Southern California Region Meets Threshold to Launch Stay-At-Home Order

(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – Regional Stay-at-Home Order for Santa Barbara County will take effect on Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. and is expected to remain in place for at least three weeks before re-evaluation by the State the week of December 28, 2020.

Late last night, the State health officials notified Santa Barbara County Public Health Department that the Southern California Region had fallen below 15% ICU capacity triggering the Regional Stay-at-Home Order for the County of Santa Barbara.

Following the new state regional framework, Santa Barbara County is required to move into a new Stay-at-Home order when the Southern California region drops below a 15% ICU bed capacity. According to the new framework, any region with less than a 15% ICU bed capacity will be required to enter this order. The Southern California region was at a 13.1% ICU bed capacity on December 4, 2020, and is projected to be at 12.5% on December 5, 2020.

“I am dismayed, but not surprised, that the ICU capacity decreased so drastically and quickly in the Southern California region. The sharp decrease in ICU capacity is a consequence of the increasing case rates we have been seeing throughout the state and region, shared Van Do-Reynoso, Public Health Director for Santa Barbara County.

The following industry sector changes will go into place on Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

The following sectors must close

  • Indoor and outdoor playgrounds
  • Indoor recreational facilities
  • Hair salons and barbershops
  • Personal care services
  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums
  • Movie theaters
  • Wineries
  • Bars, breweries, and distilleries
  • Family entertainment centers
  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering
  • Limited services
  • Live audience sports
  • Amusement parks

The following sectors will have additional modifications in addition to 100% masking and physical distancing:

  • Outdoor recreational facilities: Allow outdoor operation only without any food, drink or alcohol sales. This includes gyms and fitness studios. Additionally, overnight stays at campgrounds will not be permitted.
  • Retail: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems. 
  • Shopping centers: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
  • Hotels and lodging: Allow to open for critical infrastructure support only.
  • Restaurants: Allow only for take-out, pick-up, or delivery.
  • Offices: Allow remote only except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible. 
  • Places of worship and political expression: Allow outdoor services only.
  • Entertainment production including professional sports: Allow operation without live audiences. Additionally, testing protocol and “bubbles” are highly encouraged.

The following sectors are allowed to remain open when a remote option is not possible with appropriate infectious disease preventative measures including 100% masking and physical distancing:

  • Critical infrastructure 
  • Schools (no new schools may open)
  • Non-urgent medical and dental care
  • Child care and pre-K

Sheriff Bill Brown, who is the Chairman of the Santa Barbara County Law Enforcement Chiefs, said the following, “When Santa Barbara County becomes subject to the state’s new Stay-at-Home Order, the police chiefs and I have committed to continuing our direction and intent that our agencies’ approach to health order violations will be to make every effort to use discretion, education and encouragement to achieve voluntary compliance, but enforcement options will remain a tool to be used in cases of repeat or egregious violations that endanger public safety.”

For questions, the public may call 211 or visit the Regional Stay-at-Home Order site for more information on COVID-19.

Stay Connected:
County Public Health:, Twitter and Facebook
County of Santa Barbara:, Twitter, Facebook
2-1-1 Call Center: Dial 211 or outside the area, call (800) 400-1572
Community Wellness Team Information and Referral Line: (805) 364-2750
Behavioral Wellness Crisis Line: (888) 868-1649