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Coronavirus cases rise: Santa Barbara County confirms 28 new cases for a total of 139
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Santa Barbara County

Coronavirus cases rise: Santa Barbara County confirms 28 new cases for a total of 139

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Santa Barbara County has 139 confirmed coronavirus cases after 28 new cases were confirmed Thursday, county Public Health officials said at a press conference.

Thursday's case count marks the highest daily increase of confirmed cases in the county thus far, something public health officials said they have expected to see as the virus spreads and more testing has become available. 

Of the 28 cases, 11 are in Santa Maria, five are in Orcutt, three are in unincorporated North County areas including Guadalupe, one is in the Santa Ynez Valley, one is in Goleta, five are in Santa Barbara, and two are in the area of Lompoc including Mission Hills and Vandenberg Village.

Of the 139 cases, 81 are recovering at home, 24 have fully recovered, 10 are at home with the Public Health Department awaiting updates on their condition, and 23 are recovering in the hospital, with 16 of those 23 in intensive care units, public health officials said. 

Officials confirmed the first COVID-19-related death in the county yesterday. No further deaths have been reported. 

In San Luis Obispo County, six new cases were announced Thursday for a total of 89. 

San Luis Obispo County Public Health Officer Penny Borenstein said 15 of the cases are healthcare workers who worked in hospitals and clinics.

When asked the number of healthcare workers who had been confirmed for the virus in Santa Barbara County, Public Health Officer Henning Ansorg declined to comment, citing privacy issues. 

Ansorg also stated that after seeing new data out of China, CDC guidelines state that the virus can be spread 48 hours before individuals show symptoms, increasing the window during which the virus can be spread.

"Anyone who tests positive is recommended to immediately contact every person they had close contact with 48 hours before they began experiencing symptoms," Ansorg said.

The Public Health Department is now able to perform more tests on high-risk cases such as the elderly, those with underlying health conditions and healthcare workers at Pacific Diagnostics Lab.

"As of today, a local [Pacific Diagnostics Lab] is able to provide limited COVID-19 testing for high-profile cases with same-day results. This already helped our healthcare workers," Ansorg said.

 San Luis Obispo County Coronavirus Daily Briefing - April 2 2020

Infographic: San Luis Obispo County Coronavirus Cases - April 2 2020

Laura Place covers city government for the Santa Maria Times.

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