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Coronavirus

Santa Barbara leaders calling for more community discipline to end pandemic restrictions faster

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce has a plan to reopen Santa Barbara’s South Coast to pre-pandemic conditions.

The goal to get the community to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as quickly as possible. Chamber members hope the reward will be as close to a normal summer season as possible.

The chamber's Roadmap to Recovery hopes to have the area ready for a nearly normal summer season and it's encouraging businesses to follow the COVID Safety 5-Step Method: expecting to wear masks until at least June, continue strict cleaning, encouraging people to adopt a 10 feet apart distancing rule, getting companies to install better indoor ventilation and better barrier and plexiglass.

Santa Barbara businesses are ready to get back to a pre-pandemic normal. Greg Gorga is the executive director of Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. He said, "The Maritime Museum is ready to open our doors. We have a wonderful traveling exhibit."

Nicole Cekov works at Melville Winery. She added, "Can't wait. I was pumped just when we got back outdoor dining a couple of weeks ago."

Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce COO, Joyce Donaldson, said their chamber has a plan to get business back to normal in months.

"We did interview 165 different business professionals in 12 different sectors," said Donaldson, "and then create a plan that's not only for the businesses but also for the community to follow."

The goal is to get everyone on the same plan and reduce COVID-19 enough so the rules relax this summer.

Cekov said she would like to see one message for the community to follow. "If there's so much back and forth and so much confusion it's hard to get that confidence in the community, you know the city or the state."

Part of the chamber's roadmap are 5 ways for businesses to be reopened safely, so those businesses that might not be following the rules have a better idea what's expected of them, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help those businesses and schools who aren't open yet reopen sooner and safely.

"What is frustrating is to see who are not following basic guidelines, staying socially distant, not wearing masks when they're in large groups, which is hurting us," said Gorga. "It's hurting non-profits, it's hurting businesses, it's hurting everybody and employees."

The roadmap has goals for the community to hit by certain dates. And if the county's COVID numbers start to match the chamber's roadmap the chamber believes it could be a much less restrictive summer.

For more information about the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce Roadmap to Recovery visit their website.


Business Matters / Health / Lifestyle / Money and Business / Santa Barbara - South County
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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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