Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

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Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County
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Source: Santa Barbara County Public Health Department

The County of Santa Barbara Recommends Masking Indoors for Everyone, as a Precaution Against Increased Circulation of COVID-19.  As of July 16, Santa Barbara's reported daily case rate is now 3.6 per 100,000 and rising. With cases of COVID-19 rising locally and increased circulation of the highly transmissible Delta variant, the County of Santa Barbara recommends that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors in public places as an extra precautionary measure for those who are fully vaccinated, and to ensure easy verification that all unvaccinated people are masked in those settings.

As of July, the Delta variants comprised 50 percent of all specimens sequenced in California, and continues to rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that Delta variants are now responsible for 58 percent of new infections across the country.

Fully vaccinated people are well-protected from infections and serious illness due to known COVID-19 variants including Delta variants, and vaccinating as many people as possible, as soon as possible, continues to be our best defense against severe COVID-19 infection, and the harm it can do to our region. Vaccines are safe, effective, free, and widely available to everyone 12 and older.

Out of an abundance of caution, people are recommended to wear masks indoors in settings like grocery or retail stores, theaters, and family entertainment centers, even if they are fully vaccinated as an added layer of protection for unvaccinated residents. Businesses are urged to adopt universal masking requirements for customers entering indoor areas of their businesses to provide better protection to their employees and customers. Workplaces must comply with Cal/OSHA requirements and fully vaccinated employees are encouraged to wear masks indoors if their employer has not confirmed the vaccination status of those around them.

“It remains critically important that we continue to practice safety guidelines such as staying home if feeling ill, wear a mask in public indoor settings, avoid crowded events, and practice good hand hygiene,” said Dr. Henning Ansorg, County Health Officer. For masks to work properly, they need to completely cover your nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of your face and around your nose.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department will revisit this recommendation in the coming weeks as they continue to monitor transmission rates, hospitalizations, deaths, and increasing vaccination rates throughout the region. Santa Barbara data can be monitored here.

“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.”

People are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. People with only one vaccine dose of Pfizer or Moderna not fully protected. Completion of the vaccine series is necessary to provide full protection.

Visit our website to learn where you can find a vaccination site near you or call 2-1-1. If you missed your second dose, please find a vaccination clinic near you.

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dukemunson Jul 23, 2021 05:02 PM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

I certainly do like hypothetical ideas on this very comment board… just not this one! Please don’t let that stop anyone from coming up with ideas…and please do enjoy your weekend sac…I’m sure we’ll be back at it on here on the next thing Monday (or sooner!!)… cheers!

dukemunson Jul 23, 2021 03:57 PM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

OAITW - Well I of all people can appreciate that (not viewing the world exclusively through a right/left political lens)! A question, how far do you take it though? We have a lot of safety nets for people who have made a free choice...should we eliminate those? I'm genuinely curious... are you singularly applying this to COVID, or is this a world view for many/most things?

sacjon Jul 23, 2021 03:57 PM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

DUKE - No. The "far left" isn't suggesting we charge anti-vaxxers for treatment or don't treat them at all. Also, trying to help the mentally ill and addicts, even if they "refuse help" (due to addiction or mental illness) is different. Homeless people aren't spreading a deadly disease across the country by choice. Differences.....

OAITW Jul 23, 2021 03:47 PM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

Duke, I try not to view the world through the lens of right/left politics. If you think of freedom as one side of a coin, the other side is personal responsibility. You can’t have one without the other. I don’t think anyone has been forced to get vaccinated. So if you make the the free choice not to be vaccinated, you should shoulder the responsibility for your medical care yourself.

dukemunson Jul 23, 2021 01:04 PM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

OAITW - That's a very VERY far right thought. As someone who is pretty much dead center of the politcal divide, I find it way too far to the right for me. I appreciate that there are some socialistic programs and ideas within our government...we all benefit from them. I'm worried some go too far (latest homeless initiatives), but the safety net benefits us all and that's something Republicans don't always appreciate. But tell me more...how far do we take and implement personal accountability?

dukemunson Jul 23, 2021 01:01 PM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

Sac - And it's funny how the far left who are bending over backwards to provide anything/everything for the drug addled homeless that are to this point refusing help are all of a sudden about consequences. Humorous hypocrisy on all sides...no?

sacjon Jul 23, 2021 12:48 PM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

OAITW - Great idea! It's funny how most of these anti-vaxxers are also the same people who scream and holler for "personal accountability" on all other topics, except this one. If you refuse to get vaxxed and refuse to wear a mask, you made choices that have consequences. Time to pull up those boot straps they're always bragging about and accept the consequences of their actions!

