Hospitalization chart

Local COVID-19-related hospitalization numbers have declined to mid-May levels, when widespread closures were in effect.  (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)

As Santa Barbara County allows more businesses to reopen, the Public Health Department has created a reference page for people to keep track of what is allowed to open and what has to stay closed. 

The newest Public Health Officer Order went into effect Wednesday morning and allows more businesses and institutions to open indoors, with limited capacity, such as restaurants, fitness centers and gyms, movie theaters, museums and zoos, and places of worship. Schools will be allowed to open for in-person classes without going through the waiver process. 

Click here for the Public Health Department’s Red Tier FAQ page, and click here for the business reopening resource page.

Neighboring San Luis Obispo County is classified in the same category as Santa Barbara County and has similar restrictions in effect. Ventura County is still in the most-restrictive purple tier, but is on track to move into the red tier next week, according to the Ventura County Star. 

On Wednesday, Santa Barbara County reported 34 new positive cases and one COVID-19-related death of a Santa Ynez Valley resident older than age 70 with underlying medical conditions.

The Public Health Department has reported 114 COVID-19-related deaths to date and 9,197 total positive cases, which is a 1.2 percent death rate, according to Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso. 

Twenty-six COVID-19-positive patients were hospitalized as of Wednesday, including six people in intensive-care units. Four of the ICU patients were on ventilators.

Local hospitalization numbers have declined to mid-May levels, before state and county officials reopened stores, restaurants, gyms, churches, shopping malls, salons and offices in a three-week period. In July, rising numbers of positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths caused another round of state-mandated closures, which have largely stayed in effect until now. 

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.