In-Person Instruction Allowed for TK-12 Schools and Updates on Gathering Restrictions

(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has issued Health Officer Order No. 2020-12.11 allowing schools to reopen for in-person learning with modifications and restricting gatherings. As of today, Santa Barbara County has been in the State designated red tier for two consecutive weeks. This revised Health Officer Order takes effect at 5 p.m. on October 13, 2020.

Key updates include the following:

  • In-person education for grades TK through 12 may open in Santa Barbara County for schools that choose to do so.
  • Gatherings of all sizes remain prohibited in Santa Barbara County, unless an exemption applies. This guidance is more restrictive than the State guidance on gatherings. This guidance will be reconsidered every two weeks based on current, local health metrics.

“Santa Barbara County has worked hard to adhere to safety guidance which has reduced the transmission of COVID-19 and allowed the county to remain in the Red Tier,” said Dr. Henning Ansorg, Health Officer for Santa Barbara County. “As we have consistently been in the Red Tier for two weeks, schools now have the option to reopen and allow youth to begin to return to  in-person learning,” states Ansorg.

Schools wishing to reopen for in-person learning with modifications need to ensure CDPH COVID-19 school guidance is followed, create a reopening plan that is posted for the school community and sent to the Public Health Department,  and complete the RISE reopening attestation process. 

For general questions about COVID-19 and precautions currently recommended by Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, residents may call 211 or visit

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