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KCBX News Update: SB County Jail outbreak grows to 87 active cases, and SLO Public Health to hold rapid test event in Atascadero

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Gabriela Fernandez
A polling location in San Luis Obispo prepares for election day.

Santa Barbara County Jail COVID outbreak continues with 87 active cases

The COVID-19 outbreak at the Santa Barbara County Main Jail continues to grow.

Officials first reported an active case on Dec. 9. The outbreak has swelled from 54 active cases on Dec. 21 to 87 as of today.

119 inmates have tested positive so far, according to jail staff, and 28 have recovered while four have been released from custody.

22 inmates are currently showing symptoms and none have required hospitalization so far.

SLO County to host rapid test event in Atascadero

Amid a nationwide shortage of rapid COVID-19 tests, San Luis Obispo County Public Health will host an event Thursday giving out free rapid antigen tests to the public.

The event will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Atascadero at the Lake Park Pavilion Community Room at 9315 Pismo Avenue.

There are 150 rapid tests which will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, according to the county.

The health department also announced 659 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus since last Tuesday, seven of which were confirmed to be the Omicron variant.

Covered CA urges enrollment ahead of new year

Uninsured Californians have until Friday to enroll in the state's health insurance market — if they want coverage starting Jan. 1.

Covered California runs the state’s insurance exchange and says the winter surge in COVID-19 underscores the need for quality health coverage.

Hospitals are already reporting increased admissions due to the Omicron variant, which is now the most dominant strain of the coronavirus.

A recent study from FAIR Health, a nonprofit that analyzes health care costs, found the average ICU COVID patient paid over $100,000 in medical bills.

Without adequate health coverage, the state warns COVID patients could face a mountain of debt.

Uninsured Californians can enroll in the state’s health insurance market in January, but coverage won’t start until Feb. 1.

This story came to us from CapRadio News.

Benjamin Purper came to KCBX in May of 2021 from California’s Inland Empire, where he spent three years as a reporter and Morning Edition host at KVCR in San Bernardino. Dozens of his stories have aired on KQED’s California Report, and his work has broadcast on NPR's news magazines, as well. In addition to radio, Ben has worked as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer.
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