The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reported a total of 298 new COVID-19 cases in the four-day period since Monday, and some additional backlogged cases. 

There were also two COVID-19-related deaths reported this week. Both people were 70 years old or older, and one of the deaths was associated with a congregate care site, according to Public Health.

One resident was a Lompoc resident and the other lived in the South County unincorporated area. 

Public Health officials reported 70 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, 79 on Wednesday, 88 on Thursday, and 61 cases on Friday.

The number of active cases (the number of people who have recently tested positive and are still infectious) and hospitalizations reported this week are about 20% higher than the previous two-week average, according to the county. 

As of Friday, 11 COVID-19-positive individuals were hospitalized throughout the county, with two of these patients being treated in intensive-care units.

Hospitalizations in the county have been slowly increasing compared to last week, when the county was reporting between seven and nine hospital patients who tested positive for COVID-19. 

According to the Community Data Dashboard, of the 298 cases reported since Monday, 76 were in the Santa Barbara area and 63 were in the Santa Maria Valley.

The Montecito-Summerland-Carpinteria area reported 36 additional COVID-19 cases and the Goleta Valley reported 33 new cases.

Both the Lompoc Valley and Isla Vista reported 27 new cases each since Monday. 

The Santa Ynez Valley reported 13 new cases and there were 23 additional COVID-19 cases pending geographic location since Monday.

Since the pandemic began in early 2020, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has reported a total of 86,946 COVID-19 cases and 683 COVID-19-related deaths of local residents. 

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

Serena Guentz, Noozhawk Staff Writer

Noozhawk staff writer Serena Guentz can be reached at