The number of newly-reported COVID-19 cases continue to fall in Santa Barbara county, according to Public Health data released Friday.

There were 127 cases reported in the week ending Tuesday, and the county reported two COVID-19-related deaths this week. 

“There continues to be a decrease in virus transmission in the community. BA.5 continues to be the dominant strain on the southern West Coast (including California) and the nation,” County Public Health Department said Friday.  

“Over the last 7 days, the weekly average of reported PCR-confirmed cases has decreased by 24.6%. This is an underreporting of cases in Santa Barbara County given increased rapid antigen home testing that is often not reported to the Public Health Department.

“Meanwhile, COVID-19-related hospitalizations have been decreasing, and ICU admissions have continued to be low.” 

As of Thursday, there were 23 COVID-19-positive patients hospitalized in the county and none of them were in intensive care units. 

Public Health has reported a total of 104,912 positive cases and 718 cumulative deaths in the county. 

Santa Barbara County continues to have a low community level of COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s metric, which is calculated with the county’s case rate and hospitalizations. 

People 12 years and older are recommended to get the bivalent booster vaccine shot which targets Omicron variants of the novel coronavirus. 

Appointments to receive bivalent booster shots are available across Santa Barbara county. To find a vaccination provider and get more information, visit the Public Health Department website and the federal search portal.

Noozhawk staff writer Grace Kitayama can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.