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Coronavirus Case Total Tops 5500 On Central, South Coasts; 81 Added In Santa Barbara County

California has paused more coronavirus related reopenings in light of the surge of new diagnosed cases in the state.  About 4900 new cases were reported statewide Friday.  The state has passed the 200,000 case mark.  On the Central and South Coasts, there are now more than 5500 diagnosed cases.  The total for the region is 5556 cases.

Ventura County has 2336 cases, up 44 from Thursday.  Santa Barbara County has 2712 cases, an increase of 81 over Thursday.  Santa Barbara County’s total includes about a thousand cases linked to the federal prison complex in Lompoc.  San Luis Obispo County has 508 cases, up 19 from Thursday.

Most of the diagnosed cases have already recovered.  There have been 73 coronavirus related deaths in the region, with most of those who died having preexisting health conditions.

Santa Barbara County health officials say while they are concerned about the increase in new cases during the last week, increased testing may account for part of it.  They say the county currently has adequate surge capacity in its hospitals.

The county is also asking people not to make appointments for coronavirus testing unless they have symptoms, were exposed to be who are positive, or have been asked to do so by a medical provider.  They say that when they opened testing up to everyone, many people who weren't at risk signed up out of curiousity, and some testing sites are now swamped.  Some have week long waiting lists.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.