Some “low-risk businesses” can reopen for curbside pickup starting Friday, including bookstores, clothing and shoe stores, sporting goods stores, jewelry stores, music stores, florists, antique stores, and home and furnishing stores, according to Santa Barbara County officials.
The state has released industry-specific guidelines for retail, manufacturing and warehouse businesses to reopen with modifications, including plans for physical distancing and disinfecting.
Guidelines for 17 sectors were released Thursday, and all facilities need to perform a risk assessment, create a site-specific protection plan, train employees on limiting the spread of COVID-19 and screening themselves for symptoms, and implement physical distancing and disinfecting protocols, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Customer confidence will be a challenge, Newsom said. Just because a business can open does not mean that customers or workers are going to show up, he said.
Some counties that meet state public-health-related criteria can move beyond the statewide order and open more businesses sooner, including some offices, dine-in restaurants, shopping malls and outdoor museums, Newsom said. Those guidelines will come out next week.
Santa Barbara County Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso gave the Board of Supervisors a “report card” Tuesday on readiness criteria for the county, saying it was in a good spot. The criteria include adequate capacity for hospital beds, testing and contact tracing.
Newsom said criteria include reporting no COVID-19 deaths in the past 14 days, fewer than one case per 10,000 people in the past 14 days, and at least 15 contact tracers per 100,000 residents, among other things.
Santa Barbara County has reported five deaths in the past 14 days, as of Thursday.
There have been 722 positive cases and 10 deaths reported in Santa Barbara County. Of the county’s active cases, 24 were hospitalized, including 12 in intensive care units, and at least 50 were recovering at home, according to the Public Health Department.
Three state-run community testing sites are opening in the county this week — in Santa Maria, Lompoc and Santa Barbara. Testing is available by appointment, and residents can visit any site regardless of where they live, according to the Public Health Department. There are state-run testing sites in Grover Beach in southern San Luis Obispo County and in Camarillo and Thousand Oaks in Ventura County.
Appointments can be made for any location by calling 888.634.1123 or online at https://lhi.care/covidtesting. Each Santa Barbara County location can test 132 people per day.
Public Health expects an increase in new cases with the increase in access to testing, and the Bureau of Prisons has started mass testing inmates at the Lompoc federal correctional complex, where an outbreak has resulted in 650 cases as of Thursday.
County hospitalizations dipped dramatically Wednesday, but that could be partially attributed to the Public Health Department no longer reporting hospitalized inmates, at the request of the BOP.