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Santa Barbara County restaurants, gyms, places of worship restricted to outdoors once more
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Santa Barbara County restaurants, gyms, places of worship restricted to outdoors once more

From the What you need to know for Tuesday, November 17 series

Several sectors in Santa Barbara County will be required to limit their capacity and indoor operations beginning Tuesday, after most counties in the state were moved back into the purple tier due to rapidly rising COVID-19 case rates statewide.

In a Monday statement, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced modifications to the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which guides counties' movement through different reopening tiers based on COVID-19 metrics. 

According to Newsom, counties now will be required to move backward into a more restrictive tier after just one week of meeting metrics for that tier, rather than the former two-week time period. 

Santa Barbara County's COVID-19 case rate hit 7.1 per 100,000 people as of Monday, rising into purple-tier territory and moving the county back into the state's most restrictive phase. Neighboring San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties also moved backward to purple. 

Under state guidelines, locations including restaurants, movie theaters, places of worship, fitness centers and museums will be required to cease indoor operations and only offer outdoor services. Retail sectors will be required to limit their capacity from 50% back down to 25%. 

Santa Barbara County's entry into the purple tier also will be faster than before, with businesses given one day to adopt required modifications rather than three days. 

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department released a new health order on Monday in alignment with the state's announcement outlining new closures and modifications. 

COVID-19 cases in Santa Barbara County

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department confirmed an additional 112 COVID-19 cases over the Nov. 14-15 weekend, followed by an additional 53 cases on Monday.

The total number of cases in the county is now 10,577, with 255 cases still considered active and contagious. 

Of the 112 COVID-19 cases confirmed over the weekend, 71 were confirmed on Saturday, followed by 41 on Sunday, according to county public health data. 

Two deaths as a result of COVID-19 also were confirmed in Santa Barbara County on Monday, bringing the county's death total to 133.

Both of the deceased individuals were over the age of 70 and had underlying medical conditions. One was a resident of Goleta, and the other was a resident of the unincorporated area of Goleta Valley and Gaviota, according to county data.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in the county remain low, with 13 individuals currently hospitalized, including five in the ICU.

In the city of Santa Maria, 79 out of 4,331 total cases remain active. Seventy-two individuals have died.

In the community of Orcutt, 20 out of 436 total cases remain active. Six individuals have died.

In the city of Lompoc, 21 out of 1,010 total cases remain active. Eight individuals have died. 

In the Santa Ynez Valley, which includes the areas of Solvang, Buellton, Los Olivos, Los Alamos, Santa Ynez and Ballard, nine out of 198 total cases remain active. Seven individuals have died.

In the unincorporated North County area, which includes Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama and New Cuyama, 11 out of 490 total cases remain active. Seven individuals have died.

In neighboring San Luis Obispo County, cases continue to climb as 172 cases were confirmed over the Nov. 14-15 weekend, followed by 40 new cases on Monday.

The total number of cases in the county is now 5,250, with 712 cases still considered active and contagious, marking an all-time high for active cases. 

One additional COVID-19 death in the county also was confirmed on Monday, bringing the total number of deaths in the county to 34. 

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Santa Maria City Reporter

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Laura Place covers city government, policy and elections in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara County. Follow her on Twitter @itslaurasplace

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