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Santa Barbara County allows some businesses to reopen indoor services

Santa Barbara County Public Health Department
Blake DeVine

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Santa Barbara County Public Health Officer, Dr. Henning Ansorg, issued a new order on Monday allowing some businesses to reopen throughout the county in response to California's new four-tier reopening guidelines.

The state's new reopening framework consists of four colored categories that classify each county based on number of COVID-19 cases and percentage of positive tests. In this system, purple means the virus is "widespread" within the county, red stands for "substantial" spread, orange for "moderate" spread and yellow for "minimal" spread.

As of Monday, Santa Barbara County is classified in the purple or "widespread" tier, meaning most non-essential indoor business operations must remain closed.

However, the state's new guidelines also allow for some previously closed businesses to reopen indoor services with safety modifications.

Starting 5 p.m. Monday, this new Health Officer Order allows the following sectors to reopen indoors:

  • Hair salons and barbershops
  • Malls with indoor occupancy limited to 25% capacity. Common areas and food court dining areas must still remain closed, however, food facilities may reopen for take-out and delivery only.
  • Libraries with indoor occupancy limited to 25% capacity
  • Retail with indoor occupancy limited to 25% capacity

This Health Officer Order is set to end at 5 p.m. September 29 unless it is extended, rescinded, superseded or amended by the Health Officer.

Amid these new reopenings, the following locations must still remain closed to in-person activities:

  • In-person higher education including technical schools, colleges, universities, adult education, and trade schools.  Indoor lectures are prohibited.  Courses offered in specialized indoor settings (e.g. labs, studios, arts), whose design imposes substantial physical distancing on participants are permitted when following the Stated issued guidance.  Distance learning is allowed;
  • Parties and Receptions.  Outdoor wedding ceremonies (religious or non-religious) are permitted so long as the State guidance for Places of Worship is followed.  Indoor ceremonies are not allowed at this time.  Receptions for weddings are not allowed.
  • Rodeos and public equestrian events.
  • Organized sports and team sports including adult, amateur (non-professional) team sports, and indoor and drills, except professional sports without a live audience. (Intramural &Youth sports training and conditioning are allowed when following State guidelines.)

The Public Health Department would also like to remind community members that gatherings, both small and large, are still not allowed in either public or private spaces in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

For updates and breakdowns of COVID-19 cases in Santa Barbara County, click here.

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Jessica Brest

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