The number of COVID-19-positive patients hospitalized in Santa Barbara County dropped to its lowest number since late summer on Thursday, according to data compile by Noozhawk.

There were 21 COVID-19 patients in local hospitals, down from 25 the previous day, according to the county Public Health Department.

The last time the number was lower was on July 29, 2021, when it was 17 patients.

Seven of Thursday’s hospitalized patients were being treated in intensive-care units.

The Public Health Department also reported two additional COVID-19-related deaths, bringing the county’s pandemic toll to 66o people.

One of the recent deaths was a person who was over 70 years old, while the other was in the 30-49 age group. One was resident of the Santa Barbara area, and the other lived in Santa Maria.

One had underlying medical conditions, but neither person was associated with a congregate-care facility.

The Public Health Department reported 41 additional COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the county’s total to 84,794 cases.

Of the new cases, 15 are in the Santa Maria Valley, 10 are in the Santa Barbara area, and seven are in the Lompoc Valley.

There are four new cases in the Goleta Valley, three in the Santa Ynez Valley, and one in Isla Vista.

The geographic location was pending on one case.

The county’s seven-day community positivity rate, which has a four-day lag, declined slightly to 2.9%.

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