The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reported an additional 172 COVID-19 cases on Thursday, as well as one death as a result of the illness.

The total number of confirmed cases in the county is now 12,808, with 816 cases still considered active and contagious, according to county public health data.

Since Dec. 1, the number of active cases in the county has grown by 107%, edging closer to the all-time high of 950 active cases in May following the mass confirmation of cases at the federal prison complex in Lompoc.

The individual whose death was confirmed Thursday was an Orcutt resident, with underlying conditions, between the ages of 50 and 69, according to county data.

This marks the 140th death related to COVID-19 in the county. 

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Santa Barbara County also has spiked since the beginning of the month, growing by 64% since Dec. 1, according to county data. 

As of Thursday, 64 individuals confirmed for COVID-19 are hospitalized in the county, including 12 individuals in the ICU, according to county data.

Fifty-one percent of the county hospital bed's remain occupied at this time, with 24% in use by COVID-19 patients, according to county data

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In the city of Santa Maria, 226 out of 4,993 total cases remain active. Seventy-five individuals have died. 

In the community of Orcutt, 63 out of 601 total cases remain active. Eight individuals have died.

In the city of Lompoc, 120 out of 1,342 total cases remain active. Nine individuals have died.

In the Santa Ynez Valley, which includes the areas of Solvang, Buellton, Los Olivos, Los Alamos, Santa Ynez and Ballard, 31 out of 287 total cases remain active. Seven individuals have died.

In the unincorporated North County area, which includes Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama, New Cuyama and Guadalupe, 21 out of 547 total cases remain active. Seven individuals have died.

In neighboring San Luis Obispo County, public health officials confirmed the county's highest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases yet, with 196 new cases reported Thursday.

The total number of cases in the county is now 7,267, with 1,088 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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