UPDATE: County Calls for Santa Barbara Bars, Beaches to Close as Virus Cases Rise

Bars and breweries have to close again — unless they serve food –as county health officials take the governor’s recommendation.

Unless they serve food along with drinks, Santa Barbara County bars and breweries will have to shut down July 1 as county health officials agreed with the state governor’s suggestion to close them down.

In a rare Sunday tweet, shortly after noon June 28, California Gov. Gavin Newsom “recommended” bars in Santa Barbara and other counties close while ordering similar businesses in larger municipalities to shut down in the wake of increasing positive coronavirus tests. 

Bars in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties were allowed to reopen earlier after remaining closed for the past three months of the pandemic.  This week, restaurants must only serve food and drinks outside while other businesses, such as movie theaters indoor wine tasting rooms, must close completely, as ordered by county health officials.

In direct opposition to the Santa Barbara City Council’s vote this week, county officials closed all beaches through July 5.

Bars in Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, San Joaquin and Tulare counties were ordered closed, according to the governor’s tweet. 

Newsom recommended bars be closed in Contra Costa, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Clara, Stanislaus and Ventura counties. 

“Due to the rising spread of #COVID19, CA is ordering bars to close in Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, San Joaquin, and Tulare, while recommending they close in Contra Costa, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Stanislaus, & Ventura,” the governor tweeted. 

Santa Barbara County has had too high of a case rate at 122.5 cases per 100,000 residents, according to government health officials, which surpasses the state’s threshold of 100. 

As of June 27, 81 new cases were reported in Santa Barbara County and 54 of those patients required hospitalization. Some 300 new case were reported during the past week.

Some bars in Santa Barbara have expanded onto State Street downtown as have a growing number of restaurants in so-called “parklets.”

Posted June 28, 2020. Updated July 2, 2020.

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