Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

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Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars
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An outdoor table at O'Malleys on State Street in Santa Barbara (Photo by Donald Teel on Unsplash)

Update by Santa Barbara County Public Health Department
June 29, 2020

Santa Barbara County Health Officer, Dr. Henning Ansorg has issued a health officer order mandating the closure of local bars at the recommendation of the California Department of Public Health. This guidance is effective at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. This Order will continue until 5 p.m. on July 26, 2020 or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing.

The following guidelines must be followed:

  • Brewpubs, breweries, bars, and pubs, should close unless they are offering sit-down, dine-in meals. Alcohol may only be sold in the same transaction as a meal.
  • Dine-in restaurants, brewpubs, breweries, bars, and pubs that provide sit-down meals should follow the dine-in restaurant guidance and should continue to encourage takeout and delivery service whenever possible.
  • Brewpubs, breweries, bars, and pubs that do not provide sit-down meals, but wish to operate under this Order must obtain an Emergency Food Permit.

Wineries and tasting rooms may remain open at this time. Additional guidance and the full health officer order can be found here.

“We have made the decision to close bars to be in compliance with State guidance, especially since our case count continues to rise day by day. This action, particularly in anticipation of the holiday weekend, is a proactive measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 locally,” said Dr. Henning Ansorg. “We have to keep each other safe during this time. Changing our habits by making physical distancing and wearing a face covering part of our daily routines will save lives.”

This health officer order is closing bars due to the findings that physical movement of people within bars, the duration of time spent in the establishment, and the degree of social mixing within individuals and groups are all greater in these settings.

More information about the COVID-19 response locally, visit or call the County Call Center at 1(833) – 688 – 5551.

Governor Recommends Closing Santa Barbara and Ventura County Bars

By edhat staff
June 28, 2020

Governor Gavin Newsom ordered the closure of bars in seven counties and recommended the closure in eight others including Santa Barbara and Ventura.

The order and recommendations were put in place to a rise in COVID-19 cases throughout the state after the majority of business sectors were allowed to reopen.

On Sunday afternoon, Newsom posted an alert on twitter stating, "Due to the rising spread of #COVID19, CA is ordering bars to close in Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, San Joaquin, and Tulare, while recommending they close in Contra Costa, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Stanislaus, & Ventura."

“COVID-19 is still circulating in California, and in some parts of the state, growing stronger,” wrote Newsom in a statement. “That’s why it is critical we take this step to limit the spread of the virus in the counties that are seeing the biggest increases.”

California Public Health Department (CDPH) Director Dr. Sonia Angell stated they are actively monitoring COVID-19 across the state and are working closely with counties where there are increased rates and concerning patterns of transmission. “Closing bars in these counties is one of a number of targeted actions counties are implementing across our state to slow the virus’ spread and reduce risk,” she said in a written statement.

The CDPH guidance recommended that counties on the County Monitoring List close bars for three or more consecutive days, but less than 14 days, through local health officer order. Santa Barbara County, who has been on the monitoring list for 13 days, might be mandated to issue a health officer order to close bars given the rising case count locally.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) is strongly considering options to address these concerns and is continuing to track local metrics while hoping to have further updates regarding the State’s recommendation in the coming days., according to a press release issued Sunday evening.

The actions defined in the guidance include the closure of brewpubs, breweries, bars, and pubs, unless they are offering sit-down, dine-in meals. Wineries and tasting rooms are not included in this recommendation. 

According to CDPH, bars are social environments where groups of people mix. In these environments, alcohol consumption reduces inhibition and impairs judgment, leading to reduced compliance with recommended core personal protective measures, such as the mandatory use of face coverings and the practice of social and physical distancing. Bars are generally louder environments requiring raised voices leading to the greater projection of droplets. These factors present a higher likelihood of transmission of COVID-19 within groups, between groups, and among the workforce.

