Santa Barbara County reached a new high on Thursday for COVID-19 patients in the hospital, according to the numbers provided by the county Public Health Department.
There were 80 patients being treated in local hospitals, with 23 of them in intensive care units.
The county reported 67 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, while removing 22 cases from its total “due to duplication, negative results and/or the case was found to be out of jurisdiction.” The county has had 3,868 cases altogether, with 29 deaths.
The county’s previous high for hospitalizations was 72 on Wednesday.
There are 720 hospital beds among the county’s three hospital systems — Cottage Health in Santa Barbara, Goleta and Santa Ynez; Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria; and the Lompoc Valley Medical Center.
On Thursday, 345 of those beds were occupied, or about 47.9 percent, according to the county. Patients were occupying 84 of the county’s 150 intensive care unit beds, or about 56 percent.
Local public health officials have expressed concern about the rising hospitalization numbers, but say they believe the situation is manageable.
The county’s seven-day rolling average for the COVID-19 test-positivity rate in the community was at 7.1 percent. However, the daily positive rate on Thursday was 15 percent, with only 310 tests conducted.
That was the lowest number of tests in nearly two weeks and comes as testing sites have been reporting delays in both administering tests and getting results back.
Of the new cases reported, 33 were in Santa Maria, 13 were in Santa Barbara and six were in Lompoc. There also were three new cases each in Goleta, the Santa Ynez Valley and unincorporated areas of the Santa Maria Valley.
The unincorporated areas of the Goleta Valley reported one new case, and geographic locations were pending on five cases.
The Lompoc Federal Prison Complex’s total jumped up to 998 on Thursday, from 984 the previous day. But that number had dropped 10 from Tuesday’s 994.
No explanation was given for the changes, and no new cases were reported Thursday from the prison complex.