Goleta City Hall Closes In-Person Services for COVID

Santa Barbara County Case Rate Up 150 Percent

The City of Goleta has closed its doors to in-person services, opting for phone and email contact, but the libraries will switch to curbside books, as library staffer Jill Ronkainen demonstrates. | Credit: Courtesy City of Goleta

Goleta City Hall closed to the public on Friday due to concern over increased COVID-19 infections countywide, and the city is switching to phone and email contact.

The county’s case rate rose to 1,253 new cases on Thursday, a 150 percent jump over the prior two-week average of 501. Throughout the state, cases are increasing drastically. Daily new cases statewide had a seven-day average of between 3,800 and 5,400 in the days leading into December, but the rate rose into the tens of thousands toward the end of the month. January 6’s new cases averaged 36,282.

In the genetic sequencing posted today at the county, the Omicron variant count increased from five to 26. Only a small fraction of county samples are sequenced, while statewide sequencing encompasses about 10 percent of samples. A newly revamped California variant tracker shows Omicron to be 74.7 percent of all sequenced samples as of December 29. However, that data is incomplete, the website page states, and the last full set of information is dated December 26 with 75.6 percent of sequences coming up Omicron. The remaining sequences that turned up variants of concern are Delta for both dates.

On Monday, Goleta will also be closing its Planning & Building counter and its libraries due to the ongoing Omicron surge. Services are going be exclusively by telephone or email at City Hall and at Planning; the libraries will begin sidewalk service starting on Tuesday.


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How to Contact the City of Goleta

•  City Hall — Phone reception at (805) 961-7500 or use City Assist here to find information — such as reporting a water leak or malfunctioning traffic signal — submit a request, or check on the status of a submission.

•  Planning and Building — For telephone calls, Planning Counter hours are Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to noon. Building Division hours are Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Permit applications can be submitted electronically at the Permit Tracking System Public Portal. Arrangements will be made if electronic submissions sizes are too large for email.
•  Planning, Environmental Review — (805) 961-7543; planningcounter@cityofgoleta.org
•  Building, Safety Permits — (805) 961-7552; buildinggroup@cityofgoleta.org
•  Building Inspection Request — building.inspector@cityofgoleta.org
•  Code Compliance — (805) 961-7556; City Assist; Public Portal

•  Library Services — Sidewalk services — such as books on hold and children’s craft kits — at Goleta, Solvang, and Buellton branches start Tuesday, January 11. They will be available Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Face coverings are required.

“Health Officials predict the Omicron surge will peak by the end of January, and we are hopeful that if that is the case, we will be able to re-open in-person services by February 1,” said city spokesperson Kelly Hoover. The city, like many agencies in Southern California, has closed to protect community safety and the safety of their employees, she said.

City Hall reception and counter services are currently scheduled to resume January 31. Planning & Building should reopen to in-person service on February 1. The library will evaluate the safety of a return to in-person book browsing as early as February 1.


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