The red tier may have been nice while it lasted, but Santa Barbara County is one of 28 California counties that has been placed back into the most restrictive purple tier as COVID-19 cases rise throughout the state.
According to a press release from the Santa Barbara County Department of Public Health, Health Officer Order 2020-12.14 has been issued to reflect business sector changes that will go into effect today at 11:59 p.m.
These changes include businesses like restaurants, gym and fitness centers, places of worship, family entertainment centers, wineries, movie theatres, museums, zoos, aquariums, and cardrooms being restricted to outdoor-only operations. Retail businesses like bookstores, clothing stores, and shoe stores will be limited to 25% capacity, and schools will be prohibited from giving indoor lessons.
As counties revert to a more restrictive tier, Gov. Gavin Newsom has changed the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy so case rates and positivity data will be recorded with a four-day lag instead of a seven-day lag, counties will be placed into a more restrictive tier if they have one week of worsened metrics rather than two, and counties can move more than one tier if metrics deem it necessary.
Santa Barbara County Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg said Santa Barbara County is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases just as the rest of California and the United States is.
He stated, “I cannot reiterate enough the seriousness of the current situation. We are at a critical point where every person must wear a face covering, avoid any gatherings with persons outside their home, and stay home if you are ill.”
Dr. Ansorg added that holidays “must look different this year” in order to “avoid overburdening our healthcare system and further impacts to our economy.”
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reported 53 daily cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county’s total number of recorded cases up to 10,577.
There were also two COVID-19 deaths in the county, both individuals over 70 years of age who had underlying medical conditions. One individual was a resident of the unincorporated area of the Goleta Valley and Gaviota, and one was a resident of the city of Goleta.
There are now 133 COVID-19 deaths in Santa Barbara County.
Seventeen of Monday’s daily cases were in Santa Barbara, 13 were in Santa Maria, six were in Isla Vista, five were in Lompoc, and four were in the South County Unincorporated Area. The Santa Ynez Valley and Orcutt each had two daily cases, and the unincorporated area of the Goleta Valley and Gaviota had one.
There were also two daily cases throughout the unincorporated areas of Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama, New Cuyama, and the city of Guadalupe.
One daily case from Monday is pending.
According to the Public Health Department’s numbers, there are 255 still infectious COVID-19 cases throughout Santa Barbara County.