Basicinfo805 Jul 22, 2021 06:28 PM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

There are people on both sides of the aisle - left wingers and right wingers - that won’t get vaccinated. It’s not a right winger problem like some above are suggesting. It’s called survival of the fittest now. And the unfortunate thing is those of us who’ve done the right thing and gotten a shot will STILL keep having to sacrifice for those who don’t get it. Get ready, I bet the school districts and teachers are looking for a way to stay remote this fall, and beyond - #scaredsociety=goingdownthetubes

I hope smarter heads will prevail, but so far this deal has been an absolute disaster for families, kids, and businesses locally.

gcheadley Jul 22, 2021 06:16 PM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

"One of the last things they do before they're intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I'm sorry, but it's too late," Dr. Brytney Cobia of Grandview Medical Center in Alabama wrote in a Facebook post Sunday.

ZeroHawk Jul 22, 2021 10:31 AM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

wow...this is a lot of drama and words that i won't be reading, but i will add this....GET VAXED and stop making up excuses. Get vaxed to protect your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and yourself. Stop the drama and conspiracies....and unless you posses a valid and current medical license, stop pretending like you know better than those that do posses a license and listen to them, listen to the facts.
This isn't something to joke around about folks. Not at all. Why are we here again? Because a lot of you didn't get vaxed and i have heard some REALLY stupid reasons too. Also those that shun the mask mandate, soon, and i mean VERY soon, you won't have a choice and you have pushed us back into a corner where we all have to mask up again. Many businesses downtown where i work, are putting up signs again for masks to enter. We had a couple from OC yesterday try to argue with us about it. Bottom line, they had a choice, come in with a mask, or stay outside without a mask. Pretty simple. I mask up even though i'm vaxed, when i go into most stores. Why? Because a lot of our city is still unvaxed. Weird and sad at the same time.

sacjon Jul 22, 2021 10:43 AM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

ZERO - Thank you for being a responsible member of the community. It's so sad to see all the nitpicking and arguing over this. Get vaxxed, wear a mask indoors if needed and live your life. People spend so much damn timing crying about this and complaining and "researching" (ie, watching YouTube) about making this tiny little effort to keep themselves and their families and neighbors safe. It's just stupid now. GO OUT AND LIVE!

Channelfog Jul 22, 2021 04:38 AM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

The growing rate of infection among the vaccinated makes masking a prudent practice. The lies on the internet and in the media are extreme on both sides of this issue. As stated, time will tell all about the vaccines, but folks don't want to be patient. It is natural to long for the old normal and to be distressed that it may never return. Be careful and kind in the meantime, we'll et through this eventually.

dukemunson Jul 23, 2021 01:23 PM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

Marcel - We finally agree on something...hooray! An ID to vote is absolutely obvious and fundamental and not a political issue at all. Weird/odd that anyone thinks it is. Glad to find common ground mate...only took 317 different threads in which we wildly disagreed on everything! Baby steps!

MarcelK Jul 23, 2021 01:20 PM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

"through additional burdens of ID"

ID requirements are actually the least onerous of the laws that these anti-democratic authoritarian thugs are passing in order to keep themselves in power despite lacking support from a majority of the electorate--laws dishonestly rationalized on the basis of the Big Lie of voter fraud (there were a tiny number of cases ... of Republicans double-voting for Trump) and lack of "election integrity" in the most scrutinized and integral election ever.

Alexblue Jul 23, 2021 11:32 AM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

DukeMunson, there is a clear and present danger to our nation from Covid-19. Millions and millions of people have been massively impacted.

