June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

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/


Written by Anonymous

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  1. VOICE – how on earth is that “misinformation?” It’s stating what many parents do. My kids are too young for the vax and one has severe asthma. I will be having him wear a mask any time he’s indoors with other kids outside his circle. That’s a preference and health based decision, not “misinformation.” Gads, you’re so hateful you’d “report” parents trying to keep their kids safe?

  2. Saying a parent doesn’t care about their kid being healthy if they don’t f put a mask on them is complete BS and misinformation! I bet you let your kids ride bikes and travel in a vehicle right (even with seatbelts and helmets)? Well, that is more dangerous to them than Covid. So is the flu for that matter, you going to make them wear masks every flu season now? Even with a flu shot you could still catch the flu so out of an abundance of caution why not mask up every year? It’s that kind of “we’re not 100% sure so out of an extreme super duper abundance of caution….” thinking that kept CA schools closed as long as they were (which you were supposedly against yet you’re still mirroring the thinking that kept them closed).

  3. I was not arguing that parents and families can’t make informed choices that serves them best. I believe we are all capable of locating and reading current research. Whether we do or just accept what is told to us is a whole other thing. I was asking if the State is mandating all children wear masks. Voice – I understand your point, BUT, I think targeting people who are frightened for their family is not the way to get it across. Sac – there’s a lot of studies that have been done regarding the relationship between asthma and covid. There’s good news – https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20210224/covid-no-more-deadly-for-people-with-asthma And no, I’m not trying to convince you of anything. There’s just a lot of info out there – but you have to look for it.

  4. 543pm – SO TRUE!!! A certain number of COVIDiots are lifers with their masks… indoors, outdoors, driving, jogging, etc.. they still think the fatality rate is 5% and you need to hose down your Amazon packages with a bleach mixture.

  5. Compared To Those Who Have Received A COVID-19 Vaccine, Unvaccinated Adults Are Younger, Less Educated, More Likely To Be Republicans, People Of Color, And Uninsured. States with larger Trump vote shares are likely to have more adults who are vaccine hesitant …

  6. I’m looking at the LA times online right now and the headline is ”
    California reopens to joy, celebrations: ‘It’s one of the best days of my life’” In fact – all of the headlines look positive regarding the re-opening.

  7. Why does anyone want to go downtown any more anyway? Aggressive homeless assaults – prompted by mental health and or substance issues. Fires everywhere. There were 500,000 beds available in the US for mental health patients pre-Reagan and today there are about 40,000. With President Reagan and the Republicans taking over, the Mental Health Systems Act was discarded before the ink had dried and the CMHC funds were simply block granted to the states. The CMHC program had not only died but been buried as well. By the time Ronald Reagan assumed the governorship in 1967, California had already deinstitutionalized more than half of its state hospital patients. That same year, California passed the landmark Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Act, which virtually abolished involuntary hospitalization except in extreme cases. Thus, by the early 1970s California had moved most mentally ill patients out of its state hospitals and, by passing LPS, had made it very difficult to get them back into a hospital if they relapsed and needed additional care. California thus became a canary in the coal mine of deinstitutionalization. Thanks Neo-Con stormtroopers and John Birch society pushers.

  8. Republicans are correct that there is a mental health care crisis in America, but it is one that they helped to create, continue to aggravate and insist, through their actual policies — not their rhetoric — on doing absolutely nothing to address.

  9. Voice of Reason – Here are some oldie but goodies from you. Here you are talking about the wonder drug Hydroxychloroquine for saving lives…. Where in the heck did you get your degree?
    “How many hundreds of thousands of lives could have been saved, how many businesses didn’t need to be shuttered, how many jobs didn’t need to be lost, how much despair avoided, had people and politicians not banned and discourage prophylactic HCQ use solely because Orange Man bad…”

  10. The LPS act was a bi-partisan bill co-authored by one republican and two democrats and signed by governor Reagan in 1967. That over 50 years ago. I think there is plenty of blame to go around, but it’s not a party line issue. It’s a disgrace that we had over 500,000 mental hospital beds in the 1950s and have fewer than 40,000 now. We have a huge number of people suffering from mental health problems and addiction who need this type of care. It’s been over 50 years now. It’s time to stop playing the blame game and to start rebuilding the infrastructure we need to solve the addiction and mental health crisis!

  11. I stand by that comment and never once said it was a “wonder drug” but something that was very safe, cheap, readily available and showed promise when used appropriately as part of a cocktail when there were minimal other options and of course no vaccine. The two studies you and media hung your hat on against HCQ have been discredited due to numerous flaws and withdrawn from publication. Follow up studies (not peer-reviewed yet and up the GT/Pit gold standard) have shown HCQ and Zinc does provide a benefit. As we still force our kids into masks out of an extreme overabundance of caution, and done many other crazy things “even if it saves just one life” then this potentially beneficial and safe drug should have never been politicized the way it was. NEVER TAKE MEDICAL ADVICE FROM POLITCIANS, BUREAUCRATS, OR THE MEDIA/SOCIAL MEDIA.

