Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

Leadbetter Beach in April (Photo by Baron Erik Spafford) title=
Leadbetter Beach in April (Photo by Baron Erik Spafford)
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Source: Santa Barbara County Public Health Department

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department announced plans for beach restrictions to occur over the Labor Day holiday weekend throughout Santa Barbara County beaches. All beaches will be temporarily closed for stationary activities. Only immediate access to and from the ocean for water sports or beach access for active physical activity will be permitted. Health Officer, Dr. Henning Ansorg, has issued a Health officer Order to outline the specific parameters of the restrictions. This Order is effective beginning on Friday, September 4, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and continuing until Monday, September 7, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

Disease transmission rates has been consistently improving in the last few weeks yet this metric still remains above the threshold outlined by the California Department of Public Health for being removed from the County Monitoring List.

The following restrictions apply for the duration of the Health Officer Order:

  • Sitting, lying, standing, sunbathing, sight-seeing, picnicking, and all other non-exercise, passive, or sedentary activities on beach parkways are prohibited.
  • Items for sitting or lying on the beach are prohibited for use of possession on beaches, such as umbrellas, shade structures, tents, barbeque grills, sand or beach toys, coolers and beach chairs.


 Full details regarding these restrictions can be found in the Health Officer Order.

“Reduced disease transmission is critical in the fight against COVID-19. We anticipate a high volume of visitors at our beaches during the Labor Day weekend, which will impede the practice of safe and necessary social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Santa Barbara County,” said Dr. Henning Ansorg. “Our community has remained diligent in their efforts and now is the time to protect all the positive outcomes we have accomplished.”

For more information about the COVID-19 response locally, visit

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Yeti Aug 26, 2020 07:37 PM
Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

PATHETIC example of poor leadership by our local government. Closing down our beaches is not a reasonable solution to the problem. ENFORCEMENT is the only solution that works.. They are taking away our access to our beaches that we pay taxes to support. But at the same time, we pay a lot of money to employ the police & sheriffs of this county BUT they refuse to enforce the rules. Instead of patrolling the beaches while educating and breaking up large groups, they block our access and force us to congregate elsewhere. What is so wrong with them actually enforcing the rules and opening up access to OUR Beaches? Unbelievably ignorant position on their part.

a-1598496241 Aug 26, 2020 07:44 PM
Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

Exactly YETI. The SB County recently refused to enforce the rules and now they're just shutting it all down. "Nah, we're not going to actually write tickets for spreading a virus, but we'll just close the whole beach down and then write tickets for violating a beach closure." It's unreal how poorly they're handling this.

a-1598506436 Aug 26, 2020 10:33 PM
Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

But to be fair, the three south county supes seemed to want to enforce; the two north county supes did not --- so there was no point in a vote; I think that's how it went. The north county supes have no beaches so they wouldn't care one way or another.

PitMix Aug 27, 2020 07:58 AM
Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

Cops don't like enforcing social behavior, especially since most of them are conservative-leaning and disagree with the mandates. They didn't sign up to be the mask police- they want to catch robbers and thugs. I can see their point.

yiannis93101 Aug 27, 2020 08:55 AM
Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

Let’s see, the last time I went to one of our beaches for a holiday was........15 years ago? Maybe. Who’d want to go into that mess anyway with so many people jamming in, having to walk miles to get a parking spot and schlepping your food. If you want sun, go sit in your backyard. If you want food, make a sandwich.

yiannis93101 Aug 27, 2020 08:57 AM
Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

Sounds like a great idea to me. If the locals are so stubborn as to STILL not wear a mask, oh well. And if the LA day trippers want to come and spread their germs, to hell with them, close it up!

sacjon Aug 27, 2020 10:55 AM
Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

420722 - How about you go protest the beach closures? Tell you what, you do that and I'll join you in protesting the school closures once our numbers are down, we're off the watch list and our schools are still closed. That is something I can stand with you on. The beaches? Makes sense. Loads of dumb tourists come up/down to SB to party and act like they're in someone else's town. We can do without all that. But schools, nope, not going to be OK with them being closed even when we have low numbers.

