[Editor’s note: Noozhawk’s weekly COVID-19 email newsletter is delivered to subscribers on Wednesdays. You can sign up here. We are republishing the newsletters on the website so more readers have access to them.]
I’m Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland with the latest coverage of COVID-19 developments.
This newsletter is emailed out every Wednesday — for free — to everyone who subscribes.
Here’s What We Know
» Santa Barbara County narrowly missed hitting the metrics for the least-restrictive yellow tier of California’s COVID-19 reopening system Tuesday. The state expects to lift capacity limits and distancing requirements for most businesses and activities on June 15. Until then, mask mandates and other public health guidelines are in effect.
» COVID-19 vaccines are free and testing costs should be completely covered by health insurance. Here’s what to do if you think you were wrongly charged for a test.
» About 62% of county residents 12 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine and more than 50% are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Appointments and walk-up opportunities are available throughout the county.
» At least 15% of county residents ages 12 to 15 have received at least one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Children in that age group became eligible to get the vaccine earlier this month.
» No local coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in the month of May, and daily hospitalizations dropped to nine on Tuesday.
Public Libraries Reopen
Santa Barbara County libraries have started to reopen to the public for limited in-person services after more than a year of closures.
Starting June 1, the Santa Barbara Public Library will reopen and expand in-person services, with COVID-19 safety modifications.
Beginning June 2, the Goleta Valley and Santa Ynez public libraries will be offering a new express service.
“Opening in a limited capacity is the first step toward a full reopening,” director Allison Gray said.
The Goleta Valley Public Library and other local branches are reopening to the public after months of closures. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)
In the North County, the Lompoc and Santa Maria public libraries are open.
Noozhawk staff writer Jade Martinez-Pogue’s latest story includes the most up-to-date information.
COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
Local providers have distributed more than 416,000 vaccine doses as of Monday.
(Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk illustration)
More than 70% of Santa Barbara County residents older than age 75 are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Public Health Department.
(Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk illustration)
A breakdown from the county shows the number of doses distributed for each age group and the vaccination rate for each age group, based on estimated population.
Vaccine Fact Sheets
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website includes information on myths related to COVID-19 vaccines.
It includes a variety of common questions and answers. Click here for more information.
For example, can a COVID-19 vaccine make you sick with COVID-19?
“No,” the CDC states. ”None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
“COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.
“It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.”
Readers have sent us dozens of questions about COVID-19, vaccination, business reopening rules, in-person school and other pandemic-related issues. Please send yours to [email protected] and we’ll try to include them in future newsletters and Noozhawk Q&As.
Watch the Latest County COVID-19 Briefing
County public health officials provided the latest information on vaccination distribution, and health and safety protocols for graduations and other end-of-year school activities at the May 21 virtual briefing.
The Public Health Department now holds briefings every other Friday. The next briefing is scheduled for June 4.
» Find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you on the county website, publichealthsbc.org/vaccine, or at myturn.ca.gov. Some facilities are now offering walk-ups as well as appointments. The vaccine is free to everyone.
» Find more local pandemic-related information on the Public Health Department website and the county’s COVID-19 recovery page, with resources for business reopening, rental assistance, food assistance and more.
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