By Raiza Giorgi

Santa Barbara County Public Health officials reported the sixth death related to COVID-19, as a male person from mid-county in his 60’s who had underlying conditions (comorbidities). County officials expressed condolences to the relatives of the deceased. 

The total case count is at 460 testing positive for COVID-19 in the county, with the Santa Ynez Valley remaining at five cases. The county did report that 60 percent of all the positive cases have fully recovered. 

The total number tested is 2471, with 460 positive makes a 18.6 percent positivity rate among county residents. The fatality rate is at .00002 percent, from current county numbers reported. 

The Star asked Dr. Henning Ansorg if those who passed were officially reported as the cause of death as a direct result of COVID-19, as the state of Pennsylvania just had to roll back on 200 deaths because COVID-19 was listed as “probable” cause of death without being tested. 

“It’s tricky determining the cause of death for three of the six, because there were severe comorbidities which the physician said made it difficult to make a clear distinction and opted to list. The other three cases were clear the cause was COVID-19,” Ansorg said. 

Noozhawk’s Tom Bolton asked if mid-county meant the Santa Ynez Valley, and neither Ansorg nor County Health Director Van Do-Reynoso had the specific location of the deceased. Ansorg indicated the person died at Lompoc Valley Medical Center, however LMVC officials state the death didn’t occur there.

“LVMC is the only medical facility in Lompoc and there was no such death at our facility and any report to the contrary is incorrect,” said Steve Popkin, chief executive officer. 

The Star is checking with the county to see where the death did occur, and will update as soon as possible. 

With the warm weather already hitting the Central Coast, Second District Supervisor Gregg Hart warned people to get out an exercise early in the morning to avoid the heat and to make sure when going out to maintain the social distancing guidelines. The county sent out an earlier press release saying if people couldn’t maintain they would close county beaches, parks and trails. 

Santa Barbara County also released the guidelines on restrictions for various business entities from those listed as “essential” services, as they had many questions on what can operate and what cannot. Those guidelines can be found HERE