letmego Aug 27, 2020 11:02 AM
Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

I wonder a bit what the overlap in "OPEN OUR SCHOOLS" is with the friends I see having big parties on the beach or at their homes. No masks, no distancing, multiple families with kids just having a grand old time. At first, I thought "they have a pod". Well, when it gets to be 6+ families, that's not really a pod anymore.

sacjon Aug 27, 2020 11:20 AM
Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

LETMEGO - good point. Pod's are really just a way of feeling OK about letting your guard down. I doubt they're as secure as people pretend they are. One or 2 families is one thing if they all are committed to being safe and not expanding contact out of the pods. But, as I recently learned, just one innocuous interaction (even at a distance) can reach many many people. And yeah, those people having big parties are the same ones saying open the schools now, yet they are the very reason they're closed.

Schools should be closed until we can at least get off the watch list, at which point, they should be opening back up for the hybrid schedules they planned for all summer. I will not accept though, what I heard last night at the GUSD Board meeting. It was mentioned that even when we get our numbers down and off the state watch list (ie, we're allowed to re-open schools), switching back to even the hybrid model would be "too disruptive" academically and hard on the teachers/staff. That is unacceptable. NOTHING is more academically disruptive than this minimalist remote "learning" they're doing. Kids are suffering emotionally, and no doubt academically as well. When we are safe, we need to open the schools, this can't be denied.

letmego Aug 27, 2020 02:15 PM
Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

SACJON, I agree with you there. Get off the watch list first, then reopen with the hybrid model. Heck, I'd probably be willing to go the waiver route - if we can get the South Coast case rate below 100 (our case rate is lower than the county as a whole). I think it's odd that Goleta school board would say that switching to be hybrid is too disruptive. Can it be any more disruptive? I've heard that Goleta at least allows independent study. We don't have that in SB elementary (at least not where we are), and I think it would be more efficient than sitting next to my kid for 4 hours trying to make him pay attention. (All while trying to work.)

I can't imagine that is what most teachers want, either. Most of the ones I know really want to be back to some sort of in person school. The big problem with all school districts is likely to be the cost of regular testing. And the delay. Shouldn't we have this figured out already?

achoozz Aug 27, 2020 02:35 PM
Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

I was at East Beach on July 4th (actively partaking in the waves). Upon picking out a spot, a lifeguard came by to tell us that there was a shark sighting in the area, and that we needed to be actively moving and that rangers would be patrolling to give out tickets. About 20 minutes later, a large group came and set up a really big canopy. About 15 minutes after that, the ranger patrol came by, appeared to talk to them, and the canopy came down and they left. The ranger also appeared to have a chat with a few others who had chairs. I did see some people that were laying out that seemed to be allowed to remain. My guess is that warnings were given.

MountainMan4865 Aug 26, 2020 11:04 PM
Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

There you are. Thank you. Didn't want to have to cull through the whole book. Guess Thursday will be the beach day for me... not sure about Friday, sounds like that might be part of the arbitrary 'weekend'.

yacht rocked Aug 27, 2020 07:08 AM
Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

I see a booming raft-for-rent business in the making. Valets will transport your beach stuff to your own luxury floating raft. You'll find the lounge chairs, sunscreen, and mini-bar under your pagoda.

a-1598542291 Aug 27, 2020 08:31 AM
Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

I find this increasingly hard to stomach! The number one reason has to be the invasion from LA, very true. We want to defund police because people are "standing" after leaving the ocean--or moving?
When will this end? This seems about getting revenue--fines? Over 95% recover from COVID treatment now--and the MOST vulnerable are in nursing homes not running in and out of the Ocean, unable to sit, enjoy, play in safe ways. Young people as well have been social distancing with groups. This is now overcontrol at the worst levels. Thank God for North Co. Sups stopping insanity and more control. If you want 100% public health--- incarcerate us at home? This actually is more dangerous for seniors and kids. Love the idea of a floating pod. Let's do it. Will the common cold be treated like this cold virus now that there is all this power. We simply need badges that say --infected or disinfected. My grandkids hate school now too. Great. A bunch of dolts is what an authoritarian bunch of oligarchs with great pensions need. Note: This is not science.
Then add Sharks.

