After meeting with the state Wednesday and reviewing recent epidemiological data, Santa Barbara County will not be moving forward into the next phase of reopening due to increasing rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases, according to public health officials.
The California Department of Public Health announced on June 12 that counties would be able to reopen personal care services such as tattoo parlors, nail salons and massage services on Friday after analyzing their metrics.
At a Tuesday County Board of Supervisors meeting, however, Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso said county officials would be meeting with the state to discuss recent hospitalization numbers, which exceed state reopening guidelines.
According to Do-Reynoso, hospitalization rates in the county recently rose by 31%, requirements call for an increase of no more then 10% per day.
As of Wednesday, 57 county residents that tested positive for COVID-19 have been hospitalized, with 15 of those individuals in the ICU.
"The increase in recent hospitalizations coupled with ongoing increases in COVID-19 positive cases have led to the county’s decision to pause reopening. The Public Health Department will continue to monitor data metrics to evaluate the impact of sectors that have already opened," a Wednesday press release from the Public Health Department read.
Neighboring San Luis Obispo County, on the other hand, will allow personal care services to resume with limited capacity and other modifications beginning Friday.
Laura Place covers city government for the Santa Maria Times.
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