Indoor Face Mask Requirement Extended to January

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Indoor Face Mask Requirement Extended to January
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Source: Santa Barbara County Public Health Department

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has extended the Health Officer Order which requires the use of masks in indoor public settings.  This order requires all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear face coverings when indoors in public settings, with limited exceptions. This Order 2021-10.7 is effective at    5 p.m., on December 3, 2021 and continuing until 5 p.m., on January 2, 2022 or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended.

As of December 1, 2021, the COVID-19 community transmission level is categorized as “Substantial” in California and Santa Barbara County by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). As of November 26, 2021, the County has a case rate of 7.0 per 100,000 and a test positivity of 4.0%. The CDC continues to recommend fully vaccinated individuals wear a face covering in public indoor settings in areas with Substantial or High community transmission rates.

An update to the previous framework has been outlined by local health officials to consider rescinding the indoor mask mandate. The county case rate should be 7.0 cases per 100,000 people or lower for three consecutive weeks. In addition to this, hospitalizations should be low and stable for at least 3 days. Local health officials will consider these metrics, along with any other relevant factors, including the spread of new variants.

“As we head into the winter season once again, we are in a very different place than we were last year,” shared Dr. Henning Ansorg, County Health Officer. “We have vaccines available for everyone 5+ years of age and boosters for those who were vaccinated earlier this year.  We know very well that wearing a face covering while indoors is an effective strategy to reduce transmission in the community. We have yet to see the full role the Omicron variant will play in this pandemic, but we have well established surveillance and prevention strategies in place.”

Additionally, this Health Officer Order aligns with State guidance for students in grades K-12 actively participating in school-based extracurricular activities, such as sports and band. Students may participate in indoor activities without a face covering, if regular testing is conducted. Details are outlined in the full Health Officer Order.

This Health Officer Order is consistent with the guidance from the CDC as well as the California Department of Public Health, which recommend that fully vaccinated people wear masks while in indoor public settings.  The full Health Officer Order can be read here:

Visit to learn where you can find a vaccination site near you or call 2-1-1.

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a-1638699517 Dec 05, 2021 02:18 AM
Indoor Face Mask Requirement Extended to January

Vaccine mandates discussed. Note how right-wing parties worldwide are taking advantage of vaccine ignorance.

EastBeach Dec 04, 2021 03:51 PM
Indoor Face Mask Requirement Extended to January

i routinely read research papers as part of my job (though not in medicine) and want to point out that VOR's linked paper ( needs to be interpreted with a huge chunk of salt by the casual reader. Firstly, it is a working paper - this means it has not been peer reviewed and is intended to be passed around to fellow researchers for discussion/correction/amendment. It represents work in progress. Academics sometimes use working papers to ask for help. There could be errors in the working paper - but a casual reader wouldn't know. Secondly, the authors state they are interpreting the data they've collected in an "Intent to Treat" framework. This means that if a patient is not willing to cooperate or doesn't participate in the treatment, they count that patient as a treatment failure. For example, if a local county health department enacts a mask policy ... but the Governor or Steve Bannon or some other influencer convinces people not to comply, that is statistically considered a failure. Papers like this are fodder for disinformation sites.

EastBeach Dec 04, 2021 03:59 PM
Indoor Face Mask Requirement Extended to January

Also want to point out that there are many caveats/complexities mentioned in the paper and the authors do the right thing by identifying them. One example is how they count deaths.

Voice of Reason Dec 05, 2021 10:54 AM
Indoor Face Mask Requirement Extended to January

You’re right East Beach, it is similar to the many other papers and articles that have been used to guide governmental policy throughout the pandemic.

EastBeach Dec 05, 2021 03:28 PM
Indoor Face Mask Requirement Extended to January

What's really "bad" is VOR's use of that non-peer reviewed working paper to bolster his position that mask mandate policies are ineffective. It does not. Note this particular paper looks only at correlation but not causation and the authors point out the difficulties in doing the latter. So if there were external factors that affected the number of deaths while a mask mandate was in place (e.g. political obstacles, media effects, lack of health care or medical resources, where you are on the infection rate curve, etc.) they didn't consider them. The average Edhat reader probably doesn't care about nuances like this but they matter. I think the big takeaway is you really have to be careful when someone links to papers like these because their interpretation may be wrong (intentionally or not) and can easily be cherry-picked in an out-of-context manner.

a-1638756703 Dec 05, 2021 06:11 PM
Indoor Face Mask Requirement Extended to January

3:52 - Really?? Are you that blind to facts? Anyone, at this point, who thinks masking does not provide a clear benefit, has not been paying attention or is willfully ignorant.

