This post will be updated as more information becomes available.
State officials issued updated guidance for public gatherings and social distancing this week, and many events are being postponed or canceled across Santa Barbara County.
The World Health Organization Wednesday declared the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, and the California Department of Public Health said large gatherings of 250 or more people should be postponed or canceled at least through the end of March, including concerts, conferences, and some sporting events.
“Smaller gatherings held in venues that do not allow social distancing of 6 feet per person should be postponed or canceled,” the agency said.
“Gatherings of individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should be limited to no more than 10 people. This includes gatherings such as those at retirement facilities, assisted-living facilities, developmental homes, and support groups for people with health conditions.”
Social distancing measures can reduce the numbers of Californians who contract COVID-19, and protect those most likely to experience severe symptoms, including people who are older and/or have chronic medical conditions.
As multiple news outlets have reported, social distancing can help “flatten the curve,” which means spreading out infections so hospitals and other healthcare providers are not overwhelmed with patients all at once.
Postponed or Canceled Events in Santa Barbara County
» State of Vandenberg Air Force Base Luncheon: An annual luncheon where Vandenberg Air Force Base’s leader provides an update to community members has been delayed.
“Due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, our State of Vandenberg Luncheon will be postponed. While there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Santa Barbara County, we want to make every effort to keep our local community healthy,” organizers said in a statement released Wednesday.
Col. Anthony Mastalir, 30th Space Wing commander, had been scheduled to provide the popular update to local business and community leaders from the Lompoc and Santa Maria Valleys.
In the past, the colonel providing the presentation talks about ongoing missions and future programs in addition to serving as a platform for the base commander to thank the local communities for their support.
This year’s presentation was highly anticipated due to the creation of the U.S. Space Force, the sixth branch of the military service.
Vandenberg, as the nation’s West Coast spaceport, has already seen some changes with more expected in the coming years.
Other “State of” events were still on as of Thursday, including Carpinteria and Santa Barbara, in April.
» The City of Goleta is postponing its Make Goleta Count event on the 2020 Census. Californians will start receiving invitations this week from the U.S. Census Bureau to participate in the census and it can also be completed online here, the city said.
» Organizers announced the Santa Barbara Vintners Festival will be postponed from May to Oct. 10, 2020, at Rancho Sisquoc Winery in the Santa Maria Valley.
» The Santa Barbara Culinary Experience, partnered with the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, canceled its 2020 event and plans to hold one on March 12-14, 2021, organizers said Friday. An email to ticket-holders said they need to request a refund by Monday, March 16.
» The March 17-22 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival was canceled.
» Organizers postponed the NatureTrack Film Festival in Los Olivos to October.
» UCSB Arts & Lectures canceled Thursday’s Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, the second night for the popular screening of adventure and nature-themed films, and the ¡Viva el Arte de Santa Barbara! Las Cafeteras performances. Questions can be directed to the ticket office at 805.893.3535, and by email at email@example.com.
» All performances at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara through March 31 are being postponed, and ticket-holders will be notified as those events are rescheduled. The box office is available for questions, at 805.963.0761, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
» All performances at The Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara through the end of March will be postponed or canceled. More information is available on the theatre’s website here or by calling the box office at 805.899.2222.
» The Santa Barbara International Orchid Show Board of Directors said the show will be canceled and all pre-purchased tickets will be refunded. The longtime annual event was set to start Friday at Earl Warren Showgrounds.
» The Buellton Wine & Chili Festival on Sunday was postponed to August.
» The Solvang Century bicycling race was canceled on Thursday night. “Despite our vigorous protests and objections the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department chief canceled our permit at 6:05 p.m. this evening to host this event. We are most sorry to make this announcement and for any inconvenience,” organizers posted on the event’s Facebook page.
“Please be patient with us as we try to navigate this. We will release an official update in the upcoming weeks. Thank you to our loyal cyclist for supporting our ride.”
The fundraiser benefits SCOR (Specialized Coronary Outpatient Rehabilitation) Cardiac Cyclists Club, which started in the 1970s to encourage cycling as a form of rehab after heart-related procedures or diseases.
» The UC Santa Barbara All Gaucho Reunion has been postponed from its late April date, said George Thurlow, assistant vice chancellor of Alumni Affairs, on Thursday.
» The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation canceled all school tours, rental events open to the public, and internal events through the month of March. El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park and Casa de la Guerra will remain open to visitors. For more information, call 805.965.0093.
» All Santa Barbara Public Library locations will be closed effective Saturday through at least April 5, with a tentative reopening April 6. During the temporary closure, library staff will continue to provide reference and information services, according to Jessica Cadiente, director of the Santa Barbara Public Library. People can speak with staff over the phone, available during all open hours every day of the week at: 805.962.7653.
» The Dance Lompoc event planned for March 21 and the State of Lompoc presentation planned for April. 14 have been postponed, according to the Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce.
» The PCPA canceled all remaining performances of Julius Caesar, but plans to continue with its upcoming production of The Sound of Music, which starts in late April.
» The Gaviota Coast Conservancy will reschedule the “Visions of the Gaviota Coast” event initially planned for Friday and Saturday.
» The Community Environmental Council postponed the 2020 Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival from April to July 10-12 at Alameda Park.
» The eight annual “Visions of the Gaviota Coast” scheduled Friday and Saturday at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Goleta will be postponed until a later date.
» The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians canceled Friday’s John Fogerty concert and Saturday night’s Prince Royce show, and postponed all future concerts at the Chumash Casino Resort until further notice. People who purchased tickets via credit card will be automatically refunded within seven to 10 business days, and those who made cash purchase can get refunds at the CLUB at Chumash inside the casino, said Mike Traphagen, a spokesperson for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.
» The Santa Maria Open Streets event is rescheduled to Oct. 25, according to SBCAG Traffic Solutions Director Kent Epperson.
» The city of Goleta is closing all its libraries — Goleta, Buellton, Solvang, Los Olivos and Santa Ynez — beginning Saturday. “We are monitoring the situation and will re-open the libraries when Santa Barbara County Public Health Department officials indicate it is appropriate to do so,” the city said in an email. Click here for more information about available services.
» The Carpinteria Valley Chamber postponed upcoming events through mid-April.
“Although it’s hard to predict what may happen over the next 30 days, we remain optimistic that we will be able to reschedule our events for later this spring,” said Joyce Donaldson, president and CEO of the Carpinteria chamber.
» The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and Sea Center will be closed to the public from Saturday to March 31.
» Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara is closed to the public starting Saturday.
» All docent-led tours at the Old Mission Santa Barbara are cancelled through April 30. As of Saturday, self-guided tours were open with regular business hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until further notice.
» The Big West Conference is canceling the remainder of its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments and suspending competitions in all spring sports, effective immediately, the conference announced Thursday.
The campus Athletics Department said earlier this week that they decided to hold on-campus sporting events without fans in attendance.
Many local K-12 schools and districts canceled events.
UCSB and many other colleges have decided to move to “remote instruction,” ending in-person classes for several weeks at least.
» Santa Barbara City College has canceled all “nonessential public gatherings and events” including club meetings, campus tours, performances, group programming, and faculty receptions. Athletic events were continuing without fan attendance, Superintendent/President Utpal Goswami said.
» Allan Hancock College has canceled all of its events through the end of March, including the PCPA performances of Julius Caesar at the Santa Maria campus.
Managing editor Giana Magnoli contributed to this story.