Santa Barbara County has confirmed 17 additional COVID-19 cases for a total of 260 cases, with numbers continuing to grow in an outbreak at the Federal Penitentiary in Lompoc, public health officials said at a Friday press conference.
Of the 17 cases confirmed Friday, six are inmates at the Lompoc prison complex, with 46 inmates now infected along with 14 employees.
Ten of the inmates have been hospitalized with two in intensive care units, and one employee has been hospitalized.
"We are working closely with prison administration and supporting them with our resources," Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg said.
Of the 260 cases, 90 are fully recovered, 122 are recovering at home, 40 are hospitalized with 18 in intensive care units, two have died, and Disease Control is awaiting updates on six.
Ansorg said that testing capacity in the county continues to improve, with Marian Regional Medical Center and Cottage Health hospitals now approved to use the fastest-turnaround testing device on the market, the Abbot ID NOW COVID-19 test.
According to Abbot, the tests can turn around positive results in under five minutes and negative results in under 13 minutes.
The Food and Drug Administration has also issued Emergency Use Authorizations for 23 different COVID-19 testing devices, one of which tests blood samples for coronavirus antibodies to determine exposure.
With Stanford University at the forefront of much of the new testing research, the county is working to obtain some of the tests once they have received more information, according to Ansorg.
"We are expecting rapid progress in this field of study... I am anticipating these new tests eagerly," Ansorg said.
San Luis Obispo County confirmed three new cases as of Friday for a total of 107, also announcing the opening of an alternate care site at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo with a 900-bed capacity for potential and confirmed COVID-19 patients.
Infographic: San Luis Obispo County Coronavirus Cases
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Laura Place covers city government for the Santa Maria Times.
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