Santa Barbara County Public Health officials say new cases of COVID-19 "dramatically increased" in July and the county is seeing widespread community transmission of the delta variant.
As of Friday, July 30, health officials say the county's case rate is 9.8 cases per 100,000 residents and the testing positivity rate is 6.9%.
Health department representatives say those metrics would have put Santa Barbara County in the most restrictive purple tier of the state's previous reopening framework.
There are reportedly more than 400 active cases of COVID-19 in the county, a 55% increase from the previous two-week average.
On Friday, 94 new cases were reported, bringing the county's total to 35,741 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. Twenty-three people are reportedly recovering in the hospital, including four patients who are in the ICU.
Health officials say as of July 20, more than 86% of new cases occurred in people who were unvaccinated.
They say the demographics of those contracting the virus is trending younger with people between the ages of 18 to 29 years old now making up the majority of cases. More cases are also reportedly being detected in the southern part of the county, whereas earlier in the pandemic, the majority of infections occurred in the north county.
County officials continue to encourage people to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination appointments can be made on the My Turn website. Walk-ins are also accepted at community vaccination clinics across the county. Click here for a list of times and locations or call 211 in Santa Barbara County for more information.