Public Health Press Releases

Press Releases 2015

Santa Barbara County dog lovers stepped up to give the Santa Barbara shelter dogs a very special holiday with short-term foster placements over Christmas. Every adoptable dog has been placed in a holiday foster home. [ Press Release ]

Animals at Santa Barbara County Animal Services are asking the public to open their homes and adopt a pet through their "Home for the Holidays" Campaign. [ Press Release ]

There has been an increase in the number of reported Norovirus/gastrointestinal outbreaks in Santa Barbara County over the past month, which is expected this time of year. Affected facilities include adult congregate living, schools and skilled nursing facilities. [ Press Release ]

As the holidays approach, there are over 200 dogs in the Santa Barbara County animal shelters looking for homes. For dogs that do not have the opportunity to spend Christmas with a new family, the staff at the Santa Barbara shelter location in Goleta are seeking two to three day foster homes for all adoptable dogs for a special "Santa's Slumber Party." [ Press Release ]

The Santa Barbara Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Medical Reserve Corps are providing free flu shots for all community members over the age of 2 at the Lompoc Fire Station #1 [ Press Release ]

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has experienced unauthorized access to 260 patient records by a Health Care Center staff member. "The Public Health Department deeply regrets this incident," said Dr. Takashi Wada, Director of the Department. [ Press Release ]

Today the world celebrates World AIDS Day, a day of both remembrance and re-commitment to the fight against HIV and AIDS. [ Press Release ]

Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and participating community partners successfully concluded the regional emergency preparedness exercise for 2015! [ Press Release ] [ Spanish ]

License, Vaccinate and Microchip Your Dog at Project PetSafe's Licensing Clinic at River View Park in Buellton, November 21, 2015. [ Press Release ]

Health Matters Newsletter: Influenza Vaccine Recommendations, 2015‐2016; Pertussis ‐ Protecting the Most Vulnerable; Epidemiology Program Updates [ Newsletter ]

Santa Barbara County Animal Services' Santa Maria Animal Center dogs are "Itching to find a home" and in an effort to help these dogs cure that itch, Animal Services is scratching off adoption fees from $110 to $35 and including a microchip. [ Press Release ]

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has advised consumers not to eat Dungeness and Rock crabs caught in waters between the Oregon border and the southern Santa Barbara County line, due to the detection of dangerous levels of domoic acid, a naturally occurring toxin. [ Press Release ]

Smoke and ash from Gibraltar Fire may impact some areas. [ Press Release ]

There is an evacuation warning for animals impacted by the Gibraltar Fire [ Press Release ]

Animal Evacuation for large and small animals available [ Press Release ]

Public Health Department announces open enrollment opportunities to learn what Health Care coverage can do. [ Press Release ] [ Spanish ]

The Santa Barbara County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency has reviewed the medical response of the patient treated in Isla Vista on October 11, 2015. [ Press Release ]

Preliminary test results have been received for the fungal disease outbreak that is affecting dogs and people at the Santa Maria Animal Center. Laboratory cultures for some of the affected animals have tested positive for microsporum canis which is commonly known as ringworm. [ Press Release ]

The public is invited to attend a free kick-off event for Food Day -- a nationwide celebration that inspires Americans to change their diets and our food policies -- at the Back Door Deli, 315 Camino Del Remedio in Santa Barbara, from 11 am to 1 pm on Thursday, October 22. [ Press Release ]

Over the past week, a number of dogs at the center began displaying signs of a skin condition that is not yet diagnosed. A number of staff and volunteers at the shelter have also reported skin changes including an itchy rash. The personal well-being of our staff and volunteers is of utmost importance to the County, as is the well-being of the animals in our care [ Press Release ]

"Dogs Playing for Life" program promotes healthy behavior in shelter dogs. [ Press Release ]

In an effort to protect the public during influenza season, the PHD is issuing a Health Officer Order for an influenza vaccination programs at all hospitals within Santa Barbara County, effective November 1, 2015. [ Influenza Vaccination Order ] [ FAQ for Hospitals ]

