Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

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Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure
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Dr. Van Do-Reynoso during Thursday's press conference

By edhat staff

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) discusses their new order to close indoor business sectors and beaches ahead of the holiday weekend.

During a press conference on Thursday, County Supervisor Gregg Hart expressed his concern for the increase in COVID-19 cases. On Wednesday PHD reported 268 new cases and on Thursday an additional 111 cases were added bringing the total to 3,275.

"This week has been particularly difficult as yesterday there was a very significant spike in local positive COVID-19 cases. The very large number of new positive cases reported is potentially the first indicator of a very serious problem," said Hart. 

Governor Gavin Newsom had already ordered the closure of all bars and indoor operations for Santa Barbara County on Wednesday. PHD followed up with a formal health order announcing these closures as well as deciding to close all beaches. 

PHD Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso stated the Governor will be taking action if local COVID-19 rates continue and their department will have no other option but to comply. PHD can issue stricter guidance than what the state allows, and they are currently evaluating these options, she said.

While local agencies are pushing towards education for residents and businesses who fail to follow these orders, Supervisor Hart warned that state agencies such as Alcohol Beverage Control could be used. Additionally, public health inspectors have issued violations and will continue to investigate claims of businesses who are not following guidelines. Community members are encouraged to call 833-688-5551 on businesses that are not following protocol. 

The Beach Closure

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) has reversed course and announced the beaches will close through the July 4th weekend.

Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg issued a health officer order requiring all beaches to be closed to the public during the July 4th weekend.  This order is effective from 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 3, 2020 and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 5, 2020.

PHD stated this order is being issued in response to Santa Barbra County not meeting the threshold criteria for Elevated Disease Transmission, Increasing Hospitalization, and Limited Hospital Capacity for the past 16 days as noted in the County Monitoring Metrics. However, just days earlier when the county was still not meeting the threshold criteria, PHD announced beaches will remain open. There was pushback from numerous residents and suggestions by Governor Gavin Newsom for local officials to close beaches.

Sheriff Bill Brown confirmed that deputies will be patrolling beaches and trailheads as well as parking areas adjacent to beaches.


Read more on the closure here.

The New Health Order

Santa Barbara County Health Officer, Dr. Henning Ansorg has issued a Health Officer Order mandating the closure of multiple business sectors that promote the mixing of populations beyond households and create environments where physical distancing and wearing face coverings is difficult.  This guidance is effective at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 2, 2020 and will continue until 5 p.m. on July 26, 2020 or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing.

At the direction of the California Department of Public Health and by mandate of the health officer order the following business sectors must close:

  • Bars, breweries, pubs, and brewpubs, including bars located at permitted indoor and outdoor food facilities;
  • Nightclubs, including private social clubs; and
  • Indoor operations of Dine-in restaurants, Wineries and Tasting Rooms,
  • Indoor operations of Family Entertainment Centers, Movie Theaters, Zoos and Museums, and Cardrooms

Outdoor operations of the above listed sectors, except for bars, breweries, pubs and brewpubs, may remain open with strict physical distancing protocols in place.

“We have made the decision to close these businesses in order to follow 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.

The full Health Officer Order can be found here

The Latest Numbers

PHD is reporting 111 new COVID-19 positive cases on Thursday. Of the 111 new cases, 64 are hospitalized with 20 in the intensive care unit (ICU). Approximately 55% of call cases are due to person-to-person transmission, 44% is community-acquired, and 1% is due to traveling outside the county.

Dr. Do-Reynoso confirmed Santa Barbara County has not met the state's criteria set as a benchmark to further reopen business sectors for the past 17 days.

PHD is revising its data dashboard to reflect metrics that describe cases in the county as well as including the metrics of symptomatic and asymptomatic cases and the spread of transmission. 

The data will be available here once it's updated.

Sheriff Announces Increase of Staff COVID-19 Cases

On Wednesday, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's office announced four employees tested positive for COVID-19. During Thursday's press conference, Sheriff Bill Brown announced two more employees had also tested positive.

Overall, 321 inmates out of the total 578 have been tested for COVID-19. There are 139 negatives, 178 pending, 1 inconclusive and retested, and 4 inmates who tested positive.

Of the four inmates, one has been released on bail and one has been released on their own recognizance. Sheriff Brown confirmed both inmates received educational information on COVID-19 before their release. One inmate has recovered and one inmate is in isolation under medical supervision. 

Currently, 340 staff members have been tested with 310 being negative, 9 pending, and 21 tested positive. Of the positive tests, 6 recovered and returned to work, 1 is hospitalized, and 14 are isolating at home.


