Physicians observing sharp increase in positive COVID-19 test results in IV
Physicians observing sharp increase in positive COVID-19 test results in IV
Dear UCSB Students: 

Our medical staff have observed a sharp increase in the number of positive COVID-19 test results in Isla Vista. Yesterday, 22 new positive results were reported in students living in Isla Vista, and this morning (Saturday, January 16th), 51 more have come in. The vast majority of these cases are among undergraduate students. To put these numbers in perspective, testing during Week 2 of this quarter yielded 2.5 times more positive results than testing during Week 10 of the fall quarter. Student Health has also observed that students are experiencing more serious symptoms than they were just a few weeks ago

This trend – not related to recent move-ins at on-campus apartments – reflects the increasing rate of infection that we are seeing throughout Santa Barbara County (SBC) and California. Yesterday, SBC Public Health Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso shared that our county has the highest rate of spread in the state. We are sharing this information with you today because we want you to have it as soon as possible so that you are fully informed to make safer choices that protect the health of our community. 

Even if you are relatively young, in good health, and have no underlying medical conditions, please keep in mind that the risk to you might be lower, but it is not zero. There is great risk of being an asymptomatic carrier and transmitting the virus to others who are at high risk for serious illness in our community – Isla Vista is home to many children, families, and elderly people, including people with pre-existing conditions. The only way to protect our community’s wellbeing is for each one of us to take thoughtful action to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We must continue to follow public health guidelines diligently until it is safe to resume in-person activities. Please continue to follow the guidance of the December 6, 2020 Regional Stay-At-Home Order  including:
  • 100% masking and physical distancing. All businesses remaining open will have additional modifications in addition to 100% masking and physical distancing.
  • No gatherings with members of other households (indoors or outdoors). This includes gathering in the streets, at parks including beaches, and moving from one place to another in large groups. Very few exceptions apply. 
With broad availability of effective vaccines on the horizon, we must not lose sight of our efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We hope you find time to relax and reflect on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this holiday weekend. Thank you for your attention and cooperation.
Margaret Klawunn, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Vejas Skripkus, M.D.
Executive Director, Student Health & University Physician
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