“I implore all community members to adhere to strict physical distancing at all times and avoid gatherings. Until there is a vaccine, the use of face coverings in conjunction with physical distancing is the most effective way to stop the spread of this virus,” said Dr. Henning Ansorg, Health Officer for Santa Barbara County. “The State’s recommendation comes at a critical time. There is still an opportunity to make a difference in the course of this pandemic, but we must all recommit to this effort.”

On Friday, Santa Barbara County Public Health reported 81 new COVID-19 positive cases bringing the grand total to 2,712 with 54 recovering and 20 of those in the intensive care unit. However, health officials stated some percentages of cases are decreasing and hospitals are equipped to handle a potential increase of patients.

This past Friday also marked the local health officer's approval to reopen previously closed personal service businesses including nail salons and tattoo parlors.

CDPH released a new website forecasting a series of metrics for all counties. The CalCat tool forecasts that Santa Barbara County will have a total of 309 COVID-19 related deaths and 154 daily hospitalizations by the end of July. The county is currently recording 28 deaths and 53 daily hospitalizations.


[This article has been updated with information from the Santa Barbara County Health Department]

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PitMix Jun 29, 2020 12:59 PM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

Hospitals should have the right to track the cell phone location data of anyone seeking ER care. If it is observed that they hung out in bars before they got sick, send them home with an oxygen tank and tell them that the virus is a hoax spread by fake news to give them a positive attitude.

sacjon Jun 29, 2020 05:25 PM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

5:20 - I cited NBC, Popular Scicence, Newsweek, CNN - reputable media. Instead of constantly telling me it's biased, how about your provide some "proof" that I'm wrong? no,not Infowars.

a-1593476449 Jun 29, 2020 05:20 PM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

SACJON please Google is totally biased in search results. You just cited completely biased news organizations. be unbiased and you'll see protests did spread it.

sacjon Jun 29, 2020 04:38 PM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

4:09 - No, not true in the slightest. Can you please provide links to "what we are seeing now" about the protests spreading covid? On the contrary, science and research are showing the the BLM protests had little to do with the spread, rather the increase coming from indoor, unmasked activity. Here, take a look for yourself ------ ------ ------- ------- --------- -------- ------ In fact, if you Google "covid cases BLM protest," you won't even see any links to studies showing what you suggest. That Google search phrase is completely neutral and one would think, if it were a real thing, there'd be tons of articles on both sides...... NOPE.

a-1593457100 Jun 29, 2020 11:58 AM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

If my kids can't play baseball (considered a "medium risk" sport by the CDC), then why should adults be able to sit in crowded bars getting drunk and yelling and doing what drunk people in crowded spaces do? This is stupid. I get that people need to keep businesses running to put food on their plates, but bars are NOT essential, nor are they in any way a safe place to be during a pandemic. Close them down, drink at home.

biguglystick Jun 29, 2020 11:38 AM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

SHUT IT ALL DOWN! --- Hate to say I told you so, but here we are. Everything opened way too fast. What about this virus don't people understand? It's real, it's here, there is science to prove that wearing masks helps GREATLY to cut down transmission rates, yet we have the blind followers of the orange traitor-in-chief who pound on their chest screaming about : "FREEDOM" and their right to choose... and also "law and order" all the while condemning a woman's reproductive rights. Funny, that. SMH

bigone Jun 29, 2020 09:08 AM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

If you listen to the mainstream media, you might be convinced that opening early killed the masses in Texas, Arizona and Florida. But a big part of the “spike” in cases is because of testing. We’re completing five times as many tests every day as we did in mid-April when the pandemic actually hit its peak. Yet deaths are decreasing daily, which is what is important. It’s also worth noting that this recent uptick in cases started exactly 14 days after the beginning of mass protests. Despite that, the mainstream media will try to tell you that the protests didn’t cause the spread because many in the mobs were wearing masks. These stories are being extremely selective. That’s because the actual epicenter of the pandemic in our country is currently in California, and California never really reopened and when it partially opened, it did so late. Here are the facts for you to ponder: Yesterday, California had 5240 cases and 31 deaths; Florida had 8530 cases and 27 deaths; Arizona had 3857 cases and 9 deaths; and Texas had 4330 cases nd 10 deaths. There is no consistency in any of this. And, as a reminder, we can thank the CCP for all of this panic, suffering, misery, and unnecessary death.

