UCSB to end mask mandate; Solvang to reopen all of Copenhagen Drive to traffic; COVID-19 numbers remain low
UCSB will no longer require masks inside buildings, with the exception of classrooms, starting Saturday.
But the university is recommending everyone wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
Masks will no longer be required inside classrooms starting April 4, although they will be strongly recommended, according to a statement from the chancellor’s office.
UCSB said restrictions could be loosened because of the decline in COVID-19 case numbers.
Another sign of things getting back to normal is in Solvang, where the city council plans to reopen a block and half of Copenhagen Drive to traffic by April 18. Parklets have been in that part of the street during the pandemic, and the council voted 3-2 Monday to end the temporary outdoor dining program and allow traffic once again. But the council asked city staff to develop a program to allow for dining on privately-owned spaces.
Elsewhere, the Lompoc City Council has extended its outdoor dining/parklets program to the end of this year.
COVID-19 developments are coming as new case rates remain low in Santa Barbara County.
On Wednesday, the county Public Health Department reported 30 new COVID-19 cases and one death.
The individual, who resided in Santa Maria, was in the 70-plus age group and had underlying medical conditions. The death wasn’t associated with a congregate care site.
Of the 30 new cases, the highest number, nine, was in Santa Barbara and unincorporated Mission Canyon.
Elsewhere, there were five cases in Santa Maria, according to the Public Health Department. Neighboring Orcutt had two cases.
Two cases were in unincorporated Goleta Valley and Gaviota.
Two cases were in Isla Vista.
Santa Ynez Valley reported five cases.
Three cases were reported in Lompoc and nearby Mission Hills and Vandenberg Village.
One case was in the North County areas that include Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama, New Cuyama and Guadalupe.
The location of one case was pending.
Twenty patients are recovering in county hospitals. Another patient was recovering in an intensive care unit.
Santa Barbara County now has a total of 84,947 cases, of which 182 are still infectious. The total number of deaths is 666.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reported that 72% of the eligible 5-and-older population is fully vaccinated.
Of the entire county population (all ages), 67.8% is fully vaccinated.
All numbers are provided by the health department.