Public Health Clarifies Restrictions for Some Activities and Business Operations

Public Health Clarifies Restrictions for Some Activities and Business Operations  title=
Public Health Clarifies Restrictions for Some Activities and Business Operations
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Golfing is now allowed under the new Public Health Order in Santa Barbara (Photo by Pixabay from Pexels)

By edhat staff

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) issued a "Stay Well at Home Order" Friday clarifying restrictions on essential businesses and allowing faith-based gatherings, golf, and more, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

PHD Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg made the announcement in a press release Friday afternoon with the order being effective at 5:00 p.m. until May 31, 2020.

Dr. Ansorg issued Health Officer Order No. 2020-8 to clarify essential businesses within the county with efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It states certain essential businesses may open with modified operations and social distancing protocols

Essential businesses are required to implement, prepare, and post a "Social Distancing Protocol" for each facility frequented by employees or the public. The Protocol must be posted at or near the facility entrance and be easily viewable. It is required that each business designates an employee to monitor and enforce compliance with the Protocol at all times the business is open to the public. 

Seven elements of the protocol are required such as limiting the number of people in an area, specified line formations, provide hand sanitizer at the entrance for public use, and contactless payments.

The list of essential businesses has grown to include golf courses, faith-based services, childcare facilities, rideshare operations such as taxis or Lyfts, and more.

Although restrictions still apply, depending on the business. For example, faith-based services are allowed to resume but must be outdoors and attendees must remain in their vehicles at a distance. For rideshare drivers, they may only transport non-symptomatic riders, provide 6ft or more of distance within the vehicle, and sanitize the vehicle after each ride.

The restrictions on outdoor activities have been lessened and now permit visiting botanical gardens, golfing, tennis, and pickleball. Other activities such as pleasure driving, outdoor housework including gardening, walking, hiking, running, and bicycling, going to the beach or trail walking are still permissible with proper social distancing.

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Gregg Hart emphasized in a press conference on Friday afternoon this health order does not relax any restrictions but is a way to clarify questions that have been raised about Governor Newsom's stay at home order.

However, prior to Friday's press release, the Public Health Department confirmed such activities as golf, tennis, and faith-based gatherings were not allowed within the county. Now they are.

Businesses that must remain closed continue to include art galleries, concert halls, barbers/hair and nail salons, bars, casinos, campground and RV parks, gyms and fitness centers, movie theatres, and more.

The health order with a list of businesses allowed to open and those not allowed can be found here.

The health order warns that any violation or failure to comply may constitute a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment, or both.

More information can be found on the Public Health Department's website.


[Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect new information provided in Friday, April 24, press conference]

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therealbebe Apr 24, 2020 04:31 PM
Public Health Clarifies Restrictions for Some Activities and Business Operations

I feel like this was added for the dummies who complain about seeing people outdoors at all (and trust me, I've seen a lot of people complaining about it). As far as pleasure-driving, I've seen many complaining that there were people even "on the road" at all, arguing that on the off-chance someone gets into an accident, the injured party would take up a valuable hospital bed. Here in SB County, where there is no surge. Come on. People need to learn the difference between Lockdown, Quarantine, and Shelter-in-Place orders. Be cautious and prudent, yes. But the level of fear, and the anger against others because of it, has been SO far out of bounds.

therealbebe Apr 24, 2020 04:35 PM
Public Health Clarifies Restrictions for Some Activities and Business Operations

@4:25, Shelter-In-Place orders leave the decision up to the individual as to what they deem "essential." Mental health is quite essential, which for some includes being outdoors, going for a drive, etc. NOWHERE has that order EVER stated we must "stay indoors." It's not a quarantine or a lockdown. There are major differences. I feel badly for those who have believed all this time they needed to stay inside, curtains drawn, blankets over their heads. Ridiculous.

Luvaduck Apr 25, 2020 10:17 AM
Public Health Clarifies Restrictions for Some Activities and Business Operations

"Faith-based" gatherings that ignore distancing will result in faith-based suffering and death. Not how Jesus would want his "children" to follow his example. Renting a drive-in movie location might work: Every other parking place would have a functioning speaker that get sanitized before every service, congregants admonished to stay in their cars or not be allowed back following Sundays. With restrooms are locked, some congregants could not attend or would have to makes plan to leave as necessary.

LooseCannon Apr 24, 2020 07:30 PM
Public Health Clarifies Restrictions for Some Activities and Business Operations

I don't understand why ALL picnic benches, and accompanying BBQs, in public parks, are still closed with caution tape. I can sort of understand the big group areas that need to be booked in advance, but small picnic tables intended for families, come on!

I would also like to see the YMCA opened. I miss my daily lapswim and was visiting the Y until the very last day. People were careful in the gym areas, and the virus can't survive in chlorine. I sat in the jacuzzi every day after swimming... there was no spike in COVID cases.

Breweries and restaurants should be allowed to have customers on their outdoor patios, at the very least.

Old people, persons with preexisting conditions, and scaredy-cats stay inside.

Luvaduck Apr 25, 2020 10:27 AM
Public Health Clarifies Restrictions for Some Activities and Business Operations

If the pro-shop and restaurant/bar are closed and golf carts unavailable (so golfers can't ride together) and golfers make it an issue of etiquette to wear masks & protect their friends if they walk together, no problem. Those who couldn't walk the course could sign up to use the driving range or practise putting green and look forward to joining their pals when appropriate for their friends' safety.

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