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Ventura County Officials Talk About COVID-19 Surge Concerns


More than 900 new COVID-19 cases were reported on the Central and South Coasts Wednesday, the highest total since the start of the pandemic.

Ventura County was hardest hit, with 794 additional cases.

The cause of the big number is unclear.  Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin says it’s still too soon to say if it’s Thanksgiving related, or possibly juts a fluke in the numbers.

Levin says while the county still has good hospital capacity, there has been a concerning spike in the number of people in intensive care units.  It currently stands at 33 people.

The county hasn’t announced any changes in its shutdown orders, but the governor has hinted the state may announce some, possibly as soon as later today:

The surge in cases is prompting a flood of people showing up for testing.  The county has beefed up staffing, and expanded hours to try to help accomodate the big crowds.

Levin says there is one bit of good news.  The first rounds of vaccine, which will go to medical personnel in the county, will arrive before Christmas.  Also high on the priority list are nersing home staff, and residents.

Santa Barbara County reported 84 additional cases Wednesday, but lab issues prevented an unknown number from being processed.  San Luis Obispo County had 33 new cases.

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.