Supervisors Table COVID-19 Enforcement Ordinance

By edhat staff

Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors decided to table an ordinance to allow increased enforcement of coronavirus (COVID-19) mandates during their Tuesday meeting.

The urgency ordinance would have provided police officers and other public officers designated by the Director of Emergency Services with a tool to enforce County Health Officer Orders aimed at slowing the spread of the COVID-19.

The ordinance included additional enforcement mechanisms to deter violations through either infraction citations, administrative fines or license suspension, and cease and desist orders. Maximum fines start at $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second offense, and $500 for the third offense.

While the county’s focus remains on education and persuasion for obtaining compliance, this ordinance would have been used as a last resort mainly focused on egregious situations where education was ineffective.

The community of Isla Vista was brought up several times as cases continue to rise while students move in ahead of the Fall quarter. 

Several public commenters expressed their disdain for the ordinance, confusing it with mandatory order of wearing face coverings that is already in place, and likening it occupied Europe and Maximilien Robespierre’s “Reign of Terror.”

Supervisor Das Williams stated this emergency has divided us instead of uniting us. He also took issue with the sentiments stating his grandmother lived in occupied Europe and wearing a mask does not fit the definition of Draconian law, but it simply helps us return to normal.

“I feel like it is a small price to pay for returning to a free society… where kids can go to school… where we can move about and interact without fear,” said Williams.

Supervisor Joan Hartmann stated educational outreach is first and foremost but these additional rules are another arrow in the quiver to give the additional ability to persuade people.

“We are working very very hard to educate our community about how important it is for all of us to take care of each other,” said Hartmann.

Supervisor Steve Lavagnino stated this would count as significant government overreach and the case of Santa Maria has proven that education and outreach work. He said if this ordinance was presented in April he might have a different view, but as hospitalizations and positive cases are trending down it doesn’t seem necessary.

Supervisor Peter Adam had a similar view and reminded the board the County Sheriff’s Office is already allowed to issue citations.

The urgency ordinance needed four votes to pass but it became clear Supervisors Adam and Lavagnino would not support it. 

Ultimately Supervisor Williams proposed stripping the urgency label of the ordinance which would remove its effect of taking place immediately if passed. It will then be rewritten as a regular ordinance and presented to the board for a vote at a later date. If it passes, there will be 30 days before it would take effect. 

COVID-19 Rates Continue Trending Down

Public Health Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso stated over the last two weeks active COVID-19 cases decreased by 24%.

The cities of Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, and Lompoc continue to see a decreased trend while Isla Vista and Goleta are seeing a moderate increase.


Hospitalizations rates over the past weeks have decreased by 36% and intensive care unit (ICU) stays decreased by 39%.

The county’s testing positivity remains at 7%, just under the state’s 8% threshold. However, the case rate remains at 138 per 100,000 where it needs to be under 100.

Overall, California saw a decrease of 13% in case rates within a 14 day period, and Santa Barbara County saw similar numbers with a 14% decrease.

Additionally, regarding school waivers, Dr. Do-Reynoso confirmed all county superintendents were contacted on Friday about the school waiver process. Trainings are scheduled to take place this week and next with school officials and the public health department.

Tuesday’s COVID-19 Numbers

The Public Health Department reported 70 new COVID-19 cases and one death on Tuesday.  

The resident was over 70 years of age, had underlying health conditions, and lived in the North County Unincorporated area.

The total case count is now 7,869 with 229 presently active.

There are 51 hospitalizations including 21 in the ICU.

More data is available here:

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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  1. During the meeting they said the people who would write the tickets would most likely be those who already have the authority such as law enforcement and animal control. But doesn’t law enforcement currently have this authority?

  2. Wow! What the heck is wrong with enforcement of this? Since when are are we so afraid to do the right thing? People are losing their livelihoods and kids losing out on their education and socialization. Our current group of supervisors are so timid they can’t seem to do what is right. So what a few (dozen or even hundreds of) folks who are so clueless and have chosen thus far to ignore the message get handed a ticket? They deserve it at this point. Hit them in the pocket book (and the face figuratively) with a citation right in front of their friends for it. Boy I wish we had a bigger police presence in this town right about now. Our cops need to be supported not condemned. Look around.

  3. I’m getting sick of this. People whining and moaning about the mask law and all the rules, and then the county failing to do anything to stop these people who are partying in IV and else where. These people are the reasons our neighbors are losing their jobs, our kids are still at home and everything else being brought upon due to our failure to be able to bring the numbers down. SB County might as well be Idaho where they just today allowed ARMED and unmasked “protesters” to infiltrate the Legislative building while the legislature was in session. Eff it …. go ahead and toss your masks, go hug a stranger, send your kids to concerts, we’re screwed and no one seems to care. I’m out.

  4. Public Health and the media keep putting out all kinds of numbers – new infections, hospitalizations, ICU patients, but not the metric that matters most and allows comparison to all other diseases – deaths per hundred thousand, which might give an honest perspective to the threat. HHS publishes these numbers annually and among other things, would allow comparison to causes such as influenza and pneumonia.

  5. GTOWNIE – yeah…. wanting to keep my elderly parents alive and my kids from getting life long conplications from a virus is really “living in fear.” Let me guess, you’re out there partying and refusing to wear a mask cause it’s “muh rights” and helping spread this thing. Let me know when you or you’re family member are gasping for breath alone hooked up to a machine and I’ll remind you to stop “living in fear.” Smh at you people.

  6. love you sacjon, keep up the good fight. “living in fear” gezzus, I wonder if people can say that with a straight face to nurses, doctors and people on ventilators. Gtownie Your rights to decide to be a jackass, are the same rights we have to follow educated scientific data from people NOT on the internet. so go kick rocks. you cant claim “its my choice” then blast people for doing the same.

  7. A majority of the Board of Supervisors was clearly in favor of this. The process just requires a delayed procedure which is unfortunate as the problem is now. Two supervisors from the highest impacted part of the county acted in knee-jerk fashion against the right of the community to protect itself by asking individuals to conform to safety rules or be cited. This is such a simple thing to request. It is such an absurd thing to oppose. And the idea that it is unneeded because cases are plateauing is a fantasy. We already have seen that a leveling or even a decline is likely to be followed by another surge unless we get tighter enforcement.

  8. My younger kid (GUSD) is having an awful time trying to “learn remotely” as his learning style needs more direction and the availability of a teacher to answer questions. These ~2 hours of zoom time are absurd. What’s more absurd is that SB County is refusing to do more to stop people from spreading the virus, which is keeping our numbers up, which is keeping our kids away from school. This is on them. Our kids are falling behind and the County is too scared to lift a finger to stop people like that sorority throwing parties during a freaking pandemic. – Signed, One Pissed Off Parent.

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