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KCBX News Update: Two more COVID-19 deaths in SLO County, and outbreak at Santa Barbara County Jail adds 26 cases

Courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

SLO County reports two more deaths, 41 hospitalizations from COVID-19 amid Omicron surge

Two more people have died and 41 people are hospitalized due to COVID-19 in San Luis Obispo County.

SLO County Public Health reported the numbers today along with 1,121 new confirmed cases of the virus.

The department also said that about 75 percent of recent cases have been confirmed to be the Omicron variant, with the rest being the Delta variant.

The numbers come with the warning that local hospitals are reporting “severe pressure on emergency departments,” and that the health care system in SLO County could be “overwhelmed” if these trends continue.

The county’s 14-day daily average of cases has risen sharply to 283, where it was just 34 before last Thanksgiving.

The test positivity rate locally has increased to 19.2%, which is higher than the previous peak of 11.1% in January of last year.

County Public Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein is again urging people not to go to the emergency room for testing or mild symptoms, to get vaccinated and boosted, to wear masks and to social distance.

There have now been 375 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in SLO County.

The county’s coronavirus information website is slopublichealth.org/COVID19.

COVID-19 outbreak at Santa Barbara County Main Jail continues, with 26 more cases in the past week

The COVID-19 outbreak at Santa Barbara County’s Main Jail has added 26 additional cases in the past week.

The outbreak started on Dec. 8 and has been growing ever since.

As of yesterday, there were 68 active cases at the jail, according to officials there. 54 inmates have recovered in the past week, bringing the total number of recoveries to 136.

208 people have tested positive for the virus at the jail in total.

Benjamin Purper was News Director of KCBX from May of 2021 to September of 2023. He came 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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