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Santa Barbara - South County

Halloween in Isla Vista wilts into a ghost of its past

ISLA VISTA, Calif. - Law enforcement was out in full force for Saturday's Halloween night in Isla Vista. The ramped up staff is an added layer of community protection given the college town's recent rise in COVID-19 cases.

I.V. Foot Patrol officers blocked off Trigo Street but there were still penty of college-aged students standing in line at Sweet Jane hoping to grab a Halloween costume last minute.

Santa Barbara County Public Health recently announced an outbreak in a number of fraternity and sorority houses in the college town with 26 active COVID-19 cases within this compact community, prompting county officials to damper down a night that's usually packed with thousands of people. 

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's deputies and UCSB police expected to patrol in tandem all night long. 

Large-scale Halloween parties are heavily discouraged and signs are posted on the roadsides throughout Isla Vista visitors about parking restrictions. Special fencing is up around several buildings to prevent trespassers as only residents were allowed in.
Students said that Halloween in I.V. won't be the same this year.

"Definitely a bigger risk out here," said Julia Burlingame, an SBCC Student. "I know they are really trying to keep IV in check so that UCSB can start up in person again. And I don't want to hold people back. It's too much of a risk factor for us as well."

"Last night was uneventful," said Juan Camarena, IV Foot Patrol Lieutenant. "Everybody cooperated, everybody was approachable, and everybody was inside of their homes. There was no large gatherings."

The county issued a noise ordinance in Isla Vista which began Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. and ended at 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning, meaning there was no music allowed overnight.

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Beth Farnsworth

Beth Farnsworth is the evening anchor for KEYT NewsChannel 3.

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