As COVID-19 case numbers continue to remain low, meetings of Santa Barbara and Goleta city boards and commissions are returning to in-person, and updates have been made to the California Department of Public Health’s guidance for students exposed to COVID-19.

Beginning Friday, Santa Barbara boards and commissions meetings will no longer be available for remote participation as they are returning to in-person meetings.

Goleta is also returning to in-person meetings beginning with Tuesday’s City Council meeting, but remote participation will continue to be offered. 

Goleta’s meetings will take a hybrid approach with in-person meetings that can be viewed live on the city’s website.

The CDPH also recently made updates to its guidance for K-12 students who are exposed to COVID-19. Effective Wednesday, students who are exposed to COVID-19 — regardless of vaccination status — may continue to participate in all school activities, including sports and extracurricular activities, if they are asymptomatic.

It is still recommended that students get tested for COVID-19 within three to five days after exposure and monitor for symptoms, as well as wear a mask indoors for at least 10 days.

The testing recommendation does not apply to students who have had COVID-19 within the last 90 days, though, but it is recommended that they still monitor for symptoms.

If the exposed student does develop symptoms of the virus, the CDPH says they should stay home and get tested for COVID-19. If a student tests positive, then they are required to follow isolation guidelines.

In the four-day period from Tuesday through Friday, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reported 127 COVID-19 cases and two coronavirus-related deaths.

On Tuesday, the death of a Santa Maria individual between ages 50 and 69 with underlying health conditions was reported. On Wednesday, the death of an individual between ages 18 and 29 who also had underlying health conditions and resided in Orcutt was reported. Neither death was associated with a congregate care site.

Since the pandemic began in 2020, 673 COVID-19-related deaths have been reported in Santa Barbara County.

According to the Community Data Dashboard, 31 COVID-19 cases were reported on Tuesday, 29 cases on Wednesday, 35 cases on Thursday and 32 cases from Friday.

While only 31 cases were reported on Tuesday, the Public Health Department also reported 92 cases that day that were backlogged from before December.

There were 15 COVID-19-positive indivisuals hospitalized throughout the county Friday, with two of these patients being treated in intensive-care units.

As of Friday, there are 145 cases considered active or still infectious.

Noozhawk staff writer Serena Guentz can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Serena Guentz, Noozhawk Staff Writer

Noozhawk staff writer Serena Guentz can be reached at