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Santa Barbara County to renew mask mandate as COVID-19 cases continue to spike

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – An indoor mask mandate will be issued in Santa Barbara County as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department says details on the health order will be released Wednesday.

It will go into effect Friday at 5 p.m. and will remain in place until Sept. 5 unless it is suspended or extended.

The mask mandate applies to all residents regardless of vaccination status.

The decision comes less than an hour after Old Spanish Days Fiesta announced the Wednesday's La Fiesta Pequena would be closed to the public.

Santa Barbara County Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg said last week that almost all new cases and hospitalizations are linked to those who are unvaccinated.

“Hospitalizations have increased, primarily among unvaccinated people. The County of Santa Barbara is also seeing a concerning increase in cases among staff and residents in long-term care facilities and in other congregate living settings,” said Santa Barbara County Public Health Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso. “Over the past two weeks, the County’s active COVID-19 cases have increased significantly with a case rate of 12.4 per 100,000 and a test positive of 6.8% which would have placed Santa Barbara County in the Purple Tier if the tier system were still active.”

Those who have yet to receive a COVID-19 vaccination are urged to get one if eligible.

For a complete breakdown of coronavirus cases in Santa Barbara County, as well as information about getting vaccinated, click here.

Almost half of all Californians are under some form of mask mandate as of Tuesday.

To read the entire health officer's order, click here.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus
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Karen Cruz-Orduña

Karen Cruz-Orduña is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Karen, click here.

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