June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

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By Dr. Henning Ansorg, M.D., FACP, Health Officer County of Santa Barbara, Department of Public Health and Van Do-Reynoso, MPH, PhD, Director, Public Health Department, Santa Barbara County

It would be wonderful if the worldwide coronavirus pandemic were truly over, but the fact is, June 15 marks the beginning of our return to normalcy in California, not the end of the Pandemic. 

June 15, 2021, marks the State of California’s reopening, at which time the state will discontinue the use of the Blueprint colored tier structure that helped the state manage COVID-19 in our counties over the past year.

California is enjoying the lowest COVID-19 case rate of any US state, and hospitalizations are near record lows, but the virus can still infect persons without immunity and lead to severe illness.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is encouraging all eligible residents to get vaccinated and to adhere to masking where it is still required. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a new masking guidance to go into effect on June 15 here.

 The new guidelines align with recommendations by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stating that fully vaccinated people do not have to wear face-coverings or distance in almost all situations.

Under the state’s updated guidelines, vaccinated residents can safely choose to shed their masks except in select circumstances which include public transportation, indoors at schools and child-care facilities, health care and long-term care facilities, correctional facilities and homeless shelters.

Those who are not yet vaccinated will need to continue wearing masks at indoor public settings, including retail stores, government offices, and movie theaters.

After June 15 in California:

  • No more physical distancing requirements for attendees, customers, and guests at almost all businesses and other institutions (except public transportation, health care settings, correctional institutions, and homeless and emergency shelters).
  • No more occupancy capacity limitations for indoor businesses.
  • Restrictions at restaurants, open bars, and buffets will go away.
  • Organizers of indoor events with more than 5,000 people, such as a basketball games etc., will be required to either verify that attendees are fully vaccinated or have tested negative within 72 hours of the event’s start time or they can choose to have everyone wear a mask.
  • Organizers of large outdoor events with more than 10,000 attendees should follow the new masking guidance.
  • The requirement/recommendation for testing and vaccine verification will remain in effect through Oct. 1, though state officials will assess conditions prior to that to determine how, or whether, to update or extend that guidance.
  • California’s travel advisory will be retired. We urge everyone to follow CDC travel advisories.


The removal of the Blueprint tiers on June 15 will  happen with the emergency proclamation still in place. The emergency proclamation will remain in place for the time being as it gives California the needed administrative flexibility to respond to the crisis and ensures counties will be supported in their response to the pandemic. It allows for facilitation with FEMA on programs like vaccinations and testing. 

While we are ready to reopen safely, COVID remains a risk and leaving the emergency order in place allows us to move quickly if the situation changes.

We want to take this opportunity to thank our amazing community for their diligence throughout the pandemic.  We will continue to provide information and monitor data relevant to the pandemic at: publichealthsbc.org. Please stay safe Santa Barbara County!


Santa Barbara County Businesses Reopen While Public Advised to Remain Vigilant

Source: Santa Barbara County Public Health 

Beginning Tuesday, June 15, California will begin to fully reopen. Santa Barbara County will no longer have restrictions on occupancy or social distancing in any business. Santa Barbara County will not be issuing a new Health Officer Order, but will be deferring to the State’s Public Health Officer Order.  The current county Health Officer Order will expire at 11:59 p.m. tonight, June 14. Masks will no longer be required in most settings for fully vaccinated persons. While masks are no longer required outdoors, they are still required for everyone at mega events, work locations, public transportation, and some other settings.  Businesses may still choose to require masks to be worn by patrons. For this reason, Santa Barbara county residents should always have a mask available. The State’s guidance for masks can be found here.

Although Santa Barbara County does not have venues which would hold a capacity to be considered a mega event, it is likely that residents will travel out of county for such events. A mega event includes 5,000 or more people indoors or 10,000 or more people outdoors.  Because mega events are high risk for spreading COVID-19, indoor event attendees will be required to confirm proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 status. Outdoor mega events are recommended to follow this practice.  Masks must also be worn at both indoor and outdoor mega events.

