Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening title=
Board of Supervisors Meeting on Tuesday morning
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Update by edhat staff
12:30 p.m., September 29, 2020
 

The State of California confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Santa Barbara County has officially moved down into the red-colored "Substantial Tier 2."

Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of the state's Health and Human Services Department, confirmed Santa Barbara County was one of the ten counties that met the requirements to move down to the next tier allowing further business reopenings.

The new health officer order posted by the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department can be viewed here.

Santa Barbara County joins San Luis Obispo County in the red tier while Ventura is still in the purple "Widespread Tier 1" with more restrictions.


By edhat staff
10:00 a.m., September 29, 2020
 

Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) officials anticipate a lower-tier assignment today allowing more businesses to reopen for indoor operations.

During Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting, PHD Director Van Do-Reynoso stated the county is expected to move into the red-colored "Substantial Tier 2." California Governor Gavin Newsom will make the formal announcement at noon where PHD will release an updated health officer to be in effect at 8:00 a.m. Wednesday.

Once official, the county will allow the gradual reopening of indoor operations. Gyms and fitness centers can resume indoor operations at 10% capacity; museums, zoos, aquariums, worship centeres, movie theatres, and restaurants at 25% capacity or max 100 people; retail stores and shopping centers at 50% capacity; and nail salons and personal care services such as tattoo parlours and massages can now operate indoors.

Bars, breweries, distilleries, and family entertainment centers are will not be allowed to operate indoors.

The substantial red tier requires 4-7 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population and 5-8% testing positivity rate. Based on PHD's calculations the county has achieved a 4.8 case rate that's adjusted to 4.5 due to testing above the state's requirements and a 3.2% positivity rate.

Van Do-Reynoso stated that for the first time during this rating period there is a unanimous decrease in COVID-19 cases in all trends throughout the county. In the last two weeks, hospitalizations have decreased by 30%, med surge by 19%, and intensive care unit stays by 50%.

Governor Newsom is expected to make the official announcement at noon and will also announce new equity metrics. The goal is to ensure testing positivity rates in every county's most disadvantaged neighborhoods do not significantly lag behind the overall county test positivity rate.

This means for a county to move to less restrictive tiers, they will continue to be evaluated on overall testing and positivity rates. In addition to the lowest quartile test positivity rate it must meet the specified threshold for less restrictive tier. This is expected to be effective on October 6.

Supervisor Das Williams summed up the full report by saying, "let's not blow it." He referenced home parties and gatherings as one of the biggest virus spreaders in the community and urged people to find creative ways to celebrate the upcoming holidays.

Do-Reynoso stated official guidelines will be released this Friday on how to safely celebrate Halloween as PHD fears celebrations could result in a spike of cases.

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a-1601438042 Sep 29, 2020 08:54 PM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

"Packed, crowded classrooms" is one more teacher union myth. Try rows of desks and simple plexiglass partitions. Get rid of those failed "creative learning centers" that are the standard for classrooms doay and get back to students in rows of desks and the teacher in charge of the classroom ...and learning again. Today's classrooms are chaos and require additional personnel while test scores prove very, very little actual learning goes on in this chaotic "crowded" environment of today.

dukemunson Sep 29, 2020 09:12 PM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

I have kids in GUSD with 19, 21 and 22 kids in their classes. As such, I’m Assuming your wife is sb unified. 35 kids is a different dynamic than 22... and the 22 class has multiple kids that have gone private. I’ve said it at least 17 times... It would be Very easy for most (if not all) of the GUSD schools to open right now in some capacity. Their refusal is neither science, logic or “best interest” of the kids based. It’s self centered laziness. Its ridiculous. Its contemptible.

ginger1 Sep 30, 2020 10:19 PM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

50 million children across the planet have been back to school for 3 weeks (or more). I haven't heard of any mass outbreaks. Or any outbreaks. You'd think that would be big news on CNN.

