By Raiza Giorgi


After Governor Gavin Newsom announced Monday the California economy will start reopening this week, Santa Barbara County officials were eagerly awaiting further details from the state to start implementing guidelines by Friday. 

“We should be getting the guidelines today of what will and won’t be allowed and expect to know more today before Thursday for opening on Friday,” said Gregg Hart, second district supervisor. 

Newsom said his office would put out guidelines so stores across the state could adopt to sell clothing, books, music, toys, sporting goods and flowers again starting Friday. Those guidelines will not be unveiled until Thursday, but Newsom added they would include curbside pickup other than allowing customers back into stores. The suppliers and manufacturers for retailers will also be allowed to resume Friday, Newsom said during his press briefing. 

Hart said the county will be working dilligently with the state to restart the economy, as Newsom said if the county public health officials could attest to certain guidelines have been met such as testing, contact tracing and abilities to protect the vulnerable population. 

Those not eligible for reopening Friday are offices, shopping malls and dine-in restaurants.

As of Monday there have been 12 new cases reported for a total of 526 with 404 fully recovered. There are 65 people recovering at home, 39 in the hospital with 12 of those in the ICU, according to Dr. Henning Ansorg. 

The new cases reported are two from Goleta, one from Goleta Valley and Gaviota, one from Lompoc, one from the federal prison, two from Santa Maria and one from unincorporated North County. Only six cases have been reported in total for the Santa Ynez Valley. 

“This phased and safe opening of up of the economy is a direct result of our efforts of social distancing,” Ansorg said.

He added that he understands certain life events for students are coming up such as proms and graduation ceremonies, and he said most likely these will not be able to proceed in a traditional format. There will be clear guidance in the near future, Ansorg said. 

Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso stated she was excited for the first day of COVID-19 testing at the new site established at the Santa Maria Fairpark and all 132 appointments were full, and filling quickly for coming days. 

“We want people to know regardless of immigration states and insurance or language barriers, you can come and get tested,” Do-Reynoso said. 

Also at the press briefing was Nancy Gottlieb, MFT, and the Clinical Director of Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (CADA) said their offices even though closed, are available for phone calls and telehealth conferences. 

(CADA) has been serving the communities of Santa Barbara County for over 70 years, by providing prevention, education, and treatment services to youth, adults and families with alcoholism and drug abuse. 

“No one is immune to feelings we are all human. It’s unfortunate that times of stress can lead to unhealthy behaviors such as self medication with alcohol or drugs,” Gottlieb said. 

Their office is available from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. and anyone that needs assistance can call 805-963-1433 or visit 

The Star asked if masks in outdoor settings were required as some people have complained seeing pictures of people outside without masks. Ansorg said masks were not required in outdoor settings, more for indoor activities like grocery stores to mostly protect people from droplets in close settings. 

“We do not recommend driving with a mask on either,” Ansorg said. 

The Star also asked if businesses were to violate Newsom’s orders and open up would the county be enforcing or giving fines. Hart said they would get a visit from the county and be asked to voluntarily close their business. 

In Modoc County, which is located in the northeastern corner of the state, they acted on their own last week by allowing restaurants, hair salons, movie theaters, churches, bars and shops permission to reopen in defiance of Newsom’s order.

San Luis Obispo County has also sent Newsom letters which expressed urgency to begin a faster reopening of their businesses. The City of Solvang has also sent a letter to Newsom stating they are eager to reopen as well.