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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 Drops From Purple To Red State Coronavirus Tier; Sets Stage For More Reopenings

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Santa Barbara County is one of ten California counties showing enough improvement in its efforts to control coronavirus to set the stage Tuesday for more reopenings.  It’s big news for Santa Barbara County.  It’s been stuck at the state’s most restrictive reopening level, purple, for weeks.

But, the county has been able to drop two key statistics.  The number of new cases, and the percentage of positive cases are down to the point where it can advance to the red level, which is the next lowest level on the tier.

What it means is that indoor dining can resume, with capacity limits.  Gyms, movie theaters, and houses of worship can also resume indoor operations, again with capacity limits and safety precautions.  And, it sets the stage for school reopenings, if districts opt to do it.  The county has the final say on relaxing the restrictions.

The county has to remain at the red level for three weeks before more reopenings can be considered.  If the numbers spike, the county could also move back to the more restrictive purple level.

San Luis Obispo County is already at the red level, while Ventura and Los Angeles Counties remain at purple.  But, Ventura County officials say they met the metrics for the last week to move from purple to red, and if they can do it for a second week the county can also have more reopenings.