RHS Jun 29, 2020 02:33 PM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars among many other sites. This is commonly available data though probably not from the Reelect Trump website.

macpuzl Jun 29, 2020 02:19 PM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

Worldometer is not a very reliable site as far as data quality. You'd be better off with a real medical site like Johns Hopkins University. Citations below from the Wikipedia article on them:
"Worldometer has faced criticism over transparency of ownership, lack of citations to data sources, and unreliability of its COVID-19 statistics and rankings. The website reported that 18,000 people recovered from coronavirus in Spain on April 24, compared to the Spanish government figure of 3,105 recoveries for that day."
"Edouard Mathieu, the data manager of Our World in Data, stated that "Their main focus seems to be having the latest number [of COVID-19 cases] wherever it comes from, whether it’s reliable or not, whether it’s well-sourced or not.""
"Virginia Pitzer, a Yale University epidemiologist, said that the site is "legitimate", but flawed, inconsistent, and containing errors."
"On the English Wikipedia, editors reached a consensus not to cite Worldometer for coronavirus statistics."

PitMix Jun 29, 2020 12:56 PM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

Bigone, update your analysis using hospitalizations and ICU rates and your conclusions won't be erroneous due to variations in testing results. Hospitalizations going up, ICU rates, going up, about 1/2 of the people in ICUs die. But if you like your problematic statistics, stick with them.

dw2000 Jun 29, 2020 11:31 AM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

Also if one were to actually use the John Hopkins website and go to the "Critical Trends" tab, one would see that California is not even in the top 10 in new cases per 100K residents. Those Top 10 pretty much all go to conservative states:

bigone Jun 29, 2020 11:17 AM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

I also said John Hopkins reported the same number. Do you trust them? World of Meters publishes their data compiling it from several verified sources so they can't all be wrong.
Here are some other info to ponder from USA Today, which I don't really like but others seem to love them: "On Sunday, New York state reported just five coronavirus deaths, which is the lowest seen since March 15, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. Just 616 of New York's almost 62,000 tests Saturday resulted in positive diagnoses, a rate of 0.99%, Cuomo said." And from John Hopkins, once again: "The spike in deaths on 6/25 is due to New Jersey adding over 1,800 probable deaths to the state's totals." I'll say it one more time, deaths increasing would be a major concern but cases increasing was to be expected and has been predicted from multiple sources almost from the beginning of all this.

a-1593453869 Jun 29, 2020 11:04 AM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

Worldometers isn't a verified and trusted source. Also, deaths lag behind positive cases by about 14 days. Models from reputable sources show the death rate and hospitalization rate growing significantly in the next month. More testing will inevitably capture more positive tests, but to deny the fact that we're having an ongoing pandemic with continued spread is contrary to all evidence that we have and everything that we know about the behavior of the virus. Do you have college experience in statistics? Doesn't seem like it- no offense.

bigone Jun 29, 2020 10:24 AM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

RHS, where are you getting that data? Please let us know. My data comes from World of Meteres and is also confirmed on the John Hopkins site. The total deaths in the U.S. on June 26 was 663. On June 28, it was 285. Politics has nothing to do with this data, only how the media interprets and presents it to a gullible public. Here are the actual facts that you can see for yourself with daily cases, deaths, by entire country or by state here: So, yes, deaths are decreasing and for you to spread your "report" is unfounded by the data.

RHS Jun 29, 2020 10:00 AM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

On June 26 US deaths from COVID were reported at 2437. This is the fifth most for any day since this pandemic hit us. So, no, deaths are not "decreasing daily." Why say such things which threaten people's personal safety when others read them? Are politics more important than facts? (Seems like a wasted rhetorical question.)

dw2000 Jun 29, 2020 08:30 AM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

Hey everyone, Mike Pence has finally asked for people to wear masks and socially distance, in Texas no less! It only took 4 months , 2.6 million cases and 127,000 American deaths for the VP to say "wear a mask". How much more will it take for the president to say this on camera?

a-1593451164 Jun 29, 2020 10:19 AM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

Pasty Pence sees the handwriting on the wall for his potential 2024 presidential bid and may have been slapped into submission by Mother.

