As the result of a steady increase in the spread of COVID-19, more businesses are closing in Santa Barbara County.
During a press conference on July 13, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that indoor fitness centers, places of worship, offices, personal care services, hair salons, barbershops, and malls are required to close in the 30 counties on a state monitoring list. This watch list consists of counties that are failing to meet specific metrics aimed at measuring the spread of the virus.
ADDITIONAL CLOSURES On July 13, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the closure of numerous indoor businesses in Santa Barbara County.
Santa Barbara County is on this list due to the number of active COVID-19 cases in the county, as well as the increase in the county’s positivity rate, which is the percentage of people who have tested positive for the virus out of all those who are tested.
As of July 12, 4,084 people have tested positive for the virus in the county, with 329 remaining as active cases. The case count is a 17 percent increase from a week ago. Also, as of the same day, the county’s seven-day average positivity rate was 10 percent. This exceeds the state’s rate of 7.4 percent.
During his press conference, Newsom said the state is requiring these businesses to close to curb the number of people hospitalized from the virus. In Santa Barbara County, as of July 12, 72 people were in the hospital because of the virus. This number has fluctuated between 67 and 80 over the last week, according to county data. This number was as low as 30 at the beginning of June.
As of July 12, about 55 percent of the county’s 720 hospital beds were occupied by both COVID and non-COVID patients. Additionally, 65.3 percent of the county’s 150 ICU beds were occupied by COVID and non-COVID patients. Since March, 31 county residents have died from the virus.
“This continues to be a deadly disease,” Newsom said. “This continues to be a disease that puts people in our ICUs, in our hospitals, and is currently putting a strain on our hospital system and in our ICUs.”
The governor’s announcement on July 13 follows a previous order on July 1
where he announced the first wave of closures for indoor businesses for counties on the state’s watch list. This included dine-in restaurants, wineries, zoos, bars, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, and museums. ∆