Santa Barbara County has met the state’s yellow tier case rate and positivity rate, allowing movement into the less restrictive yellow tier. The move went into effect on Wednesday morning, June 9. 

A new Health Officer Order will be issued that includes guidance on business operations in the yellow tier. The order will further ease restrictions and allow more indoor activities, in accordance with the rules and framework of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

To qualify for the yellow tier, a region must have an adjusted case rate less than two cases per every 100,000 residents, a testing positivity rate of less than 2%, and less than 2.2% positive tests for the health equity quartile. Santa Barbara County’s adjusted case rate is 0.9 cases per every 100,000 residents, the positivity rate stands at 0.7%, and the positive tests for the health equity quartile stand at 1.0%. 

“The vaccines are working, and the state will be lifting most restrictions beginning June 15,” said Dr. Henning Ansorg, Santa Barbara County health officer. “In particular, masking except for in many workplaces will become optional. We all play an important part in defeating this virus and the community as a whole is safer the more persons are fully vaccinated. The vaccines have been shown to be very safe and effective even against newer variants of the virus. If you haven’t done so already, please get vaccinated today.”

Yellow tier regulations include an increase in indoor seating for restaurants to 50% capacity or 200 people maximum (whichever is less); gyms and fitness centers, wineries and breweries, movie theaters and places of worship will also all be allowed 50% capacity indoors; saunas and steam rooms can open along with museums, zoos and aquariums (with modifications); retail stores will have no capacity limits; and bars with no food service will be able to open indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people maximum (whichever is less). 

For more information, visit or call 2-1-1.

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