As far as too vain Trump, he's an old dog that is mentally incapable of learning any tricks. He needs to be put out to pasture on November 3rd.

Luvaduck Jun 29, 2020 08:26 AM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

Too late to close the barn door: the horse is loose. If we could cordon the place off like a military base, we'd still see consequences for 2 weeks, more for those whose blood infections--the basis for this--ravage them. Deep vein thrombosis clots that travel to the heart and cause attacks or to the brain causing strokes; damaged kidneys resulting in life-long need for dialysis. This is a systemic disease carried by blood, not a cold. It has potential for being a physical & medical expense for a lifetime.

smary Jun 29, 2020 08:09 AM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

what many fail to realize is "recovered" means no longer testing + for covid. It doesn't mean healthy. Some will live the remainder of their lives with permanent organ, brain, heart, kidney and lung damage. It's not JUST about hospitalization and death rates, it's about long term health consequences.

Shasta Guy Jun 29, 2020 07:05 AM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

Another weekend for large gatherings that are ideal for promoting the spread of Covid-19. This is from Chicago:

Cadillackid Jun 28, 2020 10:36 PM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

I have a social media account with a fair amount of followers that I personally know being born and raised in Santa Barbara, correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t it irresponsible for health care workers, CNA’s and people who work with children to take OR MAKE proper measures and decisions based on their job titles and responsibilities? I know I KNOOOWWW everyone has a right to make their own decisions but wouldn’t it be just the right human conscious COMMON SENSE choice to not be exposing yourself after working your nurse shift at cottage? Bragging about working with COVID 19 patients and also those who work with old people and kids??? I see too much of this I don’t trust anyone at all out there, stay safe everyone, don’t stay in too much don’t wear a mask every single minute of the day only where they require you to wear one and go out and get sun, stay away from shady people, like those who think it’s necessary to go clubbing because god forbid you miss out on a drinking binge night with “the girls” or with “the boys” and before anyone tries to talk crap I have plenty of friends we are just smart and chose to hang out at home and have bbqs rather then be club rats lol

ZeroHawk Jun 29, 2020 12:14 PM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

free enough so i can decide to stay in or go out and go kayaking and fishing instead....that's pretty free and not like house arrest whatsoever....i second the 'duh' :)

SBLetsGetAlong Jun 28, 2020 07:18 PM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

What’s are the most important #s?
Deaths and hospitalization.
Not how many people have it.
That was the goal of social distancing & shutting down. There is no cure, and a vaccine may never be developed as these pesky bugs adapt Just like swine flu, no vaccine. It disappeared on its own.
For those if you collecting unemployment, plus the Covid bonus, good for you. Totally u sets tabs why you want to stay at home. You’re making more money sitting in your tush.
But you may not have a job to go back to and the Covid money us running out.
As to freedom, we are a country that asks questions and do t just accept to dogma dished out by government officials in their ivory towers eating $12/gallon ice cream. Politicians only care about themselves and their paychecks.
Coronaviruses have been around for centuries. Thus one was in a lab where they were studying it. Yet they still don’t know what they’re doing.
I believe in maintaining the line of overwhelming the hospitals.
Talk to the hospitals, they are not close to being overwhelmed here in SB county.
Let people earn a living and put food in their families tables. All of you collecting Covid bonuses shouldn’t have a voice, you are biased.
I’m watching business after business closing their doors putting people on unemployment. It’s sad to see the “cure” being worse than the disease.
As to masks, if your susceptible. Wear a medical grade mask. Why would you put your life in other peoples hands. That’s irresponsible if you.
And for Gods sake, wash your damn hands and practice good hygiene! You’re spreading disease by not washing your hands. Forget the mask, I’d take a mandatory hand sanitizing over a mask any day. Stop touching everything SVD then taking your mask off spreading the germs to yourself.
Stay safe, stay human, stay open & encouraging. We are all going through this.

