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From Ventura to San Luis Obispo, from Santa Barbara to Santa Maria, KCLU's in-depth, thoughtful coverage of all the news that matter to you.

Five New Coronavirus Related Deaths Reported On Central, South Coasts; Death Toll Now At 247

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Five additional coronavirus related deaths are being reported on the Central and South Coasts Wednesday.  Ventura County is reporting three, and Santa Barbara County two.

There have now been 247 deaths in the region since the start of the crisis.  Ventura County has had 126, Santa Barbara County 99, and San Luis Obispo County 22.  Most of the deaths involved older adults with preexisting health conditions.

But, the number of new cases reported in the region was on the low side Wednesday. Ventura County had 37, Santa Barbara County 51, and San Luis Obispo County 26.

The key data used by the state to allow further reopenings includes the number of new cases, and the percentage of new positive cases. Ventura County Public Health officials say the county is showing major improvements in both of the metrics.  They say the county is close to being able to move on to the next less restrictive tier, which among other things would allow the resumption of indoor dining in restaurants.