Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) is reporting that a resident has died of COVID-19. The north county resident who died was in his or her 60s and had underlying health conditions.

 “We extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones of this patient,” said Santa Barbara County Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg. “While we have expected more cases, this death is an unfortunate milestone in our efforts to fight this disease, and one that we never wanted to see.”

“While most cases of COVID-19 exhibit mild or moderate symptoms, this tragic death underscores the urgent need for us to take extra steps to protect residents who are particularly vulnerable to developing more serious illness, including elderly persons and those with underlying health conditions.”

PHD recommends additional measures to prevent exposure among vulnerable people, including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions (such as diabetes, cancer, immunodeficiency, asthma, COPD and others). Public Health recommends that vulnerable people:

  • Stay home as much as possible. Arrange for someone to deliver groceries and other items you need. Ensure you have at least a two-week supply of medication on hand.
  • Wash your hands regularly, especially before eating or before touching your face.
  •  If you need to leave the house, minimize contact with other people and with common surfaces. Stay at least six feet away from others.
  • If you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, promptly contact your medical provider.

“If you are healthy and not at higher risk, please connect with friends and loved ones who would be considered more vulnerable, and offer support,” said Van Do-Reynoso, Public Health Director.

There are now 111 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Santa Barbara County. Of these, 65 are recovering at home, 17 persons are recovering in a hospital,13 of which are in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 23 have fully recovered, and 6 are pending an update.