  12. Sac, it is listed in the footnotes the studies that back it up. Certainly not robust studies and further study is recommended, but we’re dealing with a deadly virus and a completely safe and cheap drug that, preliminarily, has shown some benefit. With all the other absolutely crazy non-science based stuff tried in the name of saving just one life, this should have been explored much further earlier on, but TDS took hold. From the study in footnote 23:
    Hydroxychloroquine provided a 66% hazard ratio reduction, and hydroxychloroquine + azithromycin 71% compared to neither treatment (p 

  13. Lead headline on LA Times today: “Here’s what could go wrong with California reopening.”
    Why does the media hate us? Why not good news? “California is reopening today. Congratulations! Here’s what’s good about that.”
    Not that difficult.

  14. Probably! Ridiculous. Might as well make all children wear masks for all eternity… why not? People have always had the choice to mask their children from the beginning of time, but to make them? Someone look at the numbers and tell me that is justified right now. And I don’t want to hear about one single case somewhere that proves me wrong.

  15. A kid’s mask is about the most unhealthy thing I can think of. And to think that a kid will follow the no touching your face rule is optimistic to say the least. Masks are more of a liability in schools at this point.

  16. What’s the one thing that everyone who is currently in the hospital, ICU and dying from COVID all have in common? The are ALL unvaccinated. (And more likely than not, Republican). A couple of vaccines are fairly close to being approved for the 6mo – 12yr age group, lets hope that happens soon and those who are watching out for their unvaccinated younger kids (I feel for you) can also rest easy.

  17. Dont worry, the ‘Free Market’ that is the USA health care system will take care of these people. Their choice NOT to get a free vaccine is going to cost them 10’s of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars and perhaps even their lives and their well being. A pretty decent lesson in financial and life planning. When someone offers you something for free, that is proven to save you money and maybe even your life, you take it. When someone tells you on the internet, the radio, the TV or the church pulpit, that you dont need to pay mind to science, experts or your own eyes, but instead give them your attention and money, you ignore them…

  18. 80% of those hospitalized from covid were obese or overweight, yet here we are giving out donuts, beer and Taco Bell to get a vaccine. Screw encouraging a healthy lifestyle, no money in that for Big Pharma or the health insurance industry, just give us a pill and a shot.

  19. It is in itself insane to blame the sad state of State Street by reaching back 50 years to then governor Reagan. That’s one of the oldest broken records played too frequently on EdHat. And what did it have to do with California relaxing unnecessarily prolonged Covid restrictions today? What a waste of keystrokes.

  20. VOICE – where’d you get that 80% figure? Feels like, once again, you’re just throwing out random numbers and presenting them as “fact.” I did about 1 minute of work to find out you’re not only WRONG, but VERY WRONG. I’ll share my sources when you share yours.

  21. GCHEADLEY: There are any number of documented cases where fully vaccinated folks died from Covid, so your statement that ALL are unvaccinated is completely/utterly false. And to state that the hospitalized are more than likely Republican is more a wish than fact. The unvaccinated are largely made up of POC, undocumented guests, and street people…..hardly the makeup of the (R) party. Just image if you folks were, in fact, open minded.

  22. For the idiots still pushing the hydroxychloroquine myth:
    March 4, 2021
    Laboratory-based studies and non-randomized preliminary studies in humans initially led researchers and public health officials to support the use of hydroxychloroquine as a potential preventive treatment for COVID-19.
    However, as researchers gathered more evidence, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) eventually revoked their emergency use authorization for treating COVID-19. Now, based on the findings of a new analysis, an international panel of experts strongly advises against the use of hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19.

  23. Sac – In your defense…almost everyone (slight exaggeration) in this country is obese!! Not so much in California (or Florida!) but over 42% nationwide!
    On that note (and with that scary thought!!!)…I’m going to go ahead and take a break from work and go for a jog! Cheers!

  24. RobinSB: I went to Peet’s Coffee so please patronize them. I had my coffee inside which was very nice. About 50% of the patrons were wearing masks. Some would ask if they still needed a mask, and learning they didn’t then took them off. I then went to the UPS store to check my mail box. It’s great to live again.

  25. hydroxychloroquine, like blanket school shutdowns, has been shown to be useless and with potentially bad side effects (or in the case of school shutdowns, definitively horrible side effects). It was a ridiculous error to suggest and trumpet either… both (hydroxychloroquine and school closures) were anti science abs logic… and both caused harm.
    Just accept that it was nonsensical (both ridiculous ideas) and follow the science. Did either/both perhaps make sense at one point to at least consider… perhaps… but by Summer of 2020 both were proven ridiculous and should have immediately been denounced as dangerous.

