Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday announced new statewide guidelines to allow some personal-care services to occur outside, and Santa Barbara County issued guidelines from the state Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.
Other personal care services such as nail salons and massages also are authorized by the state for re-opening if they are moved to the outdoors, according to county Public Health Department officials.
Tattoo, piercing and electrolysis services were still prohibited from reopening as of Monday.
Newsom’s announcement comes in response to personal-care practitioners desiring to move some of their activities outdoors, and a week after he ordered more business closures in counties on the state’s coronavirus watchlist.
Before Monday’s new guidelines, barbershops and hair salons were required by the state to remain closed. California law and regulation required certain personal care services must take place within an indoor licensed setting.
The new guidelines outline the state’s requirements that must be met before an establishment may reopen, in conformance with local regulations, according to county Public Health.
“Licensees should check with local zoning and permitting rules, which may also apply to outdoor operations,” county Public Health said in a statement.
The guidance identifies the services that may be performed outdoors, the safety and health standards appropriate to an establishment’s use of outdoor areas, and the locations that may be used to provide outside services, according to the state Department of Consumer Affairs.
The county Public Health Department reported 85 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county’s total number of active cases to 274.
New cases reported July 20 Active cases by region Total cases reported to date Montecito, Summerland, Carpinteria 1 12 96 Santa Barbara and Mission Canyon 11 39 593 Goleta 5 9 111 Isla Vista 0 0 31 Western Goleta Valley and Gaviota 2 6 84 Santa Ynez Valley 0 2 54 Lompoc, Vandenberg Village, Mission Hills 9 35 321 Lompoc federal correctional complex 2 7 1,009 Santa Maria 43 123 2,199 Orcutt 3 10 151 Guadalupe, New Cuyama, Garey, Casmalia, Sisquoc 2 15 199 Pending 7 16 143 Santa Barbara County total 85 274 4,991
In the county, 82 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized, including 25 people in intensive care units.
There were no new confirmed COVID-19-related deaths in the county on Monday, with the county’s total remaining at 32.
Of that number, 18 COVID-related deaths were among Santa Maria residents, according to the latest figures from county Public Health.
The county has administered a total of 64,908 tests, and of that number, 59,734 came back negative while 183 tests were inconclusive.
To date, the county has reported 4,991 COVID-19 cases, and 94 percent of cases have fully recovered.
Lompoc police recently arrested a suspect who “claimed to be COVID-19 positive,” said Raquel Zick, a spokeswoman for the county Sheriff’s Department, on Monday.
“The suspect was taken to the hospital, confirmed COVID-19 positive, and booked at the (Santa Barbara County) Main Jail with precautions,” Zick said. “The inmate was immediately housed in the negative-pressure housing area upon booking.”
There now have been 11 jail inmates who have tested positive for COVID-19, including seven being medically monitored and treated.
One inmate has recovered and three inmates have been released from custody, Zick said.
Over the past week, additional inmates at the Santa Barbara County Jail and a Sheriff’s Department staff member tested positive for COVID-19.
In the county, 171 total cases were reported over the weekend.
Newsom announced last week that schools within Santa Barbara County and other counties on the state’s COVID-19 watch list would begin the new school year with remote learning only. His mandate applies to private, public and charter K-12 schools.
On Twitter, the Santa Barbara County Education Office last week said that “our districts have been working on a variety of models, and can now focus on providing the best distance learning for our county’s 70,000 public school students.”
At a press briefing Friday, Dr. Lynn Fitzgibbons, a Cottage Health infectious disease specialist, said COVID-19 is regaining momentum in the county.
“This infection will be with us for a long time,” she said.
The county has seen “record high” COVID-19 case counts in recent weeks, and healthcare officials continue to see more patients admitted to local hospitals with “serious and life-threatening complications with the awful infection,” Fitzgibbons said.
She later continued: “The best and the brightest around the world have focused on understand this infection for over six months now, and today we understand how to diagnose, how to treat, (and) how to prevent it better than we ever did.”
Health officials have “made progress with treatments, but we are still without a medication to prevent infections,” she said.
“Protection after this infection may not last long,” Fitzgibbons added.
“With COVID-19, we know some people either fail to make neutralizing antibodies and some after only a couple of months seem to lose their neutralizing antibodies — perhaps leaving them vulnerable to catching this infection again,” Fitzgibbons said.
Fitzgibbons noted “things are different now” compared to March. “This challenge will be with us for a long time, and unfortunately herd immunity might not be an imminent solution.”
She urged people to avoid close contact with others who are not from their household as much as possible, especially with those who are older or more medically fragile.
“We can all do our part by keeping space from others and using masks routinely,” Fitzgibbons said. “Masks are our friends.”
More information about COVID-19 and precautions recommended by Santa Barbara County Public Health is available at www.publichealthsbc.org or by calling the county COVID-19 call center at 833.688.5551.