In honor of National Pit Bull Awareness Month, the Responsible Pet Ownership (RPO) Alliance is offering FREE spay/neuter services for Pit Bulls or Pit Bull mixes throughout the month of October along with free rabies vaccinations and a $10 microchip as a part of our "Love-A-Bull, Fix-A-Bull" Campaign. This special will be open to the first 150 Pit Bull and Pit Bull mixes signed up. Owners must be residents of Santa Barbara County to qualify. [ Press Release ]

Santa Barbara County Health Officer, Charity Dean, MD, MPH, has rescinded the Health Officer Order closing the medical office of Dr. Allen Thomashefsky. This action follows a number of measures that have been implemented to assure infection control practices are maintained at the medical office. [ Press Release ]

License, Vaccinate and Microchip Your Dog at Project PetSafe Licensing Clinic in Goleta at Girsh Park, September 13, 2015 [ Press Release ]

"Beat the Heat" brings FREE spay or neuter surgeries to Santa Barbara County cats at select agencies during the month of September. [ Press Release ]

History was made in our community on August 15-16, 2015 when in a single weekend, 101 cats and kittens found homes!! This represents the highest number of cats and kittens ever adopted in Santa Barbara County in a single weekend, and was the result of a first time county-wide collaboration between the Animal Shelter Assistance Program (ASAP), Santa Barbara County Animal Services, and the county's three private humane societies. [ Press Release ]

New Smoking & Vaping rules apply to County areas, law now includes electronic smoking devices and tobacco products. [ Press Release ]

The Public Health Department has re-opened Summerland Beach to the public. The beach was closed on Friday, August 21, due to the volume of oil on the beach and sand along with the petroleum odors on the beach which posed possible and adverse health effects. Oil and odors have decreased due to tide activity and natural processes, thus immediate health concerns have diminished. Warnings remain in effect as the situation with oil and odors can change rapidly. It is recommended that people and animals avoid exposure to crude oil compounds and strong odors. [ Press Release ]

Santa Barbara County Animal Services wants pet owners to be aware of the effects that hot weather has on pets. Owners are urged to use caution and avoid heat exposure. [ Press Release ]

Beginning immediately, Summerland Beach is closed to the public to prevent adverse health effects and protect the public's health. [ Press Release ]

The Public Health Department has identified strong petroleum odors along with significant amounts of oil in the water and oil on the beach at Summerland Beach that may pose short-term health impacts. Our concern first and foremost is for the public's health. The public is urged to limit exposure to odors and oily substances in the water or land. [ Press Release ]

Keeping cool when temperatures reach record highs isn't just about comfort. Dangerously high temperatures can result in heat‐related illnesses ranging from heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The following tips can help you keep cool all summer. [ Click here ]

Santa Barbara County Animal Services is teaming up with the three local Humane Societies for the first county-wide FREE cat event on August 15 th and 16 th. [ Press Release ] [ Ad ]

The Public Health Department Health Care Centers celebrate National Health Center Week, August 10 – 16, 2015. Health Care Centers provide local solutions for affordable and accessible health care. [ Press Release ]

"It's Hip to Snip" brings half price spay or neuter surgeries to Santa Barbara County dogs and cats at select agencies during the month of August. [ Press Release ]

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is initiating a comprehensive health assessment of our community. The purpose of the assessment is to understand the current health needs of residents in Santa Barbara County and to help identify where and how we can improve the health of our community. [ Press Release ]

On Tuesday, July 28th the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Services and Santa Barbara County Fire Department in coordination with Venoco Inc. will conduct an annual full siren test of the Emergency Warning and Notification System. Click here to read more.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department Nutrition Services / WIC Program will be having a breastfeeding celebration for WIC families and the community at the Franklin Community Center [ Press Release ]

Pertussis in California and in Santa Barbara continues at an all-time high. A live webinar with Q&A on July 23, 2015 from 12-1 will offer updates on Pertussis and recommendations and resources for health care providers. [ Flyer ]

Charity Dean MD photo The Board of Supervisors has approved Dr. Charity Dean as full-time Health Officer for Santa Barbara County. [ Press Release ]

Governor Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 277 on June 30, 2015. [ Press Release ]