We have 26 people around here, sick with COVID, in total, in the 6 hospitals in SB County with hundreds of empty beds. And yet we are spending a quarter of a million dollars to convert Sears into a surge hospital. Who is the genius if figured that was good idea?

There are 31 known infected people in our area, in 200 square miles with a population of 190,000. You're far more likely to be struck by lightening than catch COVID. Here, at least. No reason to panic. Sure, wear a mask indoors in public, especially crowded places and outdoors if you cannot be socially distant. Just in case. I get it. Some people who don't know that they've got it might be around. Still not a big deal. That why we take *reasonable* precautions. Panic is not reasonable. But then again, you never know when lightening will strike.

dukemunson Sep 29, 2020 01:10 PM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

At what point/tier does Newsome tell schools they have to do everything in their power to open? We all agree that schools are essential services...at what point do our elected officials step in and tell schools they have to open...because I'm pretty sure they need that shove to accomplish something (anything!)...

Byzantium Sep 29, 2020 01:34 PM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

We need a running obituary list of businesses who will now never re-open, regardless of red, yellow or green tier status. . Time to mourn what we lost permanently; along with whom we lost. PlumGoods was an early and huge loss. I salute you, Plum Goods - you brought independent style and vitality to State Street. The Daisy restaurant was another budding State Street stalwart hovering on the brink of independent success, but dreams now dashed and shuttered. R.I.P. Include also the now permanent loss of even the concept of the old comfort food Paradise Cafe- and loss of the best burger in town. Congratulations to the survivors - pluck, luck, determination and a rainy day fund - thank you for your sacrifices to keep some part of our town traditions still going. We owe you one. A celebratory list for you too.

dukemunson Sep 29, 2020 02:13 PM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

Pitmix is unfortunately correct...the schools aren't going to reopen anytime soon. They just don't care. They say they care. And they probably truly believe that they do (see Educators post from earlier). They just wont show that they care in the one meaningful, tangible and real way that matters...opening. The next school board meeting will be the same. Everyone talks about the kids falling behind and how tragic it is that school isn't open and just how terrible it is...and then will pivot to everyone congratulating themselves on "RIGOROUS ONLINE EDUCATION"! There will be a funny anecdote or two about a teacher who turned a microphone problem into a great lesson and another teacher who had some "wild and fun" visuals on their ZOOM home screen to "liven things up" which really resonated. They'll talk about how school is going for teachers and administrators kids which will once again have a funny anecdote about a 7 year old that had to be told it was OK to take off their mask to eat lunch but didn't want to because it was such a fun and cool mask. And then they will talk about some budget issues, legal issues before calling it a day to do it again in mid November. I will probably post another 2-3k times before they actually make the effort (or more likely are forced in some capacity) to open...

420722 Sep 30, 2020 09:05 PM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

Here I am just for you-OPEN THE SCHOOLS! Happy now? They shouldn’t have to be “forced” to go to work. They should be fighting for it like every other essential worker has. The longer the kids stay on zoom class many will become lazier, fatter, dumber and depressed. If you’re cool with that Pit that’s your deal but I am not and I will keep voicing my concern.

ginger1 Sep 29, 2020 02:33 PM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

Schools will be "allowed" to re-open Oct 12. How that will happen is not yet determined and will, like everything else COVID, be different in different districts with no real basis in science. Based on the usual misinformation and fear.

Consider that, across the planet, over 50 million kids have been back in school, in person, with teachers, for three weeks. Or more. The majority with little or no COVID mitigations in place and those that DO have sensible, school and age specific remediations. Have you heard a word about the classroom COVID surge? No, of course not, because it did not happen.

Also consider that (as of yesterday) there are a grand total of 31 people with COVID *on the entire south coast of SB County*, out of 190,000 people, out of the entire area between Carpinteria and Gaviota. Your chances of bumping in to one of them are .07% Getting hit by lightening is a greater risk. So keep wearing your masks while driving in your car or going to a walk. Just in case. Also remember that, if you are otherwise healthy, your risk of NOT dying from COVID is 99.977%. If you're not healthy and have risk factors, it still 97% you wont die. Keep that fear going.

ginger1 Sep 29, 2020 08:48 PM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

That is the number for the entire county. Try reading my post again.

