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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.

1200+ COVID-19 Cases Reported On Central, South Coasts Wednesday; 10 Additional Deaths In Region

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As we move into the Christmas holiday weekend, another day of high COVID-19 case numbers is prompting new calls from public health officials for people to avoid gatherings.

More than 1200 cases were reported in the region Wednesday, along with ten deaths.  Ventura County had 751 cases, Santa Barbara County 221, and San Luis Obispo County 242 cases, for a total of 1214.

Ten additional deaths were reported in the three counties, with eight in Ventura County.  The regional total stands at 441 since the start of the pandemic.

Ventura County Public Health Director Dr. Rigoberto Vargas says this is not the year for family and friends to gather for Christmas and New Year’s.  Vargas says the 327 people in the county’s eight hospitals for COVID-19 is the highest since the start of the crisis, and three times what it was during last summer’s peak.

The state classified Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties as part of the 11 county Southern California region.  The regional ICU capacity is at 0%, and it’s expected it will mean the current stay at home order will be in place at least through the end of 2020.