The 4 th of July is a scary holiday for pets and the busiest holiday for Animal Services. In an effort to serve the community, Animal Services will be open from 10 am - 2 pm on Sunday July 5 th for redemptions only. [ Press Release ]

Unused medications can be dangerous to people and hazardous to our environment. Please join us in a conversation about the disposal of medications and exploration of alternative solutions for our community. Please share information about the community meetings on July 14 and July 16 as noted in the attached flyer. [ Flyer- English] [ Flyer- Español ]

Following the Refugio Oil Spill Incident on May 19, 2015, there have been a number of questions regarding ocean water quality in Santa Barbara County. A summary of water sampling will be made public and posted on the Public Health Department website at www.sbcphd.org [ Press Release ]

Click on link for: [ Cumulative Air ] [ Cumulative Water ]

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has obtained additional information related to the ongoing investigation of the medical office of Dr. Allen Thomashefsky [ Press Release ]

Following the Refugio Oil Spill Incident on May 19, 2015, there have been a number of questions regarding air quality in Santa Barbara County. In response to specific requests for this information, air testing results will be made public and posted on the Public Health Department website at www.sbcphd.org [ Press Release ]


June is the Purrfect time to Adopt a Cat. Animal Services drops adoption fees to only $25 on cats 6 months and older! [ Press Release ]

Click on link for Fact Sheet [ English ] [ Spanish ]

Please share comments, thoughts and suggestions about the oil spill at: refugiospillcomments@countyofsb.org
To learn what's happening with the oil spill, see: www.Refugioresponse.com

The community is invited to attend a community open house related to the Refugio Oil Spill response. It is an opportunity to ask questions, share comments, and learn about what's happening. Join us on Saturday, May 30, 2015 from 11 am - 2 pm at the Elks Lodge in Goleta. [ English flyer ] [ Spanish flyer ]

The Refugio Oil response effort includes continued assessment and clean-up of local beaches in Southern Santa Barbara County. [ Press Release ]

In honor of EMS week, May 17-23, the Santa Barbara County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency would like to recognize our first responders; 9-1-1 dispatch centers, fire departments, ambulance companies, law enforcement, emergency departments and trauma centers and all other providers who work 24/7 to deliver vital and timely access to appropriate treatment for the people of our community. [ Press Release ]

The Public Health Department cautions residents that there are potential health impacts from the Refugio oil spill. [ Press Release ]

Important Update: Clinical Strategy in Acute Coronary Syndrome [ click here ]

Volunteers and staff from SBC Animal Services were thrilled to find placements for 30 dogs this past weekend at the Best Friends No Kill LA Spring Adoption Event in Los Angeles. [ Press Release ]

The PHD is continuing an investigation of Dr. Allen Thomashefsky's medical office, and is recommending that former patients get tested for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV. The Health Department has received and analyzed information associated with the laboratory test results of former patients. [ Press Release ]

The PHD is continuing an investigation of Dr. Allen Thomashefsky's medical office, and is recommending that former patients get tested for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV. The Health Department has received and analyzed information associated with the laboratory test results of former patients. [ Press Release ]

The Public Health Department is continuing an investigation of Dr. Allen Thomashefsky's medical office and recommended that former patients get tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. To date, as of April 20, 2015, 219 number of test results have been reported to the Health Department and the results are reported here. [ Press Release ]

Animal Shelters Celebrate "Chihuahuas de Mayo". Free Spays & Neuters in May 2015 - Call today for appointment [ Press Release ]

A Department of Social Services employee in Santa Maria opened an envelope containing a small amount of an unknown substance wrapped in foil. [ Press Release ]

This alert is to notify healthcare providers in Santa Barbara County that we are conducting an investigation into the possibility that one or more patients may have contracted hepatitis C at the medical practice of Dr. Allen Thomashefsky. [ Provider Alert ]

Santa Barbara County- take the pledge toward a healthier life. [ Pledge Now ]

Mosquitoes, collected at Lake Los Carneros, City of Goleta, tested positive for West Nile Virus [ Press Release ]