And aren't you the least bit concerned that: 1. the VAST majority of active cases and deaths are people who live in North County (Santa Maria and Lompoc mostly) and 2. the VAST majority of those souls are our Hispanic and Black neighbors, farm workers and people living in crowded conditions and 3. these are people with other health issues and less access to health care to fix it.

a-1601417817 Sep 29, 2020 03:16 PM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

Large parties? According to a friend who works directly with Covid patients at Cottage, many of those infected and hospitalized are ag workers and their families. The workers do not have consistent protective environments ( masks, separation, hygiene, available medical care etc)., live in dense family groups where the virus is easily spread, and have co-morbidities (ie diabetes, obesity, heart disease, etc) which increase their risk of serious infection. The actual infection rate amongst other populations here is quite low.

PitMix Sep 30, 2020 09:07 AM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

I think you hit the nail on the head in your question. Duke and Bosco and SacJon and 47022 want the schools to open because that would make their lives easier, if not necessarily safer. But these decisions are being made on the basis of society as a whole, not just parents with kids who can't work remotely. When schools reopen, if it is before a vaccine is widely available, it is likely that they will take the kids that need special ed, are bad virtual learners, or have parents who are essential workers. Hopefully that will meet the needs of the posters here.

sacjon Sep 30, 2020 09:38 AM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

PITMIX - You're once again failing to read my comments before proclaiming what I "want." Try a little harder. I'll say it again. I work from home (thankfully) and it's actually EASIER to keep my kids here with me. I love being with them all day! BUT.... it's not what is best for them. I want what is best for my kids, not me. Why can't (or won't) you understand that? My kids are my world and if they're not getting the education and life experiences they should, it pisses me off. If you were a parent, you'd understand.

dukemunson Sep 30, 2020 10:15 AM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

Where we truly disagree Pitmix is that you think the decision is being made to not open schools “on the basis of society as a whole”... while I’ve listened to the board meetings and think (know?) that it’s on the basis of laziness. The schools (GUSD) confirmed they can open safely... they proudly and repeatedly touted the plan! Then they decided (and said!!!) they wouldn’t because it would be disruptive to teachers and administrators. So I guess you can make the point of a greater good being achieved by public schools (and no other schools!) being closed ... but that's not the schools Stated reason...

bosco Sep 30, 2020 04:52 PM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

Since I've been called out, I will reply. For the record my kids are doing zoom from a daycare all day. They are no "safer" than being in school. The only difference is they're not getting the direct getting a substandard education. There is no teacher giving them personal attention and helping them with their work, there is no group activities with other kids, there is no learning from each other. My children are still small and will likely be ok in the long run. But I know many others that will not. I personally know many families with kids that are seriously struggling. Talk to any teacher and they will tell you stories of kids in the zoom classes that are either alone or being supervised by older siblings because the parents have to work. Half of the students in many classes are not turning in any work. I have spoken with Pediatricians that are seriously concerned and are seeing dramatic increases in health and behavioral issues. And I don't have to mention that the biggest impact is being felt by our lower income families with the greatest needs. None of this is ok. I cringe when someone uses the term "safe". Safe is relative but it's used as a trigger word. We live in a world filled with risks and dangers. Sure COVID infection carry's with it risk. I have experience in healthcare and I am very close with members in the healthcare community and fully understand this. However, the reality on the ground does not justify the very real costs we are choosing to put on our children (and community at large). The logic behind these decisions is not rooted in any real facts. But, the impacts are very real.

limohat Sep 29, 2020 03:53 PM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

Great, open the schools, so asymptomatic kids carrying the virus everywhere will produce herd immunity. Susceptible folks should have taken better care of themselves or been born with better genes. As long as there is a bed available at Cottage when my kidney stones act up. Got to just carry on wearing a mask and washing hands as a vaccine may not be available for years. The Taiwanese & Koreans are smart with their mask acceptance. Us Americans got to look at each other's ugly mugs.

