Things are looking brighter as Santa Barbara County Moves to the State’s Orange Tier

Things are looking brighter as Santa Barbara County Moves to the State’s Orange Tier

By Dr. Henning Ansorg, M.D., Health Officer for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department

Santa Barbara County reached the required benchmarks of less than 5.9 daily new cases (per 100k) and less than 4.9% positive testing rate and beginning Wednesday, April 21, the County will move into the state’s orange tier.

The following changes in the state’s orange tier will be effective on April 21 for Santa Barbara County: (for a full list, please click here)

  • Restaurants: Indoor seating increases to 50% capacity or 200 people maximum.
  • Gyms and Fitness Centers: 25% capacity indoors; indoor pools can open.
  • Wineries and Breweries: 25% or 100 people indoors maximum
  • Movie Theaters: 50% or 200 people maximum.
  • Museums, Zoos and Aquariums: 50% capacity for indoor activities.
  • Places of Worship: 50% capacity indoor activities.
  • Bars with no food service: Open outdoors with modifications.
  • All retail: No capacity limits.
  • Gatherings: Maximum of 10 people and three households

As we work together to get our entire community vaccinated, everyone should remember that outdoor activities are much lower risk than indoor activities and to mitigate their risk as much as possible by following these important health and safety practices:

  • Enjoy the outdoors. Outdoor activities are far safer than indoor ones. 
  • Stay masked. Consistent use of face coverings both indoors and outdoors is very effective at preventing spread of the coronavirus.
  • Maintain at least 6-foot distance from others. Social distancing from those who do not live with you is effective at keeping the coronavirus away.
  • Avoid large gatherings and crowds. The fewer people you encounter and the fewer interactions you have, the lower the chance the virus will spread.
  • Get vaccinated when it is your turn. All federally approved vaccines work well and will help keep you, your family, your neighbors and your friends safe.

For more information about the COVID-19 guidance and the local response, please visit  For those that need assistance in making vaccination appointments, please call 2-1-1 option 4 in Santa Barbara County.