For more information on local cases, visit

For a state situation overview, please visit the California Department of Public Health webpage:

For a national situation overview, please visit the CDC 2019 Novel Coronavirus webpage:

For a global situation overview, please visits the WHO COVID 19 Situation Dashboard-

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a-1593735257 Jul 02, 2020 05:14 PM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

Why would you teach your child to disrespect laws and other people like that, when there is a pandemic ? That doesn't set up a child for a smooth life instead it teaches them to resist, be disagreeable and the like which only makes for problems later down the line. Society has to pull together sometimes.

Alexblue Jul 02, 2020 05:33 PM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

5:14, here's an easy answer for why "Loose cannon" would do that. You see, at some point, in this country, a lot of people forgot that freedom comes with responsibility. These types of folks decided that freedom means I do what I want and if you don't like it then you can GFY.

LooseCannon Jul 02, 2020 05:24 PM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

EVERYONE WITH A DRONE... Fly them over the big houses, the nice ones with pools in Montecito, Santa Barbara, Hope Ranch, Goleta, the really wealthy neighborhoods. Let's get some aerial FOOTAGE of the swells quarantining at home in their private pools, while the rest of us suffer the indignity of being banned from public beaches. It's going to be a HOT weekend. This order is an insult to working people.

a-1593736590 Jul 02, 2020 05:36 PM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

LOOSECANON I'm a working person. Stuck in my smallish rental, all week and may have to work this weekend. It gets hot as hell in my place and I have no AC although I may be ordering one due to this pandemic and having to be here all day. I love going to the beach to cool down. But I'm all for this - life cannot proceed as normal right now. For your and everyone's safety. Life isn't always fair. No one is entitled to a pool and a big house. The grass also isn't always greener. I make do with what I have and am grateful.

420722 Jul 02, 2020 05:48 PM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

Cause we all know if you keep moving you can’t spread covid but for some reason if you were to sit in the sand with your daughter, son or spouse you will kill everyone. The logic and reasoning behind all this covid crap is beyond me. Have fun Loosecannon.

LooseCannon Jul 02, 2020 05:48 PM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

Yes, I appreciate your restraint. I have none. Mid-fifties. Lost the home, the wife, and the kid during The Great Recession. I only ask to be treated with respect and this order is disrespectful of working-people who live in cramped quarters and do not have the luxury of private pools and other amenities. From a medical standpoint, it makes no sense. Chances of exposure to the virus, or of communicating it to others, while outdoors are very slim. The sun is a natural disinfectant and boosts the immune system. The problem is, arrogant rich, powerful people think that they know what's best and ordinary people can't be trusted to take commonsense precautions. It's disgusting and deplorable, and I won't stand for it. I'm tired of all the social shaming of young people and working people. It's time to turn the tables. Rev up the drones and fly them over the big houses. Let's see the hardships, the sacrifices our overlords are making on our behalf.

Alexblue Jul 02, 2020 06:28 PM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

Loose Cannon--bro, and I say this with all sincerity--your issues are likely unrelated to Covid. You really sound like you've decided you're a victim--of rich people, government, economy, your ex wife, I don't know maybe a judge or some other aspect of the system.

If you're in your mid-fifties, it's not too late to turn that all around. You can stop blaming everything and everyone but yourself, take responsibility, try and find ways to help other people, leave your ego out of things as much as you can and look to be of service. You can be much, much happier.

a-1593745735 Jul 02, 2020 08:08 PM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

LooseCannon, go to the beach (if you can find parking) and walk in the surf, or swim. Just don’t stop and settle. The problem is the parking, and the waterfront buses aren’t running, so that’s out, too. But the ocean is still open.

a-1593787216 Jul 03, 2020 07:40 AM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

420722 if you don't understand why they don't want ppl lingering/hanging in the sand versus walking and moving then you don't understand the virus, biology, epidemiology and how viruses spread including viral load. That is why you don't understand. Maybe read up on it and you will then understand these protocols.

letmego Jul 03, 2020 08:54 AM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

LOOSECANNON - the point of closing the beaches is to discourage tourists and lingering. If the beaches are open, the tourists from LA (a hotbed) come. They sit on the beach. They drink. They use the public restrooms. They go to our grocery stores and bars, potentially spreading COVID. If the beaches are open, then everyone sitting there on their blankets can fill the beach, make distancing difficult. You can still go to the beach. You can walk, run, swim, surf, kayak, paddle board. Outdoors with distancing is relatively safe. Closing of the beach is not about "the beach", it's about everything else that happens in town when we are the only beaches open within 100 miles of Los Angeles.

Eggs Ackley Jul 03, 2020 04:48 PM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

@LOOSECANNON Speak for yourself. This working stiff is glad to turn away the infected hordes, protecting our citizens. Seems quite petulant and self-centered to whine about protecting the health of one’s community.

