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From Ventura to San Luis Obispo, from Santa Barbara to Santa Maria, KCLU's in-depth, thoughtful coverage of all the news that matter to you.

Santa Barbara County Officials Say County Close To Easing More Coronavirus Health Restrictions

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Santa Barbara County officials say the county is on track to move to a less restrictive level of coronavirus related health restrictions next week.  They say they expect the county will move from the state’s purple, to red level on Tuesday.

The less restrictive level would set the stage for school districts to reopen for in person classes.  Restaurants, personal health care services, and gyms would be able to reopen indoor operations with safety and capacity limits.

San Luis Obispo County dropped to the red level earlier this week, while Ventura County remains at the highest, purple level.

All three counties reported lower numbers of new cases Friday, with in total.  Ventura County had 51, Santa Barbara County 35, and San Luis Obispo County 34.  But, the latest cases push the region’s total past the 25,000 case mark for the first time.

There’s been a surge in the percentage of cases among younger adults.  Santa Barbara County Public Health officials say 40% of the new positive cases reported statewide during the month of August were people in their 20’s and 30’s.

292 deaths have been reported in the three counties since the start of the crisis.  Most of those who died are older adults with pre-existing health conditions.