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Ready for COVID-19 reopenings? Santa Barbara County behavior wellness specialist has tips to help psychologically

Winery Stearns Wharf
Oliver Forster / KEYT
With a move into the orange reopening tier, the Deep Sea Tasting Room would be able to serve its customers indoors at 25% capacity.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Santa Barbara County has moved into the ‘Yellow tier’, the least restrictive of California’s COVID-19 reopening tiers. Under the ‘Yellow tier’, most indoor businesses can open to 50%. They can open more if everyone shows proof of vaccination.

As of Thursday morning, Santa Barbara County Public Health states there are 35 active cases in Santa Barbara County. And 64.6% of eligible residents have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 45.9% of the County’s population is fully vaccinated.

California looks on track to meet Governor Gavin Newson’s goal to reopen the state even more on June 15. It is expected to be the least restrictive guidelines since mid-March 2020.

Suzanne Grimmesey is the Chief Quality Care and Strategy Officer for the County’s Department of Behavioral Wellness. She said, “Reaching June 15th date, and seeing the state's reopening, does not mean the end of COVID, it means the beginning of our process of returning to normal life.”

She advises people to join the new normal at their own pace. “It is ok to move slowly with adding socialization and other pre-COVID behaviors back into your life,” said Grimmesey. “Feeling nervous about returning to pre-COVID life is completely normal and is being experienced by many. If you feel like the stress of this change is impacting your mental health and wellbeing, don’t hesitate to ask for help.”

For more tips to help adjust to the greater openings visit Santa Barbara County Public Health’s website.

Coronavirus / Santa Barbara - South County / Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County / Video
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Scott Sheahen

Scott Sheahen is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Scott, click here.

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