Santa Barbara County remains stuck in the red tier of the state's COVID-19 reopening framework, with equity metrics and positivity rates meeting orange tier requirements but an overall case rate keeping the county from advancing. 

In order for the county to transition from the red to orange tier and expand reopenings, all orange tier metrics must be met for two consecutive weeks, according to the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy

According to weekly state COVID-19 metrics released Tuesday, the county's positivity rate, which measures the percentage of total tests that yield positive results, has decreased from 2.4% to 1.9% since last week.

This rate continues to meet required orange tier metrics of 4.9% or less for positivity. 

The county's daily case rate of 4.8 per 100,000 people as of Tuesday was adjusted down to 4.3 since the county's testing rate exceeds the state average. 

The 4.3 adjusted case rate is a slight increase from last week's 4.2 rate and continues to exceed the orange tier's requirements of 3.9 daily cases or below. 

However, the county's equity metric, which measures the positivity rate for neighborhoods in the lowest quartile of the Healthy Places Index, dropped from 5% to 3.2% since last week, meeting orange tier requirements of 5.2% or below. 

Daily COVID-19 cases 

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The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department also reported an additional 30 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the county's new case total to 9,671, with 118 cases still considered active. 

Hospitalizations in the county have risen slightly since Monday, when the county saw its all-time low of 12 since the beginning of the pandemic. As of Tuesday, 16 individuals are hospitalized, including five in the ICU, according to county data

In the city of Santa Maria, 30 out of 4,089 total cases remain active. Sixty-five individuals have died.

In the community of Orcutt, three out of 363 total cases remain active. Three individuals have died.

In the city of Lompoc, 13 out of 912 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, six out of 178 total cases remain active. Seven individuals have died. 

In neighboring San Luis Obispo County, public health officials reported an additional 31 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. A total of 4,080 total cases now have been confirmed in the county, with 190 cases still considered active and contagious.

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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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