By Raiza Giorgi

Due to an error in reporting, Santa Barbara County Public Health officials stated there are an additional 28 deaths that will be added to today’s total. Two of the 28 are in the Santa Ynez Valley, and occurred on July 4 and on July 18. Both of the deaths were over the age of 70 and had underlying health conditions, according to public health. 

“At the end of May we switched from manual data entry to the State’s data system and with the surge in cases we lost count of certificates coming through,” said Dr. Van Do-Reynoso, director of Santa Barbara County Public Health. 

Most of these deaths occurred between June 22 and July 31, public health stated. Of the 28 deaths, 75 percent are over 70 years of age and had underlying conditions. Twenty-two percent were Caucasian and 78 percent were Hispanic. Ten were agricultural workers.

Dr. Henning Ansorg said that he was glad to see that the case rates have been falling to under 100 per day for the last two days, with today’s total being 74 cases. According to their status reports the Santa Ynez Valley has had 71 total cases with 65 recovered and four still active. 

The City of Santa Maria has had the most cases of the county with 2,789 positive and the most deaths listed at 34. 

Although most cases of COVID-19 exhibit mild or moderate symptoms, PHD recommends additional measures to prevent exposure among vulnerable people, including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions (such as diabetes, cancer, immunodeficiency, asthma, COPD and others). PHD recommends that residents:

  • Stay home when possible. 
  • Remain six feet away from others and wear a facial covering when engaging in tasks away from home. 
  • Wash your hands with soap and water regularly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. Do not go to work or other places.