  26. I went mask free into the Goodwill thiftshop on W. Carrillo below KJEE (which is so awesome). No mask requirements posted on the doors. All employees wearing masks due to sluggish CAL OSHA rules. Most patrons were wearing masks for their own reasons. I got a super light French press for my upcoming backpacking trip so I can enjoy fresh Peet’s coffee rather than instant. If you’re vaccinated you can now live it.

  27. Until California Labor Bureaucracy changes is covid restrictions for employees, employees are required to wear masks at work which means you’ll see Trader Joe’s employees wear masks. They wear the masks because they are forced to, not by choice. My employer is the same. My employer has dropped mask required at all sites across the country, except for California. Who knows how long fully vaccinated employees will need to wear masks in this state.

  28. After 50 years of obvious neglect since the misguided ACLU mandate, why is the Democrat super-majority so interested keeping mentally impaired cases and drug addicts on the streets, and not reopening state care institutions? Limon, Bennet, explain yourselves. SB City Council members, why are you not demanding answers from our state legislators and holding them accountable. Where is your joint session with our local state legislators, dedicated to problem solving action and not more “task forces” and mutual hand-wringing.

  29. I have never seen so many sheep in my life- ask questions , ask people who have kids in school the damage done over the past year ask a therapist how much mental illness has grown into its own deadly pandemic and ask a doctor how other far more deadly health issues have been ignored. think about basic sanitation logically , we tested for bacteria inside a mask of a 5 year old it was worse than a toilet, no its not safe for young children to wear a dirty mask and run in it. Ask how many did not return for their second shot? Ask to explain the data better how many covid only deaths per county? How many covid only deaths total? its called COVID 2019 most of us started wearing a mask May 2020 -its been around awhile-think about the incredible amount of power it gave our leaders, our school district, the unions , the government. Think and ask – why the need to bribe us to get a shot? Why put us in groups and cause so much social shame and pressure. why ? at my daughters school 2 kids got sick during PE wearing a mask – not allowed to change into PE shorts (because its too dangerous) one threw up another passed out …why? because breathing is how we cool our bodies down- and the idiots at our schools are more infatuated with their own power and have forgotten about OUR KIDS. this is a joke and we need to start asking hard questions and demand answers that are clear. all of these vaccines only last 6 months or less, who is going to return after 6 months or even a year to get re-vaccinated ? who is keeping track- if we are not alerted to return for yet another shot then we will know something is not right? how come our local teachers are totally silent our schools counselors silent our coaches silently coach while watching the kids fall- shame on all of you, I guess we only hear from them when they need more money. Prepare for another panic lockdown? If this idiotic school district freaks out again these kids will not be alright, the constant let down of the districts indecision is too much – too big a price has already been paid.

  30. Spot on SB93105. It is so important to ask these questions and not blindly follow what’s on the TV or what some politician spews. With the flu being more, or at least as dangerous to healthy kids as covid are they going to make them mask up every flu season and continue these measures in perpetuity?

  31. “More children died from flu complications than from COVID-19, and were hospitalized at higher rates for the flu.” Did you even read the link Pit? They’re grasping at straws to try and discredit a, gasp, Republican politician, that they only make it “mostly true” because, basically, they can’t be sure about the future. Fact checkers have lost so much credibility the past year you can’t even call them fact checkers anymore.

  32. VOR, people in other parts of the world routinely put on masks when they are sick to protect others. This has been going on for decades. It’s not a crazy thing to do.
    Beyond that, SB93105, just keep on calling sheep and believing that you have cracked the magic code to all knowledge, that’ll show them!

  33. VOR, their point was, comparing kid outcomes when schools were closed and they were isolating with their families is much different than a regular year when schools were in session and kids were able to spread the flu to each other. But this doesn’t support your argument so of course you ignored it.
    Do you know of any country where schools were kept open under normal operations that could be used for a fair comparison? I don’t know of any.

  34. Alex, “when they’re sick” is the significant part and I hope in the future people just stay home when they’re sick rather than come into work/school. Pit, you still have a tough time with math and statistics, when they talk about “rate” being higher that accounts for exactly what you think I ignored. Nearly all other countries kept their schools open. You’re really reaching here and the data isn’t on your side.

  35. Virtually every country in the world went with “close schools last… open schools first”. There was no Logic in closing schools as/when we did… and you know this. Everything was made worse with the blanket never ending 1/2 shutdown.
    We kept all pre-schools open but bizarrely and arbitrarily punished all kids over 6.
    This was against any/all science by summer 2020…

  36. 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.

  37. 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!

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