The number of new COVID-19 cases in Santa Barbara County on Wednesday dropped by nearly 100 from the day before, with the Public Health Department reporting 89 new cases — down from 184 on Tuesday.

Public health officials also reported the county’s 32nd death, but the person, in their 50s, did not have a permanent address within the county. Most of the new cases — 47 — were in Santa Maria. On Tuesday, Santa Maria reported 113 cases.

The number also dropped in Santa Barbara, from 15 to 10.

Overall, Santa Barbara County has 334 active cases of COVID-19; 193 of those are in Santa Maria, 42 are in Santa Barbara, 25 are in Lompoc, and 15 in the unincorporated areas of Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama, New Cuyama Guadalupe. Of the 32 deaths, 18 have been in Lompoc.

Despite Wednesday’s numbers, the county has experienced an overall jump in COVID-19 cases since government officials reopened business sectors over the Memorial Day weekend. As of Tuesday, the number of positive cases increased 43 percent in the prior 14 days and doubled in the prior 28 days, Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom and county officials have laid down the hammer and reclosed much of the economy in the past week because of the rise in cases countywide. 

Latinos continue to contract the virus at higher rates than others. Of the 89 reported by the county on Wednesday, 26 were Latino. Of the 3,412 community COVID-19 infections, 1,553 have been Latinos. The second-largest group is whites with 233 cases. The county classifies 1,347 of the ethnicities as “missing.”

As health officials attempt to get a handle on the virus, school officials are trying to decide whether to start the school year in a distance learning environment or have students return in a hybrid, part-time environment.

Of the total cases countywide, 313 have been between ages 0 and 17. The age group with the most positive cases is between 30 and 49, with about 1,256 people in the community, not counting the Lompoc Federal Prison, testing positive for the virus.

Cottage Health, which has hospitals in Santa Barbara, Goleta and Santa Ynez, said in a news release Wednesday that it is caring for 303 patients. The hospital has about 126 acute care beds available and has identified an additional 270 beds should there be an outbreak along the South Coast. Cottage said 18 patients are on ventilators, and 72 ventilators remain available for adults, children and babies. 

Of the hospital’s current patients, 30 have tested positive for COVID-19.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.