In the past week, the weekly average of reported PCR confirmed cases have decreased by 35.1%, according to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

This is an underreporting because most at-home tests are not reported to the public health department.

There were four COVID-19-related deaths in the county this week and 200 cases of COVID-19 in the week ending on Monday Jan. 23, which is the most recent data from the county.

In total, there have been 110,976 cases of COVID-19 reported in the county and 755 COVID-19-related deaths.

The XBB.1.5 is currently the dominant strain of COVID-19 in California.

There were 33 COVID-19-positive patients hospitalized in the county as of Thursday — 16 in Santa Maria, 15 in Santa Barbara and two in Lompoc. There were four COVID-19-positive patients in intensive care units countywide.

In a community message Friday, Lompoc Valley Medical Center CEO Steve Popkin said, “To generically sum things up, Covid is under control in the greater Lompoc area.
Although Covid continues to spread in the Lompoc community, as it does
elsewhere, the resulting severity of illness is not what it once was. LVMC
currently has one Covid inpatient (not in ICU). Over the past few weeks, the
number of Covid positive inpatients has ranged from 0 to 5, with 0-2 being the
most common inpatient census.”

The seven-day test positivity rate in the county is 5.8%. The rate has been decreasing since the end of December.

COVID-19 community levels remained low in Santa Barbara County, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

On Thursday, a committee from the Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously to recommend that all future COVID-19 vaccines be interchangeable, according to NPR.

This means all vaccines should have the same formula regardless of which company the vaccine comes from. 

“Because of (the coronavirus’) rapid evolution we’ve needed to adjust our approach over time, and we’re now in a reasonable place to reflect on the development of the COVID-19 vaccines to date to see if we can simplify the approach to vaccination,” said Dr. Peter Marks, FDA’s top vaccine official, in remarks at the beginning of the all-day meeting, according to NPR.