Santa Barbara County has added 98 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday, with more than two-thirds of them in the city of Santa Maria, the county Public Health Department announced Monday.
Of the new cases, 68 are in Santa Maria, with six in other Santa Maria Valley communities and three in Orcutt.
No other area of the county recorded more than single digits during the same period.
Santa Barbara has seven new cases; Goleta has three; the unincorporated Goleta Valley, the Montecito/Summerland/Carpinteria area, and the Lompoc Valley each have two; and Isla Vista has one.
The Lompoc federal prison complex also reported a new case, and details were pending on three cases.
The three-day totals were 25 cases on Saturday, 60 on Sunday, and 13 on Monday.
Hospitalization numbers have continued to edge up — totaling 53 on Monday — but health officials have said recently they are not seeing a worrisome surge.
They have attributed the increasing case numbers largely to a jump in testing, while acknowledging that the reopening of the communty from the stay-at-home order also is a factor.
Twelve COVID-19 patients are in intensive care units, a number that has remained unchanged the past six days.
There have been 19 COVID-19 deaths in the county, including four prison inmates.
The Santa Maria Valley has been hard hit by the pandemic, accounting for two-thirds of the county’s “community” total of 1,083 cases. (Another 986 cases are prison inmates.)
Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso is scheduled to brief the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday on what insights her department has gained about the situation in Santa Maria, and what is being done to combat it.
Another factor health officials will need to address is the rising percentage of positive tests; in the past week, the positive rate has risen from 4.6 percent to 8 percent.
One of the state’s metrics for reopening the community is a positive rate of less than 8 percent.