The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department saw a crushing spike in COVID-19 cases over the Dec. 5-6 weekend, with 353 new cases confirmed, followed by an additional 117 cases on Monday.
The total number of cases confirmed in the county is now 12,379, with 643 cases still considered active and contagious.
This marks the highest rate of active cases in Santa Barbara County since the beginning of the pandemic, excluding the time period in May when over 1,000 cases were confirmed at the United States Penitentiary and Federal Correctional Institution in Lompoc.
According to county public health data, cases confirmed over the weekend included 197 cases on Saturday, followed by 156 cases on Sunday, two of the county's highest daily case increases since the early stages of the pandemic.
The majority of cases between Saturday and Monday were confirmed in the cities of Santa Maria, Santa Barbara and Lompoc, according to county public health data.
As of Monday, a total of 54 individuals are hospitalized for COVID-19, including 15 individuals in the ICU, according to county data. Over the weekend, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations rose as high as 59.
On Monday, January 25, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the end of the Regional Stay Home Order.
While hospitalizations for COVID-19 have risen rapidly over the past week, capacity still remains fairly high in local hospitals and ICU beds. As of Monday, 55% of all ICU beds are occupied, with 28% in use by COVID-19 patients.
In the city of Santa Maria, 167 out of 4,853 total cases remain active. Seventy-five individuals have died.
In the community of Orcutt, 44 out of 564 total cases remain active. Six individuals have died.
In the city of Lompoc, 100 out of 1,265 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, 27 out of 271 total cases remain active. Seven individuals have died.
In the unincorporated North County area, which includes Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama, New Cuyama and Guadalupe, 12 out of 531 total cases remain active.
In neighboring San Luis Obispo County, 275 new COVID-19 cases were reported over the Dec. 5-6 weekend, followed by 58 new cases on Monday, according to county public health data.
Of the 275 cases confirmed over the weekend, 186 cases were confirmed on Saturday alone.
The total number of cases in San Luis Obispo County is now 6,873, with 868 cases still considered active and contagious.
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