LooseCannon Jul 03, 2020 06:12 PM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

Well EGGS, perhaps instead of tossing insults in my direction, why don't you address some of the concerns I've raised, e.g., "Chances of exposure to the virus, or of communicating it to others, while outdoors are very slim. The sun is a natural disinfectant and boosts the immune system." How exactly does it help to confine people indoors, with poor ventilation and recycled air, when they could be outdoors? What sort of impact do you think it will have on the few remaining public spaces that remain open? Will the parks become less crowded or more? It seems to me that closing the beaches will be counterproductive and actually promote the spread of the virus. Oh, my detractors say, those horrible hordes from LA will go to gas stations and spread their germs. The last time I checked, all workers and all customers are required to wear masks, so I don't think that argument holds much water either. And, finally, let me just say that anyone with the slightest historical consciousness knows that use of such phrases as "the infected hordes" comes straight of the fascist playbook.

puppyluv Jul 02, 2020 05:43 PM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

Why no shut down of hotels and beach rentals (especially in places like Carpinteria) Why provide a haven for spreaders from hot spots to stay? It's a small sacrifice for at least a few more months. I've overheard that they believe "santa barbara doesn't care, cause they're not affected." Also, they know how we beg like puppy dogs for their "tourist money."

RHS Jul 02, 2020 06:21 PM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

Back in the heyday of US Nationalism and Jingoism, the time of John Philips Sousa, the Rough Riders and Teddy Roosevelt, and the absurd entry into WWI we also encountered the Spanish Flu (on top of a continuing national epidemic of TB which quarantined hundreds of thousands). When the knowledgeable people said wear masks, stay at home, stop congregating The People did not rise up in righteous defiance with Don't Tread on Me flags. The complied and within a year of two this disaster was behind us. The idea that we can simply not act in union to protect our health and economy is so Un American! United We Stand, Divided We Fall!

DTOM Jul 03, 2020 08:32 AM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

Military is imperfect example of people complying with non legal bully-ish rules... constitution still applies, there, right? If military backgrounds have anything to do w group think(they do) count me out! Whats wrong w being left alone to live or get ill(and only maybe die) at ones own will? Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Roger Jul 02, 2020 08:12 PM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

I'm glad some people in this life are wealthy and have good lives I am sorry there is anger towards them. I was angry along time sometimes I still get angry but there isn't anyone off hand I feel ill will towards...The freedom of letting go makes me grateful for what I do have.

a-1593746516 Jul 02, 2020 08:21 PM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

Beaches are closed to discourage out-of-towners from bringing and spreading their germs. Turn the sprinklers on and crank up the grill. Celebrate Independence Day knowing that with freedom comes great responsibility.

a-1593786299 Jul 03, 2020 07:24 AM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

Exactly!! It is not the end of the world folks but there IS a very active pandemic happening so let's celebrate our health and do things to stay healthy. Stop and think about the big picture here, 4th of July really is just another day. I love Independence Day and fireworks at the beach but skipping it for this year is not going to cause any harm. I want us all to still be healthy to celebrate the holidays, hopefully with our families and loved ones.

letmego Jul 03, 2020 08:48 AM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

If you can. We have space to do that, but apartment dwellers without AC have fewer options. I think that people who are lucky enough to have that outdoor space should use it. Let the people with multiple kids cooped up in a small apartment go boogie boarding or swimming this weekend.

Luvaduck Jul 03, 2020 10:54 AM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

A possibility for apt dwellers is to take the group to any of the little trails along the creeks and "pocket" parks. No crowds of people since only locals know about them. If you do, be respectful and carry out anything you bring in.

Gtownie Jul 02, 2020 08:25 PM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

Let me get this straight - we CAN’T go to the beach on the 4th with our family practicing all social distancing protocols but we CAN protest and not practice any social distancing protocols all we want...What am I missing?

Gtownie Jul 02, 2020 09:04 PM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

Agreed but they should be held to the same social distancing protocols. When they are not it creates an obvious double standard and most of the increased cases we are experiencing at the moment.

a-1593750277 Jul 02, 2020 09:24 PM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

The protests were a form of civil disobedience and cannot be compared to holidays at the beach. Protesters walked in the streets. They disrupted regular business. None of it was approved by the authorities, and sometimes, in some locales, it was not even tolerated. The Public Health Office did not set special rules for the protests. They did not issue a statement allowing groups to congregate. There is no double standard.

Chip of SB Jul 03, 2020 08:28 AM
Public Health Discusses New Health Order and Beach Closure

I think you bring up an excellent point GTownie. A lot of public health officials actually condoned and encouraged the BLM protests/riots. Interestingly, these same experts were staunchly opposed to earlier protests against government responses to the virus. Here is an excellent article by Greenwald about public health “experts” reversing their positions on mass gatherings.


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