RHS Sep 29, 2020 04:12 PM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

We need a running obituary column of the dead, near dead, permanently disable and just grossly made sick by the constant drumbeat of those who allegiance is to their convenience and profit. Maybe a daily dirge down State Street noting those who are suffering, including the family and loved ones of the victims. Why can't we act with some perspective and accept a short term discipline that will save thousands or millions?

sacjon Sep 29, 2020 04:17 PM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

RHS - 7 months plus at least an additional 4-5 months is NOT "short term" when it comes to childrens' and teens' academic, social and emotional health. Screw haircuts and eating out, I could care less about not being able to eat INSIDE a restaurant. My problem is watching kids lose out on essential experiences in their development. For me, this has nothing to do with convenience or profit, it's about my kids having a normal life. It CAN be done, it IS being done around the world, but no one here wants to even try.

dukemunson Sep 29, 2020 04:20 PM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

Well...we're about to open Movie theaters, churches, indoor restaurants, tattoo parlors, nail salons, etc...all of which presumably have a bit more turnover and randomness than singular classrooms...but not schools. By all means, short term discipline is great. We're way past short term discipline. The goal posts are perpetually moved. What started as "shelter in place so as not to over run the hospitals" has turned into a handful of cases per day in Santa Barbara and Goleta and...the most empty our hospitals have ever been!! I get it, your happy to keep things closed for the short, medium and long term...but everything is open except schools. Science and logic aren't leading the school district at this point...or seemingly any point in the last 6 months...

MountainMan4865 Sep 29, 2020 07:46 PM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

Sitting back, this all seems so arbitrary.... The announcement was last week that our testing would be low enough to open this Tuesday. How did they know that the testing would be sufficient by... Tuesday? We've been all told there will be a surge from Labor Day. Same with... March? Masks are absolutely mandartory! We must stop this spread! in four days from now, on Friday at 5pm... but not right now. It's okay to eat outside, but not inside. Standing up, but not sitting down. You can get your haircut, but not a pedicure. Eating is okay with no masks, but drinking an alcoholic beverage is not. Sitting on the beach by yourself? Nope. Playing tennis? Sure! Skateboarding? Absolutely not. Camp is fine, school is not. And lets not forget about the message mid-July about morbid curiosity and getting tested, because you know, there's a shortage of tests, BUT we can test professional sports players, every day, just to make sure... you know, so the money stream keeps going. Don't forget about the zoo animals that are being tested. Oh and don't let anyone touch your dog, because they can get it, but it can't be transmitted to your pets, but peoples pets are being tested positive. Who's getting their pets tested when it seems so difficult for a person to get tested? It all seems so arbitrary.

ChemicalSuperFreak Sep 29, 2020 08:01 PM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

MOUNTAINMAIN: It is absolutely arbitrary. Your point about testing enough is spot on. A couple of weeks ago they said we weren't testing enough, were being penalized and would remain in Tier 1, and then begged people to come and get tested. The number of reported tests/day has actually dropped by 100% (from 1,600/day to 800/day) causing the numbers to be artificially lower (below 7/day per 100,000) which qualified us for Tier 2. Furthermore, the state did the opposite of what they threatened and actually adjusted that the SBC number even lower despite decreased testing. How does that work? It's like if they tell you if you speed you'll get a $100 fine, and so you speed and so you speed and they pull you over and give you a $100 bill. The entire thing is crazy.

ginger1 Sep 29, 2020 08:58 PM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

When Santa Barbara was on fire two years ago the health department have out nearly a million N95 respirator masks. In three days. With Covid, zero.

