It’s been more than a year since the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Santa Barbara County was as low as it was on Monday. 

County Public Health officials reported just eight COVID-19 patients being treated in local hospitals, which is the lowest daily number reported since March 30, 2020, according to data tracking done by Noozhawk.

Of those patients, just one was in an intensive care unit, which matches a low recorded at the end of October.

Public Health officials also reported 20 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, while 152 patients remained infectious throughout the county.

There were no new deaths reported on Monday, and the county’s cumulative COVID-19 death toll remained at 448.

There have been seven COVID-19 fatalities reported in Santa Barbara County in the past two weeks.

Of Monday’s new cases, six were from the Santa Maria Valley, while Santa Barbara and Isla Vista each reported three new cases.

The Goleta Valley, the Montecito-Summerland-Carpinteria area, the Santa Ynez Valley, and the Lompoc Valley each logged two new cases.

As of Sunday, 28.3% of the county’s population was fully vaccinated, according to the county’s Community Data Dashboard.

In the North County, 22.3% of the population has been fully vaccinated, compared to 24.1% in the Mid-County, and 34.1% on the South Coast.

In accordance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation, the state of California lifted the pause on the distribution of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Saturday. 

The vaccines were originally put on pause due to federal review related to six reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot out of nearly 8 million doses administered in the United States.

“After additional review, analysis and scrutiny, experts have concluded the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe, effective and will protect you against the COVID-19 virus,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement

“To date, about a million Californians have already received this vaccine – including myself and many of the state’s top doctors. I encourage all Californians to trust the science, getting vaccinated is the best way to protect ourselves and our loved ones and end the pandemic.”

Santa Barbara County will be following suit and ending the pause on the vaccines, according to the county’s COVID-19 Joint Information Center.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available in select locations this week through the Public Health mobile vaccine program, the information center said in a statement.

Participants will be given the option to select a different vaccine if they would like.

“We acknowledge that our community may still have reservations, but please know that Public Health remains committed to providing transparency about the vaccines being administered, and also providing different options countywide for vaccination,” said Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso.

“Safety is a top priority in this effort, and this pause was an example of the vaccination safety review system working as intended. These pauses are intended to provide transparency and information to our community.”

Noozhawk staff writer Jade Martinez-Pogue can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.