Santa Barbara Co. moves to lower COVID-19 tier

Additional re-openings will be allowed beginning Wednesday
Posted at 11:17 AM, Sep 29, 2020

Santa Barbara County moved into a lower COVID-19 tier on Tuesday.

Santa Barbara County is now listed as being in the red tier or substantial risk category on the state's COVID-19 website.

Van Do-Reynoso, Santa Barbara County Health Department director, says a health officer order will be released Tuesday afternoon allowing for additional re-openings in the county effective Wednesday morning.

In the red tier, counties must meet set criteria for two weeks in order to move from a widespread risk level to a substantial risk level.

Additional, gradual re-openings may take place, including:

  • Retail at 50% capacity (up from 25%)
  • Shopping centers, including malls and swap meets, at 50% capacity
  • Personal care services can now open indoors with modifications
  • Museums, zoos and aquariums can open indoor activities with a max of 25% capacity
  • Places of worship, restaurants and movie theatres can open indoors with a max capacity of 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer
  • Hotels and lodging can re-open fitness centers with a max of 10% capacity

Do-Reynoso says the order is not effective until Wednesday due to additional guidance they are including regarding the re-opening of playgrounds.

If the county stays in the red tier for another two weeks, schools could choose to re-open as soon as Oct. 13.

Santa Barbara County had 9,133 confirmed COVID-19 cases as Tuesday morning.

Twenty-one people are hospitalized, including four patients who are in the ICU.

Health officials say 170 cases are still active and 8,850 people have recovered.

The county has had 113 deaths attributed to COVID-19, leaving the death rate at 1.2 percent.

Testing positivity since March 7 SB Co.JPG
(The testing positivity rate in Santa Barbara County for COVID-19 since March 7, 2020)

Do-Reynoso acknowledged that the past six months have been difficult for everyone in the community, but reminded residents to continue to wear face coverings, wash their hands frequently and avoid large gatherings to help reduce further spread of the virus.

“Our goal is to ensure our community gets to a safe and healthy place to resume activities as part of our new way of living,” she said.

For the full list of what changes under the red tier and what remains closed, click here.