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Santa Barbara County sees second surge of active COVID-19 cases

Santa Barbara County sees second surge of active COVID-19 cases

From the What you need to know for Tuesday, December 1 series

Santa Barbara County is moving deeper into the purple tier, as state and county-level data indicate rising COVID-19 rates not seen since the county's last surge in the summer. 

Weekly state COVID-19 metrics for California counties were updated Saturday, showing increased case rates in Santa Barbara County over the past week. As of Saturday, the case rate had increased from 7.3 to 7.8, inching further from the needed metrics of the red tier. 

However, the rate of 7.8 was adjusted down due to COVID-19 testing rates over the state average, with the county's unadjusted rate reaching 11.7, according to state data. 

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department also is reporting rates of active COVID-19 cases not seen since the summer. 

As of Monday, 410 out of 11,602 total cases remain active in the county, with 451 considered active just two days before. According to Public Health data, the last time the number of active cases passed 400 was in July, in the midst of the county's first big surge. 

The number of individuals hospitalized for COVID-19 also has taken a jump, increasing from 23 to 33 over the past five days.

On Monday, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department updated daily COVID-19 case numbers for the first time since Wednesday, with the past five days suggesting steadily increasing COVID-19 rates. 

The county reported a total of 406 cases between Thursday and Monday. Of this total, 86 cases were reported Thursday, 67 were reported Friday, 149 were reported Saturday and 52 were reported Sunday.

Monday saw an additional 52 cases as well as one death, according to county data. A total of 136 deaths now have been confirmed in the county.

According to Public Health officials, the individual whose death was reported Monday was a Santa Maria resident between the ages of 50 and 69 years old without any underlying health conditions. 

In the city of Santa Maria, 114 out of 4,650 total cases remain active. Seventy-four individuals have died.

In the community of Orcutt, 24 out of 506 total cases remain active. Six individuals have died.

In the city of Lompoc, 53 out of 1,146 total cases remain active. Nine individuals have died. 

In the Santa Ynez Valley, which includes the areas of Solvang, Buellton, Los Olivos, Los Alamos, Santa Ynez and Ballard, 15 out of 238 total cases remain active. Seven individuals have died.

In the unincorporated North County area, which includes Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama, New Cuyama and Guadalupe, 15 out of 515 total cases remain active. Seven individuals have died. 

In neighboring San Luis Obispo County, where daily COVID-19 data was last updated on Friday, a total of 114 new cases were confirmed over the weekend, followed by an additional 68 cases on Monday. 

The total number of cases in the county is now 6,311, with 890 cases still active, according to Public Health data

Two additional deaths also were confirmed on Monday, bringing the county to a total of 38 deaths. 

According to Public Health spokeswoman Michelle Shoresman, one of the deceased individuals was in their 60s and the other was in their 80s. Both had underlying health conditions. 

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Santa Maria City Reporter

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Laura Place covers city government, policy and elections in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara County. Follow her on Twitter @itslaurasplace

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