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Environmental Health Services checking bars, restaurants to reduce COVID-19 health violations

State Street Crowded
Blake DeVine/KEYT
Despite COVID-19 cases rapidly rising, it’s been a common sight to see large crowds on State Street.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Santa Barbara County is in Week 16 of the Coronavirus health emergency.

On Tuesday the United States' top infectious disease doctor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said this week is critical in combating the spread of the virus.

Last week Santa Barbara County Public Health officials announced the most new weekly cases of COVID-19 for the City of Santa Barbara, 69. Halfway through Week 16, Santa Barbara is already at 23 new cases this week. And there are 77 active cases on Wednesday compared to nine heading into Memorial Day weekend.

The current spike in cases comes a month after restaurants were allowed to reopen sit-down dining and State Street becoming a pedestrian Promenade.

Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Services supervisor, Kendra Wise, said their specialists are visiting reopened businesses, especially bars and restaurants, to make sure they're complying with public health orders.

Wise said it's important for businesses to post the safety regulations and enforce them. It's also important for customers to know what the rules are and to follow them.

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Scott Sheahen

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