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Santa Barbara County to require face coverings in certain settings beginning Tuesday

Bandana face mask
KEYT/Anikka Abbott
A woman wears a bandana face mask while in line outside a store.

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Santa Barbara County will order people to wear face coverings as part of a health officer's order that will go into effect Tuesday.

People will be required to wear face coverings when inside of, in line to enter, or when conducting business through a car window or walk-up counter. This includes restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, and government agencies, as well as hospitals, dentist offices and COVID-19 testing facilities.

The mandate also includes car services, ride-sharing services, and public transit.

All businesses are also required to have employees wear face coverings in the workplace or off site workspace.

Face masks are not required for people who work alone, or work in private offices or single rooms. The mandate also does not apply to people with health conditions that would make wearing a mask difficult, or children under the age of 13.

"The intent of this health officer order to require the use of face coverings as Santa Barbara County moves further into Stage 2 is to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible," said County Public Health Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso.

“Businesses are reopening and so people are mixing more,” Second District Supervisor Gregg Hart said. “We need to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to keep the virus down.”

“It’s not a protection against you getting the virus, but it definitely helps in terms of the spread to somebody else," Hart added.

County leaders warned that restrictions could be tightened once again if the county sees a spike in coronavirus cases.

“The worst case scenario would be us having to close businesses back, when they have now reopened, because of an outbreak of the virus exploding," Hart said.

The order will go into place Tuesday at 5 p.m.

For a complete list of requirements and exclusions, as well as solutions for people who do not have a mask, click here.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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