By Raiza Giorgi


Over the weekend the number of COVID-19 cases rose slightly to 414, with the majority of them coming from the outbreak at the federal prison in Lompoc. One inmate in his 60’s also passed away Friday evening from the virus, according to Bureau of Prison’s press release. 

From Sunday to Monday the number went up by 22 cases for a total of 414, according to Santa Barbara County Public Health officials. 

At Monday’s press briefing Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg reported that 168 people are recovering at home; 43 are hospitalized with 15 in an intensive care unit; and 176 have fully recovered. 

Aside from the 14 cases at the prison, the locations of the new cases are three from Lompoc, two in Santa Barbara, two in Santa Maria and one in the unincorporated areas of Sisquoc, Casmalia, Cuyama and the city of Guadalupe. There still remains only five known cases in the Santa Ynez Valley, according to public health. 

At Cottage Health, they are reporting 18 of the hospital’s 139 patients are in isolation with COVID-19 symptoms and currently 13 have tested positive for the virus. Cottage has collected 2,231 cumulative test samples: 175 resulted in positive, 2,023 resulted in negative, and 33 are pending. In most of these tests, patients did not require hospital admission, Cottage officials said. 

Along with the cases reported, Supervisor Gregg Hart said he understands the financial burdens this has put on county residents and business owners and urged anyone that is suffering to reach out to the numerous resources for food and assistance. There is also assistance for undocumented workers who can now access the $75 million in funds approved by the state. Undocumented adults are eligible to receive $500 checks for a maximum of $1,000 per household. Local nonprofit organizations like Undocufund who are working to distribute the assistance checks and food assistance, Hart added. 

Locally in the Santa Ynez Valley there are many groups from People Helping People to the churches giving groceries to those in need like Bethania Lutheran on Tuesdays from 4 – 6 p.m.; St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church is serving free meals on Tuesday’s from 3 – 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – noon; Crossroads Church is helping the Buellton Senior Center with supples. The Recovery Ranch team is also serving hot meals every day from 4 – 7 p.m. at the SYV Christian Academy to anyone in need. 

The public health department also said they are releasing details about the findings on the local COVID-19 data. They will also be discussing at length the path to beginning of opening businesses and services at the Board of Supervisor’s meeting on Tuesday, April 21.