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State Moves Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo Counties Back To Most Restrictive COVID-19 Level

Citing a huge spike in new COVID-19 cases, California Governor Gavin Newsom says he’s pulling the “emergency brake” on reopenings. More than 40 of the state’s 58 counties will be back at the state’s most restrictive reopening levels as of Tuesday.  The move includes Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties.

Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties were already close to being forced from the red-to the most restrictive purple level.  Santa Barbara County was doing slightly better.  But as of Tuesday, all three counties will be back to purple.

It means indoor operations at places like restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, museums, and places of worship are again prohibited.

Schools which have already reopened can stay open.  Open schools will be required to beef up testing.  Ventura County Schools Superintendent Stan Mantooth says there is also a path for some still closed schools to reopen.  Elementary schools can prepare extensive safety plans, and seek waivers to reopen.  Waivers aren’t an option for upper grade levels.  Mantooth says if things get worse, remote learning is always an option.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.