Staff Report

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors (BOS) will be holding a special meeting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 29 to discuss extending an Urgency Ordinance that temporarily prohibits residential and commercial eviction that is set to expire on September 30, 2020.

The urgency ordinance is consistent with the Governor’s September 23, 2020 Executive Order N-80-20, the County is authorized to temporarily prohibit commercial evictions through March 31, 2021.

Staff will also provide the most recent information on the status of COVID-19 cases, the County’s response and RISE business activity. The county is expecting to move to the next less restrictive red tier as of Tuesday, which will allow more opening of some businesses. Public Health has been working on a local health order that would allow businesses to reopen immediately after the advancement to a new tier, Hart said at their last press briefing. 

If the county shifts to the red tier, retail could increase indoor operations up to 50 percent. Personal care services like hair salons, esthetician services, tattoo parlors and others could open indoors with modifications, and museums, zoos and aquariums could open indoors with modifications at 25 percent capacity, county officials stated. 

Movie theaters and restaurants could open indoors at 25 percent capacity or 100 people, whichever is greater. Places of worship could reopen at 25 percent capacity, and gyms and fitness centers can also open indoors at 10 percent capacity, with modifications. 

All K-12 schools would also be able to reopen for in-person instruction without applying for a waiver 14 days after moving to the red tier, Dr. Henning Ansorg stated.

If the county stays in the red tier during that timeframe, schools would be allowed to open October 13, however they are not required to, Public Health Director Van Do Reynoso clarified over the weekend. She also explained that even the least restrictive tier (yellow) allows for local school officials to make the final determination of reopening, so there is no requirement to open regardless of which tier the county is in. 

The county has received 30 elementary school waiver applications so far, Ansorg added, and 21 have completed the approval process including Santa Ynez Valley Christian Academy. 

“The waiver application seems daunting, but once it’s completed and the requirements are in place, having kids back on campus is much better than not having them here. Students belong in the classroom with their teachers who have missed them since March,” said Scott Carleton, SYVCA Principal. 

Carleton said that teachers will have to have COVID testing every two months and all staff and parents are required to fill out a health screening each morning which determines who can be on campus. Once the staff and kids arrive their temperatures are taken and then each kid is shuffled to their grade group and will remain with their classmates for the day. 

“Each grade stays together and plays in their own section during recess and lunch and when they return to class they have to stay six feet apart and wash their hands,” Carleton added. 

Staff then goes out and sanitizes the playground equipment after students are back in class and at the end of the day, all classrooms are also sanitized. 

“If you follow the guidelines, it isn’t that hard, especially since the teachers and the kids all want to be together. We get it done and know this won’t last forever,” he added. 

Santa Ynez Valley Family School and Dunn School’s sixth grade class are also reopened due to the waiver. No valley public schools are open as of yet, and only the Santa Ynez Valley Charter School has indicated they are applying for the waiver, or intending to reopen. Solvang Elementary School Superintendent Steve Seaford sent a message home to parents stating while the school is in process of completing the waiver, it hasn’t been decided to be submitted to the county. 

“Most likely, the instructional model we will be able to implement is commonly known as a hybrid model, where students are here two days a week, depending on grade level. ..Should the district decide to submit a waiver and have it approved, Solvang School would consider a slow reopening of grades TK-1. Were that to be successful, the school would consider adding additional grades to the reopening process,” Seaford wrote. 

BOS meetings are broadcast live and rebroadcast on CSBTV 20 according to a schedule provided in each agenda. Videos of each meeting and other County programming are available on YouTube channel “CSBTV20.”

For information about obtaining a videotape of a public hearing or a schedule of CSBTV broadcasts, please call (805) 568-3427.