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COVID-19 surges, deaths impacting all parts of Santa Barbara County
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COVID-19 surges, deaths impacting all parts of Santa Barbara County

Nearly 2,000 new cases reported over 4-day period

Santa Barbara County's COVID-19 increases grew more severe over the past four days, with few areas spared from spiking case rates and newly reported deaths spanning the county.  

The Public Health Department reported 1,379 new COVID-19 cases between Jan. 8 and 10, followed by an additional 450 cases on Monday for nearly 2,000 new cases over a four-day period.

The surge over the weekend was fueled by a record-high daily increase of 779 cases on Sunday, with the majority of cases coming from Santa Maria and Santa Barbara, according to county public health data

A total of 21,767 COVID-19 cases now has been reported in the county, with an all-time high active case count of 2,704. 

Along with expected cases from densely-populated areas like Santa Maria and Santa Barbara, the North County unincorporated areas of Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama, New Cuyama and Guadalupe is seeing a daily case rate of over 120 cases per 100,000 people.

The South County unincorporated area of Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria is also seeing major surges, with daily rates of up to 80 cases per 100,000 people. 

In addition to skyrocketing cases, the Public Health Department reported 12 deaths from the illness over the weekend, followed by two deaths on Monday. 

Of the 12 deaths reported between Jan. 8 and 9, four individuals resided in Santa Barbara, three in Santa Maria, two in Orcutt, and one each resided in Lompoc, Goleta, and the unincorporated Goleta Valley and Gaviota areas. 

Nine of the individuals were over the age of 70 and three were between the ages of 50 and 69. Four died in connection with COVID-19 outbreaks at congregate living facilities, according to county data.   

Of the two deaths reported Monday, one was a resident of the unincorporated North County area over the age of 70, and the other was a Goleta resident between the ages of 50 and 69. 

A total of 199 deaths now has been reported in the county, according to county data. 

COVID-19 hospitalizations have continued to climb upward, with 193 individuals currently hospitalized for the illness. The total includes 56 individuals in the intensive care unit, according to county data. 

In the city of Santa Maria, 784 out of 7,807 total cases remain active. Ninety-one individuals have died.

In the community of Orcutt, 171 out of 1,178 total cases remain active. Twelve individuals have died. 

In the city of Lompoc, 252 out of 2,212 total cases remain active. Fourteen individuals have died.

In the Santa Ynez Valley areas of Solvang, Buellton, Los Olivos, Los Alamos, Santa Ynez and Ballard, 126 out of 595 total cases remain active. Ten individuals have died.

In the unincorporated North County area, 86 out of 877 total cases remain active. Nine individuals have died. 

In neighboring San Luis Obispo County, public health staff reported 694 new COVID-19 cases over the Jan. 9 to 10 weekend, followed by an additional 150 cases on Monday.

The county now has passed the 13,000-case mark, with 13,735 total cases confirmed and 3,193 still active and contagious, according to county public health data

Ten new COVID-19 deaths also were reported over the weekend, all of which were among individuals between the ages of 70 and 100, according to county public health spokeswoman Michelle Shoresman.  

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Santa Maria City Reporter

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Laura Place covers city government, policy and elections in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara County. Follow her on Twitter @itslaurasplace

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