Animal Services is partnering up with C.A.R.E. 4 Paws to bring a Licensing Clinic and FREE Spay-Neuter clinic to the residents of the Cuyama Valley, April 26, 2015 [ Press Release ]


The Public Health Department is continuing an investigation of a medical office where patients may have been exposed to bloodborne viruses. In an effort to reach all potentially affected patients, including those whose medical records may not include a current mailing address, the health department is now releasing additional information about the clinic involved. [ Press Release ]

Animal Services has over 40 dogs over the age of 5 years old. These "Old Friends" are looking for a "New Beginning" and Animal Services is helping by discounting their adoption fees up to 75%. [ Press Release ]

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is currently investigating one medical office in the county where patients may have been exposed to blood borne viruses. An active and thorough investigation is being conducted to determine if anyone has acquired a bloodborne virus due to unsafe infection control practices during injection procedures at this medical office. [ Press Release ]

For more information, please click here

This year for National Public Health Week, April 6 – 10, 2015, the focus is on creating the healthiest nation in one generation. In Santa Barbara County, we are asking residents to take a pledge to make one step towards a healthier life at www.sbcphd.org. [ Press Release ]

Measles Related Information can be found here

Santa Barbara County has been monitoring an individual traveler who traveled to one of the African countries where Ebola is epidemic. After the traveler became ill, extra precautions were taken to isolate the individual, transport her to an assessment hospital and test for Ebola. Test results and clinical evaluation confirm the patient does NOT have Ebola. [ Press Release ]

Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has a program of monitoring individuals in the county who have recently returned from countries currently experiencing an Ebola epidemic. [ Press Release ]
Ebola Related Information can be found here

World TB day commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of the bacteria that causes tuberculosis. Each year, Santa Barbara County recognizes March 24th, World TB Day as a day to raise the community's awareness about TB disease and how it can be prevented. [ Press Release ]

Public Health Week is April 6 - 12, 2015. Santa Barbara County- take the pledge toward a healthier life. [ Pledge Now ]

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is urging caution and common sense for the unusually high temperatures predicted in the county in the next few days. [ Press Release ] [ Places to Cool Down in Hot Weather ]

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department Health Care Centers announce the arrival of a new 14-passenger specially-designed bus providing origin to destination transportation, three days per week, for North County residents to medical appointments in the Santa Barbara city region. [ Press Release ]

The Public Health Department has confirmed 5 cases of chickenpox and 1 case of shingles associated with a local school in the county. Chickenpox and shingles are both caused by the varicella-zoster virus. [ Press Release ]

California Measles Update; Secondhand Smoke Exposure. [ Newsletter ]


Influenza, also known as flu, is now widespread in Santa Barbara County. There have been 5 known flu-related deaths in the county this season. [ Press Release ]

In an effort to help you find your Valentine, Santa Barbara County Animal Services is discounting adoption fees to just $14 on Saturday, February 14 th. [ Press Release ]

The Public Health Department is continuing its campaign to increase enrollment in affordable health insurance with two public forums designed to enroll people into health care coverage. [ Press Release ]

ebola_cell Ebola information for the community and health care providers. [ Ebola Web Page ]

The Public Health Department is pleased to have received laboratory test results for the possible measles case. The results are negative, the patient does not have measles. [ Press Release ]

This alert provides Measles guideline for Healthcare Providers, and collecting specimens for testing of suspected Measles cases. [ Provider Alert ]



Santa Barbara County has a possible case of measles. Due to the particular situation in this case, additional confirmatory testing will need to be conducted. [ Press Release ]

Spay or Neuter Your Cat for FREE, CatNips Program runs through February 2015 [ Press Release ]

Measles has been confirmed in 59 California residents since late December 2014. Of these, 42 have been linked to Disney parks in Anaheim. [ Provider Alert ]

Take Control of your Health in 2015; Seasonal Influenza 2014-2015 in Santa Barbara County. [ Newsletter ]

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department sadly reports the death of a 25 day old infant from pertussis [ Press Release ]

On January 5, 2015, Good Samaritan Shelter Inc. will take an important step in supporting health by adopting a tobacco-free policy at their 11 sites in the cities of Santa Maria and Lompoc. [ Press Release ]