Santa Barbara County Extends Health Officer Order Requiring Use of Face Coverings Indoors to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

Indoor Masking Mandate Will Continue 

(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has extended a Health Officer Order which requires the use of masks in indoor public settings.  This order requires all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear face coverings when indoors in public settings, with limited exceptions. This Order 2021-10.6 is effective 5 p.m. November 4, 2021 and continuing until 5 p.m., on December 4, 2021 or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended. 

As of October 28, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has categorized the COVID-19 community transmission level as Substantial in California and Santa Barbara County. As of October 23, 2021, the County has a case rate of 10 per 100,000 and a test positivity of 2.8%. The CDC recommends fully vaccinated individuals wear a face covering in public indoor settings in areas with Substantial or High community transmission rates.

In order for local health officials to consider rescinding the indoor mask mandate, the county case rate should be 6.0 cases per 100,000 people or lower for two consecutive weeks. When reaching this level, transmission is classified as Low.

“We are heading in the right direction as our case rate continues to decrease and vaccinations increase,” shared Dr. Henning Ansorg, County Health Officer. “Community transmission does remain at a substantial level. The upcoming Holiday season has the potential to cause a significant increase in cases and hospitalizations. Wearing a face covering while indoors is an important and effective strategy to reduce transmission in the community.” 

This Health Officer Order is consistent with the guidance from the CDC as well as the California Department of Public Health, which recommend that fully vaccinated people wear masks while in indoor public settings.  The full Health Officer Order can be read here:  

Visit to learn where you can find a vaccination site near you or call 2-1-1. 


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