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Santa Barbara County confirms 192 COVID-19 cases, including 37 health-care workers
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Santa Barbara County confirms 192 COVID-19 cases, including 37 health-care workers

Santa Barbara County confirmed 18 additional COVID-19 cases Monday, for a total of 192 cases, 37 of which are health-care workers, public health officials reported at a press conference. 

Monday was the first time the county has reported the rate of spread among health-care workers over the course of the pandemic. They have declined to do so citing privacy concerns. 

According to Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso, some of the workers have already recovered, while others are still experiencing symptoms and recovering. 

Public Health officials also noted the county's first outbreak in a communal living space has occured in Lompoc at the federal penitentiary.

"At this time, we have one report of a confirmed outbreak at the Federal Penitentiary in Lompoc, where at least 28 inmates have tested positive. There are no confirmed outbreaks at any other congregate living centers in Santa Barbara County at this time," Do-Reynoso said. 

Case numbers at the penitentiary are included in the total case count for the area of Lompoc, she added. 

Of the 192 cases in the county, 110 are recovering at home, 42 are fully recovered, and 34 are in the hospital, 19 of which are in intensive care units, according to the Public Health Department.

Two individuals have died from COVID-19 complications in the county. The second death, reported Suday, was an individual in their 60s being cared for at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Of the 18 new cases confirmed Monday, two are in the South County unincorporated area, one is in the area of Santa Barbara including Mission Canyon, eight are in the area of Lompoc including Mission Hills and Vandenberg Village, five are in Santa Maria and two are in Orcutt, according to public health data.

The majority of cases continues to be in North County, with over a quarter of county cases in Santa Maria, the data shows. 

Do-Reynoso also shared new data gathered by the Public Health Department regarding case demographics, stating that of the 192 cases, 75 are female, 116 are male, and one is unknown at this time. 

"We are working closely with our epidemiology team to compile and report aggregate data about community members who have tested positive," Do-Reynoso said.

San Luis Obispo County's confirmed case count remains at 95 with no new cases reported Monday. 

Although daily case numbers have decreased, Public Health Officer Penny Borenstein said that could be due to decreased testing in the county, with the case count likely not representing mild cases where individuals have not sought testing. 

In order to obtain a more accurate case number, the county Public Health Department is now encouraging all symptomatic individuals with even mild coronavirus symptoms including fever, shortness of breath, body aches or chills to pursue testing.

"We need to consider even mild symptoms. We are asking community care centers to test as much as they can, and not to be dissuaded by people even showing milder symptoms," Borenstein said. 

SLO County Daily Coronavirus Briefing April 6, 2020

Laura Place covers city government for the Santa Maria Times.

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Santa Maria City Reporter

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Laura Place covers city government, policy and elections in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara County. Follow her on Twitter @itslaurasplace

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