Personal care services including tattoo parlors, nail salons, and massage services will be permitted to reopen as of Friday, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department announced Thursday.
The new health order permitting the openings is effective as of 8 a.m. Friday, and lasts until 5 p.m. on July 26, unless otherwise extended or rescinded.
The announcement comes just a week after the department decided to delay the reopening of personal care services due to increasing COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the county. Personal care services were permitted to reopen throughout the state as of June 19.
Last week, however, the county was placed on a state "watch list" after exceeding state metrics for hospitalizations and case rates, with hospitalizations rising as much as 31% over a 24-hour period.
In announcing the new health order, public health officials did not clarify whether the county is now in line with state requirements.
While COVID-19 hospitalizations in the county have decreased over the past few days, with 57 hospitalized as of Wednesday, ICU numbers have risen slowly this week, with 20 individuals now under intensive care.
Laura Place covers city government for the Santa Maria Times.
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