Santa Barbara County reported 98 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, as the pandemic shows little sign of easing up locally.

The county has averaged about 116 cases per day during the past week, and has recorded a 9.7 percent test-positivity rate during that period, according to data released by the county Public Health Department.

There were 80 COVID-19 patients being treated in local hospitals, including 25 in intensive care units. Both of those numbers have remained fairly stable during the past few days.

Active cases jumped to 333 from 308 the previous day, and the county’s total rose to 5,931 cases.

Van Do-Reynoso, the county’s public health director, explained that an active case — someone who is still considered to be infectious — is defined as being fewer than 10 days after symptoms develop or a positive lab test was collected.

Of the new cases, 52 were in the Santa Maria Valley and 22 were in Santa Barbara, with nine in the Lompoc Valley, five in the Montecito-Summerland-Carpiinteria area and one in the unincorporated Goleta Valley. Geographic locations were pending on nine cases.

Santa Barbara County is among 37 counties on the state’s monitoring list for failing to meet containment metrics for COVID-19.

About two-thirds of the county’s cases are coming from person-to-person contact in homes, workplaces and social gatherings, according to county Supervisor Gregg Hart, who led Tuesday’s press briefing.

Hart implored the community to be mindful of that mode of disease transmission and to take steps to avoid it, including forgoing gatherings with nonhousehold members, practicing social distancing, wearing face masks and washing hands frequently.

Do-Reynoso noted that the case reports and other statistics “do not tell the whole story,” adding that “we know there are other cases in the community that have not been identified.”

To date, 320 health care workers in the county have tested positive for COVID-19, Do-Reynoso said.

Santa Barbara County Public Health DepartmentJuly 28

Difference from previous day

Total positive cases5,931+ 98
COVID-19-related deaths 32+ 0
COVID-19 patients in county hospitals80+ 1
COVID-19 ICU patients26+ 1
Total test results74,831+ 1,190
Seven-day average test positivity rate 9.4%– 0.4%

SBCC Fall Classes to Be Fully Online

Santa Barbara City College announced Tuesday that all classes for the fall quarter will be taught online.

The college had been planning for months to have most classes online, with a small percentage taught face-to-face.

However, since the county remains on the state’s monitoring list, SBCC has had to reassess its plans, according to Superintendent/President Utpal Goswami.

“We have been in ongoing, regular communication with our Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, and have determined that it is highly unlikely that our county will be able to make the needed progress in order to allow for face-to-face instruction to resume on Aug. 24 (the first day of fall semester),” Goswami wrote in an email to faculty and staff.

SBCC plans to pursue an exemption for a limited number of classes that support “essential and critical infrastructure.”

College officials said SBCC has nine career technology education programs that might meet this exemption.

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

 New cases reported July 28Active cases by regionTotal cases reported to date
Montecito, Summerland, Carpinteria515125
Santa Barbara and Mission Canyon2244734
Isla Vista0241
Western Goleta Valley and Gaviota1599
Santa Ynez Valley0467
Lompoc, Vandenberg Village, Mission Hills935425
Lompoc federal correctional complex001,011
Santa Maria411672,677
Guadalupe, New Cuyama, Garey, Casmalia, Sisquoc718246
Santa Barbara County total 983335,931
Light-haired man with mustache smiling

Tom Bolton, Noozhawk Executive Editor

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at