Van Do-Reynoso, Director for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department states, “June 15 does not mark an end to the pandemic, but rather the beginning of a return to normalcy. I am proud of all our community has done to get us safely to this point. Please remember to stay home if you are sick, continue excellent hand hygiene, and get vaccinated as soon as you can.”

More information on what to expect on June 15 and beyond can be found at https://publichealthsbc.org/june-15th-beyond/

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dukemunson Jun 17, 2021 12:20 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

As per the CDC, COVID is easier to spread than the FLU. Considering how many people in the US have had COVID (the CDC was estimating it at 114 million a month ago) and how few kids have died from COVID (less than the flu in a typical year) there is no "might be true" at all...it's definitive. Closing schools made everything worse...and your perpetual argument for school/business closures over the last 16 months was wrong...no "might" about it...against science and logic.


sb93105 Jun 18, 2021 11:32 AM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

Cracked a code? what are you talking about-
I traveled to China during SARS- we did not wear a mask nor were we asked to- most countries that wear masks do so for poor air quality - or at airports not walking their dog outside or while surfing...

Shasta Guy Jun 17, 2021 10:12 AM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

With very few exceptions, there are no indoor mask restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals. Below is the text from the California Department of Public Health mentioned in the link above. Walk indoors without a mask, you're not doing anything wrong. Don't be shamed or bullied by fearful people. With the vaccine, masks are obsolete. Businesses that have not updated their signage yet are probably unaware of the status change.

All Californians

Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings - Effective June 15, 2021

Guidance for Individuals
Masks are not required for fully vaccinated individuals, except in the following settings where masks are required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status:

On public transit[1] (examples: airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares) and in transportation hubs (examples: airport, bus terminal, marina, train station, seaport or other port, subway station, or any other area that provides transportation)

Indoors in K-12 schools[2], childcare[3] and other youth settings.

Note: This may change as updated K-12 schools guidance is forthcoming, pending updates for K-12 operational guidance from the CDC.

Healthcare settings[4] (including long term care facilities[5])

State and local correctional facilities and detention centers[6]

Homeless shelters[7], emergency shelters[8] and cooling centers[9]

Additionally, masks are required** for unvaccinated individuals in indoor public settings and businesses (examples: retail, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, meetings, state and local government offices serving the public).

Shasta Guy Jun 17, 2021 01:38 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

It looks like we'll know by the end of the day if the CAL OSHA mask mandate for fully vaccinated workers is rescinded. My company is going to stop temperature screening on Monday.


Shasta Guy Jun 17, 2021 02:46 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

Worker Mask Mandate in California just ended.


Voice of Reason Jun 18, 2021 02:09 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

Hopefully some remember discussing the oversensitivity of high cycle (40+) PCR tests revealing positive results when there wasn't an active infection in the individual. Of course I was called covidiot, science denier, covid hoaxer, etc..... well here we have an article in the Journal of Infection that confirms "Only 40.6% of positive tests showed Ct [cycle] values below the threshold of 25, indicating a likelihood of the person being infectious". This was known to many, and earlier this year the CDC directed directed testing labs that a lower cycle should be used to determine positive cases and now won't count vaccine "breakthrough" cases with a Ct value above 28.

Imagine how different things would have been the past year if all the "positive cases" the media and public health reported were actually 60% lower? If they reported just the people that died from Covid vs. with Covid? We were lied to and manipulated and many here have to much trust in our politicians and media to see it. Question everything!




sb93105 Jun 18, 2021 06:25 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

yes a friend of mine, her company makes the tests kits she said something about the tests being "too sensitive" early on- also she said we can not get a death toll during a pandemic, but now the information is so mixed we might not ever have a clear death toll number.

a-1624139347 Jun 19, 2021 02:49 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

2:09 PM is of course trotting out his favorite old falsehoods about covid and PCR testing, and 6:25 is happily supplying an anecdote with no proof.



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