SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Doctors at Marian Regional Medical Center are calling Santa Barbara County's move into the even less restrictive Orange Tier a major milestone.
"It's a great opportunity for small businesses that have been struggling during the pandemic to further open up some of their indoor operations," said Dr. Scott Robertson at Marian Regional Medical Center.
Robertson said it's a testament to the hard work by healthcare providers across the county. "In terms of getting out the vaccinations and working in close partnership with Santa Barbara County Department of Health, and it's also individuals doing their part like social distancing, wearing a mask and keeping your hands clean."
"I've been vaccinated, and I'm careful with social distancing and masks, so I'm very glad things are opening up because I think it's much better for business," said resident Linda Peterson of Santa Maria.
While moving from the Red to Orange Tier opens up indoor capacity for various businesses, Robertson emphasized how it doesn't take off all restrictions. "There's still a lot rules we need to follow in order to continue making the progress that we've made in the last several months."
Whether you've been vaccinated, Dr. Robertson says when you're going out, be mindful of how you're feeling. "The most important thing is if you're not feeling well, please don't go out to eat. Please don't go out and socialize. It's still very important that if you're having any sort of upper respiratory symptoms, that you stay home, connect with your healthcare provider and get tested."
Robertson encourages everyone to continue wearing a mask when you're in a public area, as recommended by the CDC.