The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department on Monday reported 35 new COVID-19 cases and no additional virus-related deaths, bringing the county’s total to 9,319 cases and 115 virus-related fatalities.

There were 23 confirmed COVID-19 patients being treated in local hospitals, an increase from 19 the previous day.

Of those, five COVID-19 patients were in intensive care units, a number that has remained unchanged in the county in the past 24 hours.

The county’s total number of known infectious coronavirus cases is 122 as of Monday.

More than 9,080 people have recovered from COVID-19, according to the latest figures provided by county public health.

There were 72 new cases in the county over the last three days.

There have been 190 new cases reported within the last seven days, making for an average of 27.1 new cases per day.

County public health officials reported 160,613 coronavirus tests had been conducted as of Monday.

Of Monday’s new cases, 20 were in Santa Maria, six were in Lompoc and four were in Orcutt.

Santa Barbara, Goleta and the Santa Ynez Valley each had one new case.

Geographic locations were pending on two cases.

With 1,179 coronavirus tests recorded Monday, the county had a 3% daily positivity rate. 

Last Monday — on Sept. 28 — there were 726 coronavirus tests administered and 30 were positive, so the county’s daily positivity rate was 4.1%.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that California’s COVID-19 trends are stable, but 21 other states are experiencing rising case numbers.

“You’re starting to see an increase in COVID cases across the country,” Newsom said during a news conference. “We’re seeing this, not just across the country, we’re seeing this increasingly around the world.”

It takes about 20 to 30 days to see an uptick in hospitalizations and in the ICUs, Newsom said. 

The statewide numbers continue to see a downward trend, “but if we start to see an increase number of cases, invariably you will start to see an increase in the hospitalizations and the pressure in ICUs,” Newsom said. 

The state had a 2.6% test positivity rate over the last seven days and the 14-day average positivity rate is 2.8%, Newsom said.

California saw a 13% decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations over the latest 14 days, Newsom said.

“That decrease is beginning to plateau a little bit,” Newsom said.

The state had a 15% decline in the total number of COVID-19-positive ICU admissions over a two-week period. 

Newsom said state officials hope to update the color-coded COVID-19 reopening system, officially known as the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, “by the end of the calendar year.”

“It’s an iterative process,” Newsom said. “We are using this tiered status to get us through the next number of weeks.”

Free Seasonal Flu Shots

Free seasonal flu vaccinations will be offered in October at three drive-up locations in Santa Barbara County for everyone over the age of 2.

The county Public Health Department — in collaboration with Sansum Clinic, Allan Hancock College and the Medical Reserve Corps — will host six drive-through community sessions starting this week.

Curbside flu shots will occur:

» From 2 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday at Lompoc High School, 515 W. College Ave. in Lompoc.

» From 2 to 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday at San Marcos High School, 4750 Hollister Ave. in Santa Barbara. 

» From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 13 and Oct. 15 at Allan Hancock College, 800 S. College Dr. in Santa Maria.

“Wear a face covering, remain in the car, complete a short form, and then get a vaccination,” the county’s Joint Information Center said Monday. “No insurance, identification, or appointment is needed.”

Receiving a flu shot may help save limited medical resources necessary for the care of COVID-19 patients, Public Health officials said.

“Just like wearing a mask, getting a flu shot is an easy and safe action we can take to stay healthy during this pandemic,” the county’s Joint Information Center said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend everyone ages 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exceptions. It can take about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against a flu infection to develop in the body, according to the CDC.

Flu shots are covered by Medi-Cal, Medicare and by most insurance plans, according to county public health officials.

“Getting a flu vaccine is more convenient than ever before, and is the single best way to prevent the flu,” the county’s Joint Information Center said.

In addition, Dignity Health Urgent Care in Solvang is offering flu shots at no cost to people ages 18 to 64.

The flu shot clinic will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday at Dignity Health Urgent Care, 1992 Old Mission Drive, Suite 140 in Solvang. 

No appointment is needed, but supplies are limited, Dignity Health spokeswoman Sara San Juan said.

The flu vaccination is especially important because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the public health officials.

“The symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu are very similar, and while there is still no vaccine for COVID-19, we could see a ‘twindemic’ this year,” said Dr. Jason Morris, who is providing care at Solvang’s Dignity Health Urgent Care. “For this reason, it is important to get a flu vaccination and protect yourself, your family and the community during these uncertain times.”

Click here to find other locations offering the seasonal flu vaccination

COVID-19 in Santa Barbara County

Over the past week, public health officials offered suggestions for Halloween celebrations and guidance for safe trick-or-treating. Click here to read Noozhawk’s coverage.

All 58 counties in California are assigned to one of four tiers based on the weekly rate of new positive diagnostic tests and lab-confirmed cases of the coronavirus. The four-tier system will set parameters for reopening modifications to the activities, business operations and schools in a county.

When the system was unveiled by Newsom in late August, Santa Barbara County sat in the purple tier, the most-restrictive category.

The county last week moved to the red tier, the second most-restrictive category in the state’s COVID-19 system, so more businesses and institutions reopened indoors with modifications.

The red tier means the coronavirus is “substantial” in the region.

The California Department of Public Health on Tuesday is expected to release its weekly update of counties’ COVID-19 tier assignments.

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to receive an update on the coronavirus, and the county’s response and operations during a remote meeting Tuesday.

The county will provide a livestream of the meeting on the county’s website, on the county’s YouTube channel and on CSBTV Channel 20.

In-person meetings are closed to the public in an attempt to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

» Click here to read the full agenda report.

» Click here for Noozhawk’s Coronavirus Crisis section.

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

Santa Barbara County Public Health DepartmentOct. 5

Difference from previous day

Total positive cases9,319+ 35
COVID-19-related deaths 115+ 0
COVID-19 patients in county hospitals23+ 4
COVID-19 ICU patients5+ 0
Total test results160,6131,179
 New cases reported Oct. 5 Active cases by areaTotal reported cases by areaDeaths reported by area
South County: Montecito, Summerland, Carpinteria021977
Santa Barbara and Mission Canyon1111,23313
Isla Vista032421
Western Goleta Valley and Gaviota022022
Santa Ynez Valley131577
Lompoc, Vandenberg Village, Mission Hills6228658
Lompoc federal correctional complex001,0243
Santa Maria20563,98462
North County: Guadalupe, Cuyama, New Cuyama, Garey, Casmalia, Sisquoc064265
Pending location263930
Santa Barbara County total 351229,319115