By Raiza Giorgi,

Even thought the number of cases of COVID-19 increased to 88 since yesterday, there have been no fatalities reported, according to Dr. Henning Ansorg, Santa Barbara County public health officer, during the daily afternoon news briefing. 

He said the ages of the patients range from teens to people over 70 years old and of the new cases, nine are in Santa Maria, one is in Orcutt, six are in the North County unincorporated areas, including Guadalupe, three are in the Lompoc Valley, including the communities of Mission Hills and Vandenberg Village, and one is in the city of Santa Barbara. 

When asked if any of the new cases were in the Santa Ynez Valley, as no mention in the unincorporated areas specified the valley, Ansorg said he was hesitant to give locations in the smaller areas. 

“We expected a doubling of cases within three days, and that is almost exactly what we are seeing,” he said. “It is an indicator of just how infectious this thing is.”

Ansorg stressed that the greatest way to combat the virus is by practicing social distancing. 

“I don’t want to scare anybody, but I want everyone to take responsibility for themselves and the community and stay home, ” he said.

So far there have been no fatalities in Santa Barbara County associated with the virus.

Ansorg added of the 88 confirmed cases, 49 are recovering well at home; 19 have already fully recovered; 14 are in the hospital and of those 10 are in intensive-care units. 

Ansorg said people have been treating their case with common over the counter cold meds as no antiviral medication works at the moment. He added people should take care of themselves with exercise, good food and get sleep. 

“I understand all our stress levels are heightened, people can use laughter to combat that,” Ansorg said. 

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley was at the press briefing Tuesday as well and said there has been a rise in domestic violence from spousal rape, child abuse, elder abuse and animal abuse. 

“Because people are under a tremendous amount of stress, they are in their homes and they have alcohol and drugs within arm’s reach and they are frustrated and anxious and they don’t know when the end is going to be,” Dudley said. 

Dudley urged perpetrators to leave their homes and get away from their families to avoid abuse because law enforcement will respond to any abuse calls.