letmego Aug 27, 2020 10:59 AM
Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

Thank you for your willingness to allow my in-laws to die because they happen to be elderly. They are track to live another 20 years, like their parents. But I guess they are over 70, so screw em?

a-1598544467 Aug 27, 2020 09:07 AM
Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

How do you confirm someone is "spreading the virus"? Hypothetically - the equivalent of a thought crime; or using only facts and evidence. considering the paucity of numbers of "spreaders" out and about in this county. Due process turned upside down, everyone is now guilty of being a "secret spreader"; until proven innocent. No wonder this "covid" hyper-hysteria reaction at any price has been so unsettling.

haskelslocal Aug 27, 2020 11:01 AM
Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

Wondering. Is the US a first world in your mind? I know the terminology eludes us because there is suggestion that we've got third world countries etc. So I guess overall the west has it's first world entitlements. But couldn't you also very easily suggest the US has become a banana republic? And round and round she goes. It never stops and nobody knows... ouroboros style. So what should we do then? Should we live in a first world ideal but suggest we're not entitled to it? Relinquish our opinion about exaggerated first world issues? Or should we admit it is really first world, but because of so much plight on the earth, well then beach sitting just isn't a priority? I guess we need to put down the hammer then on all the products designed around beach sitting. Start with the retailer, Big 5 perhaps, and put them out of business for selling all that plastic beach-sitting-junk. Then all the sellers and manufacturers up stream and, well, you get the point. The good news is there will be less junk and trash and plastic in the oceans. Yea Turtles! Have I made my point yet that this just goes around and around and we can do this all day? Which reminds me. I recently switched to Maxwell House over some first-world priced yet third-world exotic coffee beans I was consuming. It turns out, I may have been had on the over priced Arabica as Maxwell is some pretty tasty stuff. As you can tell, it's effective for the caffeine chemical high as well the ability to foster run on thoughts and sentences. Now, you might think Maxwell is just some third-world corporate coffee, but, as it turns out, that's just a first world thought. Because you'll never believe who else liked this coffee. According to the writer Warren Zanes, Tom Petty was a coffee fanatic! And because I love Tom Petty I enjoy the fact that he really appreciated drinking a tasty bean. And what exotic brand did Tommy use? Maxwell House! So in his the honor of TP, I'll just sit here in my Maxwell House, caffeine-induced intoxication while enjoying my first world liberties of inhaling Wildflowers as I ponder how It's Good to Be King.

Babycakes Aug 27, 2020 10:49 AM
Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

Here's an interesting snip from the Associated Press today: "Virus or no virus, European authorities are determined to put children back into classrooms, to narrow the learning gaps between haves and have-nots that deepened during lockdowns — and to get their parents back to work."

PitMix Aug 27, 2020 11:34 AM
Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

Basically you are seeing the effects of our ever decreasing attention span. Biologically, we are not wired to respond to a 6 month long emergency. The fight or flight response we had in March is long gone, and unless you see a bunch of people dying, most people are going to start living their lives again. Hopefully the people that are most at risk can force themselves to keep isolating, because the rest of us aren't really helping them out at this point.

Mtn.driver Aug 27, 2020 01:34 PM
Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

Looking on the bright side here, maybe most will only read the headline saying county beaches are 'closed' and not delve further to realize that you can still park at the beach, walk on the beach, swim, float, kayak, surf, etc. in the ocean, and consider this a tourist-less holiday set aside for the locals. I might actually go to the beach during the Labor Day weekend, don't think I've ever done that before.

a-1598562024 Aug 27, 2020 02:00 PM
Beaches Officially Closed Countywide for Labor Day Weekend

There is no private beach at the Miramar. They own a section of property to the mean high tide line, just like any other coastal property owner. This is their outdoor open space. The public owns the rest of this area down to the ocean. No privilege, no changes. Nothing special. Why did you ask?.


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