The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has issued a health order allowing more businesses to reopen indoors with modifications and capacity limits, in accordance with the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. As of today, Santa Barbara County has met the State’s red tier case rate and positivity rate criteria for two consecutive weeks. As a result, the risk of COVID-19 spread in Santa Barbara County has been downgraded, effective immediately, from widespread to substantial, allowing movement from the purple tier to the red tier.

“Our movement forward, and ability to further reopen our community, is the result of the vigilance of our overall community in following the safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19” states Dr. Henning Ansorg, Public Health Officer for the County of Santa Barbara. “As we move into the red tier, we must be even more diligent in wearing our face coverings, maintaining social distancing, and avoiding gatherings with those outside our household. The red tier is not the end goal, but rather a step forward.”

The State’s Blueprint allows counties in the red tier to reopen indoor operations for some additional business sectors and allows for certain activities to resume. All businesses in Santa Barbara County, which are open or will be reopening, must follow all State guidance for their industry and self-certify that they are ready to reopen through completing the online self-attestation at https://recoverysbc.org/reopen-your-business/.

Some additional businesses, which may reopen indoors in the red tier with modifications include personal care services, indoor dining in restaurants, gyms and fitness centers, movie theatres, museums, zoos, aquariums, places of worship, and cultural ceremonies. Schools may also reopen for in-person learning beginning October 13, 2020 without a school waiver, if they choose to do so.

The full health order can be found at https://bit.ly/30l7nrL and the Blueprint for a Safer Economy is at https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/.