There is close to zero cases of voter fraud in any given election in this country. You want to solve a problem that has been proven over and over not to exist, even by radical right wing Republicans reporting to former President Donald Trump.

It's beyond obvious that people advocating for limiting access to voting through additional burdens of ID have no really interest in voter fraud, but rather in restricting people's ability to vote who may not vote for their chosen candidates.

sacjon Jul 22, 2021 04:48 PM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

LOOSE - I like your way of thinking, but I have a feeling a certain type of people (cough cough ??) will be kicking and screaming all the way to the courthouse (or gun shop) if they're forced to show anyone evidence of anything.

Just a note also - is the CDC time traveling? I thought it was 7/22 lol!

LooseCannon Jul 22, 2021 04:30 PM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

The CDC reaffirmed today, 7/27/2021, that it is completely unnecessary for vaccinated people to wear masks especially in areas, like ours, where there is a high rate of vaccination.

I am in favor of a vaccine mandate. No mask mandate.

The City of Santa Barbara should follow San Francisco and Pasadena, and demand that its employees get vaccinated, or submit to intrusive and persistent testing. Preferably the cost of those tests would be deducted from their paychecks.

Local Santa Barbara businesses, instead of thinking about re-imposing a mask mandate, should consider requiring customers and patrons to show evidence of vaccination before entry.

Vaccination is how we beat the virus, not masks or hygiene theater.

ginger1 Jul 21, 2021 12:46 PM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

All this chatter about science. Try to understand this: from the CDC dataset as of Monday.

The reality of "breakthrough" infections. First, acknowledge that not every shot in arm yields the same level of immunity, so the vaccines are not 100% guarantee of never getting infected. But pretty damn close. Understand that a positive PCR test DOES NOT define infection and without infection there *is no transmission/spread of disease*. It defines the finding of even one fragment of virus RNA. Could get into your nose but it isn't getting out and infecting anyone. The media reports are a misrepresentation of the issue. What else is new?

The real-life vaccine effectiveness against *transmissible moderate to severe infection* is 99.77% Against death, 99.995% Even if you factor in "undercount" and leave in the population with pre-existing conditions, the number is still well above 90%. Again, this is from published data at CDC.

Is that not good enough? The mRNA vaccines are, in fact, the most effective vaccines ever produced.

If you're interested, here are the raw numbers that yielded the above conclusion: As of Monday, a total of 791 vaccinated people died with covid, 100% of them with pre-existing conditions included "a substantial number" who were immune compromised as a result of their pre-existing condition or treatment for that condition. That's out of 159 vaccination. That number represents .0005% of the vaccinated population. Not even a drop in the pool.

There are a total of 3,733 clearly identified infected vaccinated hospitalized with moderate to severe infection. That number represents .0023% of the vaccinated population.

There are a total of 34 million infected Americans, which represents 19.6% of the unvaccinated population, or *ten thousand times that of the vaccinated population.*

There are a total of 609,000 USA fatalities, .35% of the unvaccinated population, or roughly* ten thousand times that of the vaccinated population.*

So one could state that the vaccines are ten thousand times safer than any possible mitigation for covid. But what the heck. I'm good with 99.7%.

sacjon Jul 21, 2021 11:39 AM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

What's all the arguing about? Vaxxed or not, make the tiny effort to protect those around you and put on a mask indoors. Stop making this a bigger issue than it needs to be. If the "science" is wrong and masks are useless, so what? What have you lost by wearing a mask indoors? And no.... don't try "slippery sloping," that's fallacious.

GeneralTree Jul 21, 2021 11:08 AM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

"I'm admitting young healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID," Dr. Brytney Cobia wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday. "One of the last things they do before they're intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I'm sorry, but it's too late.

