Santa Barbara County Health Department Director Van Do-Reynoso, Ph.D. | Credit: Daniel Dreifuss

At minimum, Santa Barbara County has at least two more weeks to go before it can further reopen businesses and move into the state’s orange tier, County Public Health announced Tuesday.

Though the testing positivity percent and the health equity metric already meet the criteria for the orange tier, the adjusted case rate is still high and in the red tier.

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The adjusted case rate is 4.4, and the county would need to be between 1-3.9 in order to be in the orange tier. The health metric must be between 2.2 percent and 5.2 percent, and the positivity rate must be between 2 to 4.9 percent to move into the orange tier — both are passing at 4.4 and 2, respectively.

“We remain hopeful about our ability to achieve forward progress into the next tier, but we need every region of our county to be diligent in wearing masks, practicing physical distancing, and very importantly, avoiding gatherings within anyone outside your household,” said Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso.

One area of the county, Isla Vista, has recently seen an uptick in cases when five UCSB fraternity and sorority houses were involved in an outbreak in the small, mostly college student community. Virtual Halloween festivities are planned this weekend to keep Isla Vista partying down, though fines up to $1,000 will be given to those not wearing masks or physically distancing.

There have been 9,820 cases in the county to date, though 118 are still infectious. Nine people are currently hospitalized, and there have been 122 deaths.

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