Santa Barbara County Public Health Department recommended all county residents wear masks in indoor, public settings in a July 19 press release as a result of rising COVID-19 cases linked to the Delta variant. 

Currently, the recommendation is not a mandate. 

In the press release, Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (SBCPHD) said that the purpose of the new recommendation is to provide “an extra precautionary measure for those who are fully vaccinated, and to ensure easy verification that all unvaccinated people are masked in those settings.” 

Indoor, public settings include grocery stores, retail stores, movie theaters, etc. The press release also urged businesses “to adopt universal masking requirements for customers entering indoor areas of their businesses to provide better protection to their employees and customers.”

SBCPHD said they will continue to monitor “transmission rates, hospitalizations, deaths, and increasing vaccination rates” and reconsider the recommendation in the upcoming few weeks. In the meantime, the county continues to encourage residents to get vaccinated. 

“We have a method of preventing severe illness and hospitalization from the COVID-19 Delta variant which we know is effective, and that is getting vaccinated,” SBCPHD Director Van Do-Reynoso said in the press release. “It remains critical for protection against infection, especially with circulating variants.”


Atmika Iyer
Atmika Iyer (she/her/hers) is the Daily Nexus editor in chief for the 2022-23 school year. Previously, Iyer was the County News and co-Lead News Editor for the 2021-22 school year. She's a lover of loud music, loud laughs and loud prints.