The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department confirmed 27 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, along with one death as a result of an outbreak in a Santa Maria congregate living facility. 

The total number of cases in the county is now 9,715, with 132 cases still considered active and contagious, according to county public health data

Thursday's death, the 120th in the county, was a Santa Maria resident between the ages of 50 and 69 with underlying medical conditions, according to county data. 

It was not confirmed whether the death was associated with an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak at skilled nursing facility Santa Maria Post Acute. That outbreak has infected 46 residents and 27 employees, and left "several" residents dead, according to public health officials. 

Per state guidelines, the exact number of deaths at a facility is not specified until the number passes 11. At Santa Maria Post Acute, the current number of deaths is presented as <11 by the county.

Along with skilled nursing facilities, congregate living facilities also can include shelters, residential care facilities for the elderly, H-2A housing sites and jails, according to public health officials. 

COVID-19 hospitalizations in the county have not changed since Wednesday, with 18 individuals currently hospitalized, including four in the ICU, according to county data.  

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In the city of Santa Maria, 33 out of 4,102 total cases remain active. Sixty-seven individuals have died. 

In the community of Orcutt, five out of 458 total cases remain active. Three individuals have died.

In the city of Lompoc, 17 out of 919 total cases remain active. Eight individuals have died.

In the Santa Ynez Valley, which includes the areas of Solvang, Buellton, Los Olivos, Los Alamos, Santa Ynez and Ballard, seven out of 181 total cases remain active. Seven individuals have died.

In the unincorporated North County areas of Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama, New Cuyama and Guadalupe, five out of 458 total cases remain active. Five individuals have died. 

In neighboring San Luis Obispo County, 29 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed by the county public health department on Thursday. The total number of cases in the county is now 4,121, with 214 cases still considered active. 

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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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