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Regional stay-at-home order expected to be extended

Alex Zauner/KEYT
As Santa Barbara County enters its fifth week in the regional stay-at-home order, the federal government is extending a helping hand to small business suffering.

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. — Southern California’s stay-at-home order was originally set to expire on Monday.

However, hospitals in Santa Barbara County are reporting an intensive care unit capacity of 13.9%.

This will likely result in the lockdown being extended into the new year.

At MIZZA on State Street, business has slowed down since the stay-at-home order took effect. 

“Not being able to have any seating at all, we’ve gone strictly to to-go orders,” manager Tamara Payne said. “We’re down to a skeleton crew, there’s just two of us here all day and night.”

Six weeks ago, Scarlth Geary moved to town from Texas.

“Being locked down is hard for me,” she said. “I can’t meet people, can’t make friends because we have to keep distance.”

Barbara Hamel is visiting for the holidays from Florida and feels that her state should lockdown.

“Our governor Ron DeSantis feels as though that’s how the businesses are going to survive,” she said. “If you’re around a lot of older people, we don’t go out because we’re afraid.

Over Andersen's Danish Bakery & Restaurant, only allowing takeout for the past three weeks has been tough.

“It has hurt local businesses excessively,” co-owner Charlotte Andersen said.

As the lockdown lingers, most small business owners want Santa Barbara County to break away from the state's Southern California region.

Ideally, public health officials could create a smaller Central Coast Region with San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties.

“Los Angeles is big per capita, there are so many people,” Andersen said. “I understand what’s going on down there but I don’t understand what they’re doing up here.”

Even though California has more COVID-19 cases than many countries, there are still some who believe it’s time to open up.

“I think we should be more like Texas,” Geary said. “Open a little bit more.”

“From the standpoint of a small business trying to make it, I think it’s the right move,” Payne concluded.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has not clarified how long the regional stay-at-home order will last.

California / Community / Coronavirus / Economy / Holidays / Lifestyle / Money and Business / Outdoors / Safe at Home / Santa Barbara - South County
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Blake DeVine

Blake DeVine is a multimedia journalist at NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Blake, click here.

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