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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GeneralTree Jun 15, 2021 01:16 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

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.

Byzantium Jun 15, 2021 01:22 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

Hard to believe for the past 50 years of Democrat party domination in California they did nothing to fix what ACLU forced Gov Reagan to sign. Why was that?

GeneralTree Jun 15, 2021 01:25 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

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.

Voice of Reason Jun 15, 2021 01:38 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

And a super majority most of that time Byzantium. You'd think we'd have something great to show for it now. Best not engage with GT though, it will not get you anywhere.

Chip of SB Jun 15, 2021 01:51 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

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!

Babycakes Jun 15, 2021 03:39 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

General: I agree with you completely in the the Republicans have totally ruined things as far as supporting mental health and institutions that help those in need. Unfortunately, the (R)s realized that the vast majority of those who needed the help the most were (D)s. So, politics has a lot to do with what you have noticed. If those folks who needed help the most were (R)s, then we'd have tons/tons of beds and hospitals available to help. Since CA is run by the (R)s (at least one or two), then it's not going to happen any time soon unless more (D)s step up to the plate and do something about it.

GeneralTree Jun 15, 2021 01:41 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

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..."

Voice of Reason Jun 15, 2021 02:39 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

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.

Voice of Reason Jun 15, 2021 02:49 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

Forgot a few links



I ask again how many live could it have saved? It may not have been hundreds of thousands, but it wasn't zero either.

a-1623796341 Jun 15, 2021 03:32 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

Parroting con senator Johnson on Faux News doesn't make a vary good case for any efficacy for hydroxychloroquine.


sacjon Jun 15, 2021 03:46 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

3:32PM - great cite, I was looking at that too. Here's an interesting quote: “The finding that hydroxychloroquine is not effective for the treatment of COVID-19 was consistent across patient subgroups and for all evaluated outcomes, including clinical status, mortality, organ failures, duration of oxygen use, and hospital length of stay,”

VOICE - what finding, specifically, in your linked articles, did you rely on for the "effectiveness" of HCQ?

Voice of Reason Jun 15, 2021 04:28 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

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 < 0.001).

Conclusions and relevance
In this multi-hospital assessment, when controlling for COVID-19 risk factors, treatment with hydroxychloroquine alone and in combination with azithromycin was associated with reduction in COVID-19 associated mortality. Prospective trials are needed to examine this impact.

Voice of Reason Jun 15, 2021 04:31 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

Direct link to the study published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases: https://www.ijidonline.com/article/S1201-9712(20)30534-8/abstract

Again, not a vaccine or a cure all drug by many means, but a safe drug combination that could have saved some lives. Isn't that what were supposed to be doing?

sacjon Jun 15, 2021 04:35 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

"How many tens of thousands of lives could have been saved" "politicization which resulted beneficial drugs like HCQ not being widely used..." - Voice of Reason DEC 15, 2020 05:04 PM

"with less side effects that any of the new vaccines" - Voice of Reason DEC 15, 2020 12:00 PM

Voice of Reason Jun 15, 2021 04:41 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

Dec 15, 2020, Nuff said. Newer study here: (still being peer reviewed) https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.05.28.21258012v1

Again, this is a perfectly safe drug that had the potential to help but TDS.... Meanwhile we put into place many other NPI's that knowingly had harmful consequences with little help of actually preventing the spread of covid.

sacjon Jun 15, 2021 05:08 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

VOICE - your study was from July 2020. Mine was from Nov 2020. See here:

"Conclusions and Relevance: Among adults hospitalized with respiratory illness from COVID-19, treatment with hydroxychloroquine, compared with placebo, did not significantly improve clinical status at day 14. These findings do not support the use of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 among hospitalized adults."
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2772922?utm_campaign=articlePDF&utm_medium=articlePDFlink&utm_source=articlePDF&utm_content=jama.2020.22240 ---- Referenced here: ---- https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/hydroxychloroquine-does-not-benefit-adults-hospitalized-covid-19

So, pretty clear that's it's not as simple and cut and dry as you keep insisting.

a-1623819238 Jun 15, 2021 09:53 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

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.

dukemunson Jun 16, 2021 07:55 AM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

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.

Shasta Guy Jun 15, 2021 09:42 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

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.

GeneralTree Jun 16, 2021 02:54 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

Shasta - we don't have to look back 50 years to Reagan. Look back to the Trumpian budgets and undercutting agencies and services - the sickening dilemma in the failed GOP has come to a head.

letmego Jun 16, 2021 08:18 AM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

I was just going to ask what the mask protocol was at stores. I was shopping on Monday, wearing a mask, and there was a lady in there without one and she didn't even realize she didn't have it on until she saw me. Immediately pulled her shirt over her face and left to look for one. All I could think was "come back tomorrow!" But maybe the store workers would have given her trouble.

bicyclist Jun 16, 2021 08:44 AM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

Milpas Trader Joe's, on my 8:08AM quickie visit: EVERYONE was MASKED (including vac'd self). Worrying was NO "Security Professional" to watch my bike! (As this is the site of...)

Shasta Guy Jun 16, 2021 08:46 AM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

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.

Byzantium Jun 16, 2021 09:02 AM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

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.

Shasta Guy Jun 16, 2021 09:08 AM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

Newsom who loves his emergency powers won't use them get rid of mask mandate at workplaces. As customer you can enter a workplace, but you will encounter masked employees which will send mixed messages.


sacjon Jun 16, 2021 04:10 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

"Masked employees?" Oh crap! People won't be able to figure out how to conduct their business! Children will cry, grown men will furrow their brows, businesses will fail! Oh lordy! Hehehe.....

Shasta Guy Jun 16, 2021 08:16 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

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.

sb93105 Jun 17, 2021 07:23 AM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

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.

Voice of Reason Jun 17, 2021 08:19 AM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

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?

PitMix Jun 17, 2021 08:40 AM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

This link has a section on why VOR can argue that this is true, and why it might not be true at all. Normal for his arguments.


Voice of Reason Jun 17, 2021 09:12 AM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

"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.

Alexblue Jun 17, 2021 09:42 AM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

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!

PitMix Jun 17, 2021 09:58 AM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

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.

Voice of Reason Jun 17, 2021 10:16 AM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

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.

dukemunson Jun 17, 2021 12:07 PM
June 15 Marks the START of Our Return to Normalcy

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…


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