biguglystick Jun 29, 2020 11:28 AM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

Not everyone on unemployment is "sitting on their tush"... nor does it mean they don't want life to go back to normal. Some of us have had multiple hardships aside from this virus that were only compounded by the virus. Thank GOD for that government money that our own taxes went to pay for. A little help does not make one lazy. What an assumption!

a-1593398553 Jun 28, 2020 07:42 PM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

Your post is low information and my only take away from reading it is that you believe everyone is abusing unemployment benefits. Bless your little heart. .Hospitalizations and deaths are going up across the country. Hospitalizations are going up here. Give it another month or two we will have overflowing hospitals and morgues. Texas is already getting overrun and shifting patients between hospitals. Lind of guessing you took advantage of the "Covid Bonus."

Shasta Guy Jun 28, 2020 06:27 PM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

Many counties are still seeing rising case counts that coincide with the protests the the first week of June per the CA Covid-19 dashboard. I have no intention of going in any bar or restaurant at this point anyway, but I believe it should be a personal choice. Educate yourself on the risks and act appropriately. The advice for mountaineers is applicable here: Nature sets the terms and you must choose to accept them.

macpuzl Jun 29, 2020 08:42 PM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

BO - Nope. The dates of contact and disease development correlate with the reopening, not the later protests. Sticking your fingers in your ears doesn't make the world conform to your desired outcomes, especially considering where you seem to keep your fingers.

sacjon Jun 29, 2020 04:59 PM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

BIGMAN - you keep saying this. Where is your evidence? I provided 5 sources for my claim that the protests weren't the cause of the spike. Where's your science on yours? And no, clicking an arrow is not "evidence."

a-1593393044 Jun 28, 2020 06:10 PM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

For all you naysayers, continue not wearing a mask, keeping at least 6+ feet from others, never washing your hands, and rolling the dice. Please, too, have good health care insurance because I sure don't need to support you and your bullheadedness all the way to the mortuary. Will I cry? Hah!

biguglystick Jun 29, 2020 11:29 AM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

They are already here! We took a Sunday drive only to see the waterfront simply crawling with tourists, none of them wearing masks or social distancing! Turned right back around, windows rolled up and went home where it's safe. Sheer idiocy abounds out there.

Crystalandmaui Jun 29, 2020 07:13 AM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

They coming here to Santa Barbara, I saw on the new last night, come to Santa Barbara enjoy the food and drinking, this weekend will be busy here, then the next surge. Santa Barbara will be closed down again, the following week. I hope all the stores, bars , wineries demand a face mask to be worn or no service, have the hand sanitizer at the doors.

bigone Jun 28, 2020 05:12 PM
Health Officer Closes All Santa Barbara County Bars

Insanity. The reality is showing up in death counts. Despite “exploding” cases and a huge increase in testing, fatalities have remained well below April, the height of the outbreak. Quick, round up those careless, thoughtless wild beach partygoers and drunkards at the bars! Close the playgrounds! Shut down 10-member family gatherings! Good thing we didn’t get around to defunding the police yet! We were all staying safely home apart together (or was it together apart?) for 15 days (or was it 30 days? or two months? or six months? or indefinitely?). The expressed goal: keep the “curve” of serious new cases, hospitalizations and intensive-care unit use from rising too quickly and overwhelming the health care system. We have done that. There has been a big reduction in the median age of positive tests from 60-somethings to 33, an age at which the ill are much less at risk for serious clinical consequences. The uptick in the 15-44 age group, showing positivity rates close to 20%, is comprised of largely asymptomatic or experiencing symptoms “so mild that they would not even have to seek medical attention.” There were 4226 "cases" in California yesterday; there were 1957 on April 21. There were 32 deaths in California yesterday; there were 121 on April 22. If you can't see the meaning of this data, I feel sorry for you. Closing things down again is complete lunacy.


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