"A few days later when I call time of death, I hug their family members and I tell them the best way to honor their loved one is to go get vaccinated and encourage everyone they know to do the same," Cobia added. "They cry. And they tell me they didn't know. They thought it was a hoax. They thought it was political. They thought because they had a certain blood type or a certain skin color they wouldn't get as sick. They thought it was 'just the flu'. But they were wrong. And they wish they could go back. But they can't. So they thank me and they go get the vaccine. And I go back to my office, write their death note, and say a small prayer that this loss will save more lives."

Cobia said all but one of her current patients did not receive the vaccine, with the one who received it expected to recover.

Bene Jul 20, 2021 09:27 PM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

I am going to attempt to say this again in another way. First off, all public health efforts to increase vaccination and educate people are admirable. It is even probably helpful to do some degree of shaming of anti-vaxxers and restrict their access to certain things. But since there are some unvaccinated with true medical reasons to be so, there is no call for a couple of the extreme, over the top, and hateful comments I read on this topic. One person was even calling for them to lose their homes and bank accounts. That is what I was responding to in my removed comment, nothing more. What I said simply corresponds with basic practice of law: Be careful of setting precedents. Even if the first action was good and just, be careful it does not set up a system where it could be mis-used in future by the unscrupulous. I realize that my mention of my Jewish relatives might have, upon first glance, lumped my comment in with others that had an entirely different meaning. But I can assure you, my intent in mentioning that was that for some of us, wearing symbols triggers deep, generational PTSD. We have the right to ask that sensitivity to these symbols be respected. There are myriad other ways to prove vaccination. How about simply take your card out of your purse/wallet and show it? No need to have it pinned on you.

SBSand Jul 20, 2021 04:10 PM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

I never stopped masking up, even though fully vaccinated. It is scary how many people are in crowded places without them, after so long of them being required. I am looking forward to covid being behind us but we are not yet there. Masking up to protect my fully vaccinated self from covid because vaccination won't prevent you from getting and spreading covid, it is just supposed to reduce the chances of getting seriously ill or dying from covid.

PitMix Jul 21, 2021 04:10 PM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

VOR, you are an unbelievable nitpicker. I would just be glad I reduced my viral load. If I wanted to reduce it 100% I would walk around in a space suit, but that is hardly practical for everyday living. You seem like an all or nothing person. It must be very hard to live in this world.

Voice of Reason Jul 21, 2021 12:59 PM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

Pit, let's follow through with that. You're wearing a mask and a virus laden water/aerosol droplet hits it, the mask saved you! Well, did you immediately take the mask off, wash your hands, throw it away, and replace it with a new one? How long do you think that droplet will last before evaporating, leaving the virus behind on the mask, with holes way to big to stop a virus particle, that you are now breathing through the rest of the day.
You did provide a great example of why I've been distancing from Edhat, you jump to name calling and politics when anyone has a different opinion.

PitMix Jul 21, 2021 12:02 PM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

VOR, does it make any sense to you that limiting your intake of aerosol droplets of the corona-virus might be beneficial? It makes sense to me, but sense doesn't seem to be very common.

Why do neocons insist on rigorous double blind studies on topics they oppose, but are willing to support crazy stuff by nutcases and charlatans, like the QAnon quackery?

Voice of Reason Jul 21, 2021 09:50 AM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

Did you even read the article Pit? The masks protecting the wearer is purely conjecture by the writer, with many variables like mask material and how well proper PPE protocol is followed (i.e. how tight fighting, never touching it or taking it off). "Without more research, we can't be certain that masks protect the wearer." At this point, if there was a benefit there would be clear and readily available data, but there isn't. And we are way beyond doing things merely out of an overabundance of caution.

PitMix Jul 21, 2021 09:25 AM
Public Health Recommends Masks Indoors in Santa Barbara County

VOR back to spread misinformation. Make sure Sac knows you are back, he really missed you.
"Based on an analysis of existing information, a new study contends that masks may also protect mask wearers from becoming infected themselves.

Different masks, writes the study author, block viral particles to varying degrees. If masks lead to lower "doses" of virus being inhaled, then fewer people may become infected, and those who do may have milder illness."
https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/preventing-the-spread-of-the-coronavirus#:~:text=We%27ve%20known%20for,%22maskless%22%20hamsters.

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