Five new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Santa Barbara County; 2 Arroyo Grande High School students test positive

Five new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Santa Barbara County; 2 Arroyo Grande High School students test positive

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has confirmed five new positive cases of COVID-19 in the county, bringing the total to 18.

The cases include one person in their 50s in North County; one in their 40s in North County; and three cases in South County, two in their 20s, and one in their 70s.

The health department is conducting a thorough investigation to determine how they contracted COVID-19 as well as identifying persons with whom they may have had close contact. Mandated social distancing measures are in place to slow the spread of the virus.

Additionally, officials in San Luis Obispo County announced Sunday that two Arroyo Grande High School students tested positive for COVID-19. 

County Health Officer  Dr.  Penny  Borenstein confirmed the students were a 10th grader and a 12th grader. Students may have been exposed to the 10th grader during the communicable period, which began on March 13, the final day prior to school closure. It is not believed that any students were exposed to the 12th grader as the estimated communicable period took place after Arroyo Grande High School closed to prevent the spread of the disease.

When dealing with a large school population, Dr. Borenstein said “The County will take a balanced approach in notifying school administration and individuals who potentially had contact with infected individuals, while maintaining medical privacy.”

The statewide shelter-at-home order issued last week is a critical step to reduce the spread of COVID-19, according to the health department. This is a socially transmitted illness, and we all have a role in stopping it from spreading. By working together to flatten the curve, we will help to prevent Santa Barbara County’s healthcare systems from being overwhelmed, and reduce the possibility of casualties from the virus.

Community members are reminded to take measures to prevent the spread of respiratory illness:

  • • Wash your hands with soap and water
  • • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • • Stay home if you become sick with respiratory symptoms, fever or cough
  • • Keep surfaces clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant

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