1st coronavirus death in Santa Barbara County; overall case count jumps to 111

Palm trees line the bike path along the beach in Santa Barbara. The county announced its first coronavirus-related death this week, and its number of confirmed infections increased to 111.
(Stephen Osman / Los Angeles Times)

Santa Barbara County announced its first coronavirus-related death this week as its number of confirmed infections increased to 111.

Public health officials said the North County resident who died Wednesday was in their 60s and had underlying health conditions. The death occurred at Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, where the patient was in intensive care and on a ventilator.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones of this patient,” said Santa Barbara County Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg in a statement. “While we have expected more cases, this death is an unfortunate milestone in our efforts to fight this disease, and one that we never wanted to see.”

Twelve additional COVID-19 cases were also confirmed throughout the county, in cities such as Goleta, Santa Maria, Lompoc and the communities of Mission Hills, Vandenberg Village and Orcutt. The majority of these new infections have stricken people between the ages of 30 and 49.

Gregg Hart, chairman of the board of supervisors, reminded residents during a news conference this week of the “seriousness” of this moment. He urged people to stay home, practice social distancing, routinely wash their hands and to self-isolate if a person feels sick.


“We’ve heard about many deaths around the world from this pandemic, but that doesn’t take away from the pain we now feel as a community in this tragic moment,” Hart said.

Of the 111 total cases, 65 people are recovering at home; 17 are recovering in a hospital; 13 are in an intensive care unit; 23 have fully recovered and six are pending an update, according to the county’s pubic health department website. Countywide, 902 people have been tested.