As the one making a ridiculous claim, it's up to you to provide peer-reviewed evidence. You won't find any, of course.

a-1638759708 Dec 05, 2021 07:01 PM
Indoor Face Mask Requirement Extended to January

Face masks are effective at limiting the spread of respiratory viruses:

Masking and shutdowns are significantly helpful. A lot of freedumbers misconstrue the results of studies showing a percentage reduction in infection rates as being a percentage reduction in total cases, and erroneously conclude that they are not very helpful. They must not have paid attention beyond grade school math. This is from way back in March, but is still circulating in the social media disinfoverse:

To quote the relevant part:
How Growth Rate Finding Was Distorted
On March 6, Fox News’ Laura Ingraham tweeted that the study found mask mandates and restaurant restrictions “have a small impact” on COVID-19 cases and deaths. Later that day, an unreliable Twitter account called Breaking911 created a tweet thread about the new study, falsely claiming that it found “mask mandates lower COVID cases by around 1.5% over a two month period.” But as we already explained, the study is not showing a decrease in the number of cases and deaths but a decrease in the growth rate of the daily cases and deaths. “Because the growth rate is exponential,” the impact compounds, José Luis Jiménez, an analytical and atmospheric chemist at the University of Colorado Boulder who was not involved in the study, told us. “So, it’s kind of like your mortgage — you change your interest a little bit, and then you save a ton of money. Because the cases compound.”
And even if you flunk the math and conclude that nonpharmaceutical interventions like masking and shutdowns only reduce the number of cases by 1.5%, that would still amount to about 740,000 fewer cases in the USA alone. Those lives damaged and ended don't mean much to the FUDnuts.

GeneralTree Dec 05, 2021 11:31 AM
Indoor Face Mask Requirement Extended to January

People who live in counties that voted heavily for then-President Donald Trump are more likely to die of Covid-19 than people who live in counties that voted heavily for President Joe Biden, according to a new report.

A review of Covid-19 data by NPR found that people "living in counties that went 60% or higher for Trump in November 2020 had 2.7 times the death rates of those that went for Biden"

ChillinGrillin Dec 10, 2021 08:19 AM
Indoor Face Mask Requirement Extended to January

There was a perceptible shift in tone when Covid started really impacting the south and Midwest. The game show host and his sycophants started pumping the brakes on the crazy, even getting booed while telling rallies to get vaccinated. Too late, too little.

sacjon Dec 10, 2021 09:17 AM
Indoor Face Mask Requirement Extended to January

GENERALTREE - I saw that study as well. It's sad to see people die needlessly, but then again, these are the same people who are fighting (physically sometimes) so they don't need to wear a mask or get vaxxed. Darwin.

PitMix Dec 06, 2021 07:28 AM
Indoor Face Mask Requirement Extended to January

Can't find any data that doctors are not treating unvaccinated patients. I think this would be a reasonable approach to the situation as the unvaxxed that get sick with covid are making it impossible for the vaxxed to get required medical care and putting an impossible burden on ICU staff.

a-1639211732 Dec 11, 2021 12:35 AM
Indoor Face Mask Requirement Extended to January

I feel that way -- in my negative fantasies or daymares!

It's like drug addiction. We liberals believe in trying treatment. I cannot say Covid /vaccine deniers do not also deserve treatment.

Though I like to think about it, to be honest.

Andrea Smith Dec 10, 2021 09:26 AM
Indoor Face Mask Requirement Extended to January

I'm fully vaxxed and boosted as of this week, and always felt masks were important until we could get things in a better direction but, given almost 70% of people are vaxxed here, and given some of these comments and this ongoing panic/fear, it makes me wonder now if these vaccines even work. If they did we wouldn't need masking b/c even if you get it and are vaxxed you should only get a mild case and omicron is mild already as it is. Makes me wonder now.

sacjon Dec 10, 2021 09:49 AM
Indoor Face Mask Requirement Extended to January

ANDREA SMITH - Of course the vax works, it's been proven to be effective and decreasing the risk of infection and severity of symptoms. Thing is, some people with diseases or that are immunocompromised can still die from it, even if vaxxed, although it's a lower risk. So, to help everyone out, not just ourselves ('tis the season anyway), we wear masks in close spaces to help lower the risk even more. If me wearing a lightweight piece of fabric over my mouth in a grocery store will even help save 1 person's life, it's worth it to me.

a-1639158615 Dec 10, 2021 09:50 AM
Indoor Face Mask Requirement Extended to January

Especially so with the Pfizer CEO saying a 4th shot might now be needed sooner: "Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla previously said a fourth dose could be needed one year after the third shot. He told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday that “we may need it faster.”" Big pharma clearly sees the profitability in the subscription model. They don't care about your health, spend hundreds of millions on lobbyists, have a history of fraudulent activities and withholding data (in addition to Pfizer's claim to the largest health care fraud settlement in history just a decade ago), all they care about is profits!

sacjon Dec 10, 2021 09:55 AM
Indoor Face Mask Requirement Extended to January

9:50 - Most vaccines require boosters. No big conspiracy here. And so what if they make a profit? Should they not be paid? What happened to all you free market capitalists lately?

sacjon Dec 10, 2021 10:29 AM
Indoor Face Mask Requirement Extended to January

VOICE - I mean in general, you people are all about bootstraps, personal responsibility and profits (capitalism), yet when it comes to covid, you cry when you have to face the consequences of your own choices and cry even more when drug companies make any money of a life saving vaccine.

letmego Dec 10, 2021 11:15 AM
Indoor Face Mask Requirement Extended to January

It's not either/ or. Vaccines reduce the spread and the severity, but don't eliminate it. Masks reduce the spread also. Of course, being outside vs inside is also better, and paying attention to the case rates matters. So, it's probably safer to be indoors in a grocery store unmasked in a place with low spread than it is to be indoors unmasked with only 3 other people in a place with a lot of spread. There are a bunch of factors at play.


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