Public Health Department (PHD)

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Testing Results And Health In Exposed Workers
The Public Health Department has reviewed results from testing of mudslide samples and made recommendations to protect the health of exposed workers. [ Press Release ]
Mud Cleanup Safety And Protection
To protect residents from exposure to raw sewage and other chemicals that may be present in the mud, the Public Health Department offers the following guidance: [ Press Release ]
Public Health Warns Against Consumption Of Recreational Harvested Raw Shellfish
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Dept. is issuing a warning to the public to avoid consuming recreational harvested raw shellfish caught in ocean waters where bacterial levels continue to be elevated. [ Press Release ] [ Español ]
Santa Barbara County Animal Services Rescue More than 1,000 Displaced Animals Following the Mudslides
As residents continue to evacuate from their homes following the fatal mudslides that hurled through Montecito last week, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and Santa Barbara County Animal Services are conducting ongoing search-and-rescue efforts to save displaced animals. [ Press Release ]
Safety Of Ocean Water and Beaches (updated 1/20/2018)
Ocean water samples taken on Tuesday, January 16, were tested for bacteria levels on Wednesday, January 17.  Test results reveal that levels of bacteria do exceed standard levels in ocean water at some beaches. Please see Press Release for beaches that will remain closed [ Press Release ] [ Español ]
Public Health Advisory
Protecting Your Health in Areas Impacted by the Storm [ Press Release ] [ Español ]
Connection Between Hepatitis Transmission From Debris/Mud Runoff Unfounded
Dr. Charity Dean, Santa Barbara County's Public Health Officer has reiterated as false the circulating rumors of the possible presence of Hepatitis C infection within the discarded debris and mud being relocated in landfills and local beaches in the county. [ Press Release ] [ Español ]
Santa Barbara County Beach Ocean Waters Closed Due to High Bacterial Levels
Effective immediately, and in order to protect the public’s health, the Santa Barbara County Health Officer has closed the following beach ocean waters for public use until further notice: Gaviota Beach down the coast to the County line at Rincon Point. This includes, but is not limited to, the following beaches: Gaviota, Refugio, El Capitan, Sands at Coal Oil Point, Goleta State Beach, Hope Ranch, Arroyo Burro, Leadbetter, East Beach at Mission Creek, East Beach at Sycamore Creek, Butterfly, Hammond’s, Summerland, Carpinteria State Beach. [ Press Release ] [ Español ] [ Health Officer Order ]
Closure Notice For Restaurants In Boil Water Notice Areas
The Public Health Department Environmental Health Services division (EHS) has issued a closure order for restaurants, markets, and other food facilities that are affected by the Boil Water Notice. These include areas served by the Montecito Water District. [ Press Release ]
Influenza Deaths
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department confirms there were 6 deaths from influenza in the past two weeks within Santa Barbara County. All 6 individuals were over age 65. This number is significantly higher than the number of deaths typically recorded during previous influenza seasons. By comparison, there were 3 deaths recorded for all age groups for the entire flu season last year. [ Press Release ]
January is Safe Sleep Month
Unintentional suffocation is the leading cause of injury-related death among children under 1 year of age. Nearly three-quarters of suffocation deaths among infants are from accidental suffocation or strangulation in bed. In Santa Barbara County between January 2015 and December 2016, according to the Child Death Review Team Report, parental bed sharing or overlay were factors in accidental or undetermined deaths of 5 children under 1 year of age. [ Press Release ]
Significant Increase in Influenza Activity
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reports a significant increase in influenza activity over the past 2 weeks, including 5 outbreaks in residential healthcare facilities across the county. In addition, it appears the predominant strain this year is H3N2 which tends to cause more severe illness, more hospitalizations, and more deaths. [ Press Release ]

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Archived Press Releases

Ocean Water and Beach Safety
Ocean water samples taken on Friday, January 12 were tested for bacteria levels on Saturday, January 13. Test results reveal that levels of bacteria do exceed standards in ocean water and the following beaches will remain closed: Butterfly Beach, Carpinteria State Beach, East Beach at Mission Creek, East Beach at Sycamore Creek, El Capitan State Beach, Goleta Beach, Hammonds, Summerland Beach. [ Press Release ]
 
Do Not Use Leaf Blowers - Air Pollution Control District Can Take Enforcement Action
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District remind the community that leaf blowers should not be used while there are large amounts of ash in our environment, as this could result in a violation of Air Pollution Control District regulations and endanger health. All county residents are encouraged to be good neighbors and not use leaf blowers. [ Press Release ] [ Español ]
 
County Public Health Declares Local Health Emergency
In order to protect the public's health and facilitate safe cleanup of hazardous materials after the Thomas Fire, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department issued a declaration of a local health emergency and Health Officer order for removal, transport, and disposal of hazardous material and debris. This declaration, signed by the Public Health Department's Director Van Do-Reynoso and Health Officer Charity Dean was ratified by the Board of Supervisors on Thursday, December 21, 2017. [ Press Release ] [ Español ]