On Friday, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reported one new COVID-related death.
The individual was over 70 years old, had no underlying medical conditions, was not associated with a congregate facility outbreak, and lived in the unincorporated areas of Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama, New Cuyama and city of Guadalupe.
In addition, the county reported 39 new positive COVID-19 cases as of Friday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases up to 10,128, with 9,861 recovered cases, 131 deaths and 136 cases still active in the region.
Santa Maria reported 13 new cases, bringing its total number of confirmed cases to 4,210.
Santa Barbara reported seven new COVID-19 cases, and Orcutt reported five cases.
Lompoc reported four new cases, but there were none reported from the federal prison in Lompoc.
The South County unincorporated area, including Montecito, Summerland and city of Carpinteria, and the unincorporated areas of Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama, New Cuyama and city of Guadalupe, each reported three new cases.
Isla Vista reported two new positive COVID-19 cases and the unincorporated area of the Goleta Valley and Gaviota reported one new case.
No new cases were reported in Goleta or the Santa Ynez Valley.
Cottage Health is currently caring for a total of 262 patients across all campuses, 204 of which are acute care patients. There are still 184 acute care beds available.
In the Public Health Department’s COVID-19 virtual press conference on Friday, 2nd District Supervisor Gregg Hart, announced that the department will unveil a new data dashboard with improved graphical representation of COVID-19 data for the county website on Tuesday.
He said the new dashboard will improve quality and accessibility for county residents.
Mr. Hart added that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the county is likely on the edge of a new surge of COVID-19 cases over the winter.
Dr. Van Do-Reynoso, the director of the Public Health Department, said that the case rate is what’s holding Santa Barbara County back from moving to the less-restrictive orange tier, but the county is closer to the orange tier than the more restrictive purple tier.
She said that the current adjusted case rate is 4.6, and the county needs to lower it to 3.9 or lower per 100,000 or have no more than 17 cases per day for the county.
The county’s testing positivity rate is 2.2 and the health equity metric is at 3.2, according to Dr. Do Reynoso.
In addition, as of Thursday, there were 14 COVID-positive inpatients at hospitals in the county, one of the 14 at Lompoc Valley Medical Center. This is nine more than last week, but still considered a low number.
The county represents 0.4% of California’s COVID hospitalizations, meaning Santa Barbara County’s hospitalization rate is approximately 60% lower than the state overall.