Santa Barbara County confirmed 13 additional COVID-19 cases among residents on Friday, eight of which are located in Santa Maria.
In addition to the cases in Santa Maria, three of the new cases are located in Santa Barbara, one in Lompoc, and one in the unincorporated North County area.
The total number of confirmed cases among county residents is now 678, with 537 recovered.
No additional cases have been confirmed at the federal penitentiary in Lompoc, leaving the prison's confirmed total cases at 971, with only 11 still considered active.
Three inmates at the prison confirmed for COVID-19 have died thus far, along with 10 county residents.
Santa Barbara County Public Health officials continue to encourage residents to get tested for COVID-19, with appointments open at testing sites in Lompoc, Santa Maria and Santa Barbara.
In order to expand testing opportunities to other areas of the county, next week the county will be opening a new testing site in Guadalupe and moving the Lompoc site to Solvang.
To assist the 1,600 local businesses that have begun the reopening process with the county, "reopening ambassadors" will be traveling to different businesses to provide them with resources and guidance, said 2nd District Supervisor Gregg Hart.
"These reopening ambassadors want businesses to succeed, and customers to be safe," Hart said.
Acknowledging the wide array of changes in the county over the past week, Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg said the county will be pausing its reopening progress in order to properly evaluate the impacts of the recent changes, such as reopening in-house retail and dining as well as hair salons.
"Santa Barbara County most certainly has had great success in managing this crisis so far," Ansorg said. "At this point, I strongly believe we need to pause in order to assess these new activities in the area."
In neighboring San Luis Obispo County, public health officials announced plans for the gradual reopening of public library branches.
San Luis Obispo County confirmed one additional COVID-19 case Friday, for a total of 269, of which 245 are recovered.
Laura Place covers city government for the Santa Maria Times.
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