Santa Barbara County is recommending masking indoors for everyone as the community sees an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.
Health officials said as of July 16, the county's daily case rate was reported to be 3.6 cases per 100,000 people and rising.
With the increased circulation of the Delta variant, officials are now recommending that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors in public places as an extra precautionary measure. That includes places like grocery or retail stores, theaters, and family entertainment centers.
Public health officials are also continuing to encourage people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
"We have a method of preventing severe illness and hospitalization from the COVID-19 Delta variant which we know is effective, and that is getting vaccinated," said Santa Barbara Public Health Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso. "It remains critical for protection against infection, especially with circulating variants."
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department will reportedly revisit its masking recommendation in the coming weeks as health officials continue to monitor transmission rates, hospitalizations, deaths, and increasing vaccination rates throughout the region.
To see the latest COVID-19 data in Santa Barbara County, click here.