Santa Barbara County met state criteria last week for “accelerated reopening,” which allowed in-store retail shopping and dine-in restaurants to open.

Now, the state is allowing qualified counties to open places of worship and hair salons/barbershops, with modifications.

“Santa Barbara County does qualify for the reopening of hair salons and barbershops with restrictions,” Public Health spokeswoman Jackie Ruiz said.

The department issued a new Health Officer Order Tuesday evening to reflect the new state guidance, and it allows places of worship to provide services virtually or in person with limited attendance. 

It also amends the rules for graduations, allowing graduates to leave vehicles to gather a diploma, walk across a stage, or have a photo taken, in the case of in-person, drive-in ceremonies.

Outdoor graduations with fewer than 100 people — and social distancing — are also allowed, according to the order.

Most high schools in the county have planned for a mix of virtual and drive-in events. 

Hair salons and barbershops can provide services with workers and customers wearing face coverings the entire time, and services that require touching a customer’s face are not allowed, according to the order. 

Another change is the county’s decision to temporarily suspend zoning and permit regulations that prohibit wineries and wine tasting rooms from serving food, so they can serve food and open under state guidelines, spokeswoman Gina DePinto said Tuesday.

The county emergency rule applies to businesses in unincorporated areas. 

face covering guidance graphic

(Public Health Department photo)

As more local businesses open their doors to customers, the county’s face covering mandate went into effect for all areas — cities included — at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The order requires face coverings in businesses, workplaces and on public transportation, but the rule does not apply to children under the age of 13.

“As used in this order, a ‘face covering’ means a covering made of cloth, fabric or permeable materials, without holes, that covers only the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face,” the order says.

“A covering that hides or obscures the wearer’s eyes or forehead is not a face covering. Examples of face coverings include a scarf, bandana, neck gaiter, homemade covering made from a T-shirt, sweatshirt, or towel, or a mask (which need not be medical grade). It may be factory-made or handmade from household materials.”

Masks with one-way valves, usually raised plastic the size of a quarter, do not comply with the order because they allow respiratory droplets to “easily escape which places others at risk,” the county said.

Face coverings inhibit the spread of the wearer’s respiratory droplets, and are especially important in crowded indoor environments, Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg said last week.

“I always caution people, don’t get into a false sense of security when you wear this, because handwashing and keeping your distance 6 feet apart from people so far has been more reliable from spreading the virus from just wearing the mask; in conjunction it adds up so we do encourage it,” Ansorg said.

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