There had been 7,344 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Santa Cruz County as of Thursday, an increase of 217 during the previous week.
Data from the County Health Services Department also showed 144 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths among local residents as of Thursday, seven more than a week earlier. The number of hospitalizations grew by 15 during the week to reach 499 by Thursday.
The number of new cases, as well as confirmed deaths and hospitalizations, have been trending down following a post-holiday surge.
During the first 14 days of January, Santa Cruz County reported an average of 62.1 new cases, 2.1 deaths and five hospitalizations per day. During the next 14-day period, those daily averages declined to 39.7 cases, 1.2 deaths and 2.9 hospitalizations.
In terms of test positivity – the rate of positive results on tests for active COVID-19 infections – Santa Cruz County was at 20.9 percent during the week of Jan. 10-16, the most recent week for which data was available.
That was up slightly from the 20.1-percent test positivity rate of the previous week, and marked the ninth-consecutive week that the test positivity rate was above 20 percent in Santa Cruz County.