Under the State’s new Blueprint for a Safer Economy, Santa Barbara County may reopen some businesses with modifications as of Aug. 31. Hair salons and barbershops will be allowed to reopen indoors with modifications, and indoor shopping centers will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity.

The Blueprint for a Safer Economy incorporates new data and research about the disease. For example, it takes into account the higher risks now known to be associated with indoor activities and the importance of wearing a mask. The Blueprint has replaced the County Data Monitoring List for determining which businesses can and cannot open. 

By adopting the Blueprint, the State has made it easier for counties to see how changes affect the disease’s trajectory and for businesses and customers to plan ahead. Within the Blueprint, every County is categorized based on its case rate and its positivity rate. Santa Barbara County is in the Widespread tier, which represents the highest level of risk and is the tier that includes most Southern California counties. 

Santa Barbara County’s current positivity rate is 6.5% and its case rate is 9 per 100,000 people. Though the County’s positivity rate is below the threshold for the Widespread tier, in order to move into the next tier, Substantial, the County’s case rate will have to come down to 7 or fewer cases per 100,000 people and maintain that lower rate for two weeks. 

Schools in the Widespread tier are not permitted to reopen for in-person instruction, unless they receive a waiver from their local health department for TK-6 grades. In-person instruction can resume once a county has been in the Substantial tier for at least two weeks.

Learn more about the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy at https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/#reopening-data.