There were almost no tests available, then plenty of tests (so "everybody who wanted a test could get one") and then two weeks later, whoops---ran out of tests so only people who were clearly ill or needing elected surgery could get tested. And then two weeks after that, whoops---that made our case infectivity rate too high, so then they say: quick, everybody get tested! Guess they found some extra test kits.

So now are numbers a good again. Yay! Nice work, county health department. I trust you completely. {{{BG}}}

Any of you people driving around alone in your car or out for a stroll on a deserted beach or neighborhood sidewalk all masked-up think about that?

SBisOk Sep 29, 2020 09:53 PM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

Out of curiosity, for those who still want schools and other sectors still closed: what exactly are you waiting for to reopen? What's the "everything is safe now" reassurance you're looking for? Clearly by now people must realize that even if there was a vaccine, not everyone would get it. And COVID isn't going to disappear. So here we sit, waiting for...what?

a-1601449044 Sep 29, 2020 11:57 PM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

The virus needs to infect people to replicate. Stop people from going out and getting infected. Then do serious contact tracing and quarantine for the small number of infections that will occur after opening back up. Then hope for a robust vaccine, and deploy it widely. Let Darwin have the vaccine refusers who don't do so out of medical necessity, and maybe paint them purple.

a-1601448696 Sep 29, 2020 11:51 PM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

Scrolled quickly through the comments, so please tell me if I missed it.....For weeks people have done nothing but complain about schools being closed, on and on and on. Now there’s a possibility that they can open “if they choose to” and not a single one of you whiners came here to post a sample letter to Ms. Maldonado and Ms. Capps and the other board members? No email addresses of same? No call to show up at Ms. Maldonado’s Office with signs demanding the schools reopen? No phone numbers to be called? Why am I not surprised?

dukemunson Sep 30, 2020 07:08 AM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

I was thinking the exact same thing!!!! Not a single whiner on Edhat has bothered to write a sample letter to any board member or posted any phone numbers to be called! If school is the great death trap that many have purported On here, the thousands of kids in school in SB county will ruin us all! Yet not a single “whiner” on Edhat has started something to our local officials demanding the 30+ grade schools open right now be closed immediately! Why hasnt a single “whiner” on here shown up at ms maldonados office demanding the additional schools (not even counted in that 30) that are open to teachers kids and administrators be closed as they are a clear and present danger to us all? Why hasn’t anyone started a letter to the mayor about the dozens and dozens of preschools that have been open for months and are going to kill us all as they do Darwin’s work and contaminate us all? I’m with you A-101448696... not surprised at all...

bosco Sep 30, 2020 09:38 AM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

For the record, I have sent Maldonado and Capps multiple emails with the same information we have shared here (just well articulated and with proper grammar :)). No reply. I have had the opportunity to speak with Laura Capps directly during a PTO meeting. I actually believe she truly wants to open (she is a big supporter of outdoor learning) but she is unwilling to go against the rest of the board and the Superintendent she personally hired. Parents can, and should, continue to demand they do the right thing. However, it really feels like they stubbornly rooted themselves and won't budge. [email protected]; [email protected]

Lorax Sep 30, 2020 07:17 AM
Santa Barbara County Officially Moves Into Lower Tier for Increased Business Reopening

Get the incumbents Capps, Motten-Sims and Reid for Santa School Board out!
I have done my research well. Kids need to be back in school. While all the private schools and other school districts are back on campus and out of virtual learning, the current board is too busy playing politics instead of supporting education for all.
Kids need to learn to read, write and do Math, Parents and teachers voices need to be heard! Our scores are terrible and this team has failed to bring us results. More than 50% of students can't read or write at grade level!
Time to swich teams! Our ballots are already arriving. Anyone living between Goleta and Montecieto is paying taxes for this sad mess that is hurting our families in this comunity. Check out these candidates for change.
Elrawd maclearn,
http://learnwithmaclearn.com/
Brian Campbell
https://www.brian4schoolboard.com/
Monie De Wit
https://literacyahumanright.com/

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