By KAREN VELIE
Santa Barbara County is bringing back its mask mandate amid a surge in Covid-19 cases because of the highly contagious delta variant.
Starting Friday at 5 p.m., people 2 years old and above will be required to wear face coverings in public indoor settings — even if they’re vaccinated. The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is also recommending people wear masks at outside events with large crowds.
“Please play your part in wearing a mask in public, indoor settings and avoid crowded, outdoor events,” said Dr. Henning Ansorg, Santa Barbara County’s public health officer. “We will review this health officer order and guide it by case rate, vaccination rate, and hospitalization rate and capacity.”
After dropping to less than two cases per 100,000 residents in late May, Santa Barbara County is currently averaging 12.9 cases a day per 100,000 residents.