Gyms, nail salons, hair salons, barbershops, indoor malls and places of worship are now being ordered to close again, with many only having been open for less than a month.
Gov. Gavin Newsom made an announcement effective immediately on Monday that ordered these businesses to close in the counties on the monitoring list for three days, including Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
In addition, the governor issued a statewide order closing indoor operations at dine-in restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and cardrooms. Bars also must close all operations.
These orders stem from a new spike in COVID-19 cases in Santa Barbara County. The county Public Health Department reported 184 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the total amount of reported cases to 4,323.
Santa Barbara residents and Californians have many different views regarding this new step back. Some support the additional closures; others do not.
Stan Fogg and his wife, Kathy Fogg, were passing through from Beaumont, and said they both stand behind the governor in his rulings.
“It’s probably a good idea,” Mr. Fogg said of the order. “(COVID-19) is spreading a lot.”
“He has to do what he has to do,” Mrs. Fogg said of Gov. Newsom. “It’s unfortunate for businesses, but we have to think of the health of people first.”
Bob Clark, a resident of Los Angeles, opposes the closures.
“I believe it hurts the small businesses,” he said. “It’s going to hurt the small businesses and people that are dependent on minimum wage jobs.”
Mark Lentini is a resident of Goleta and a past restaurant owner. His family owns numerous restaurants in Washington, and he previously owned Copenhagen Sausage Garden in Solvang.
“I don’t know how I feel about COVID, like it being real or it being fake,” he said. “It’s hard to tell what the truth is. I can tell you what the news tells us and what’s reported, but I can’t tell you really what’s going on.”
He added that he believes it’s a product of the “New World Order.”
Chef Harold Welch runs Embermill, a Caribbean restaurant at 1031 State St., which was formerly Aldo’s and the Copper Coffee Pot. He’s lived in Santa Barbara for 40 years, and said he believes that people are getting scared again.
“It definitely has an impact on the economy. Since that announcement, business dropped off tremendously,” he said. “But something has to be done to stop the spread.”
He continued that he doesn’t think many people in this town “respect the rules of engagement.”
“I can’t tell you the amount of people that don’t have a mask on, and if you’re going to do that, I have zero tolerance,” Mr. Welch said. “I do not want to get (COVID-19) because I don’t know what it’s going to do to me. I’m in my late 50s.”
However, the chef said that he can’t afford to close his restaurant, so he is keeping the doors open to outdoor seating.
“If I close my doors, I probably would go out of business. I can’t close my doors,” he said. “If I do, there goes my life, everything I’ve worked for all these years.”
He concluded saying that he thinks it all comes down to making judgements, and for people to wear masks even if they don’t like it, or else they place others so much at risk.