Effective Wednesday, Feb. 16, Santa Barbara County’s indoor mask requirement will be lifted for vaccinated individuals in most settings. The decision by the SB County Public Health Department is in alignment with the State’s Health Officer Order. Local guidance will defer to State guidance for use of face coverings. Universal masking will remain required in specified settings including public transit, indoors in K-12 schools, childcare, shelters, healthcare settings, correctional facilities, and other care facilities. Only unvaccinated persons will be required to mask in all indoor public settings. Fully vaccinated individuals will be recommended to continue masking in public indoor settings. For full guidelines, visit https://bit.ly/3uHchze.
In closely analyzing recent data trends, along with the characteristics of the Omicron variant circulating, County Public Health officials have determined that aligning with the State on universal indoor masking is appropriate. While the Omicron variant has proved to be more transmissible than previous variants, it has also resulted in shorter periods of illness, fewer hospitalizations, and a lower death count for fully vaccinated community members.Read the full SB County press release in English at https://bit.ly/3gFlHmQ and in Spanish at https://bit.ly/3rFnJtk.