In what could be seen as a hopeful sign in the local battle against the virulent coronavirus, only four new confirmed cases were reported Saturday in Santa Barbara County.

That’s by far the lowest number since March 29, a day when four cases also were reported.

The average since then has been 16 cases, with the highest being 28 on April 2 and the second highest being 26 on April 6

All of the new confirmed cases of coronavirus — also known as COVID-19 — were in the North County, including two in Orcutt, one in Santa Maria and one in Lompoc, according to the county Public Health Department.

The total to date in the county is 264 cases, with two deaths, the most recent on April 5.

As of Saturday, 39 patients were hospitalized, with 17 in intensive care units; 112 were recovering at home; 105 had fully recovered; and six were pending an update.

The hospitalization rate has remained fairly stable during the past few days at between 34 and 40, with ICU patients between 17 and 19. Hospital officials report there are still plenty of available beds, ICUs and ventilators in the county.

The age breakdown for the most recent cases was two in the 18-29 age group, one in the 0-17 group and one in the 30-49 group.

Many of the cases in recent days were at the Lompoc Federal Prison Complex, which has reported 46 inmates and 14 employees testing positive for the coronavirus.

Officials on Friday expressed relief that Santa Barbara County is not seeing a surge in cases, and urged the community to continue social-distancing, frequent hand-washing, uses of face masks in public, and other strategies to reduce the spread of the virus.

Also on Saturday, the Santa Maria Fire Department reported that results for four of its personnel who were tested for COVID-19 came back negative.

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Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.