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County Health Extends Indoor Mask Order

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has extended the Health Officer Order that 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 This order continues until 5 p.m., on Feb. 1, or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended.

As of Dec. 20, the COVID-19 community transmission level is categorized as “High” in California and Santa Barbara County by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). As of Dec. 25, 2021, the County has a case rate of 33.5 per 100,000 and a test positivity of 9.5%. 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.