County Beaches Limited to Active Use for the Holiday Weekend

••• “On the first day of July, Santa Barbara County reported 268 new Covid-19 positive cases, making it the largest single-day total since the pandemic hit Santa Barbara four months ago and significantly higher than the 96 reported the day before, which was then the largest number of new cases yet reported.” —Independent

••• The county just released a new health order saying all county beaches will be closed this Friday through Sunday, but then it goes on to say that you’re allowed to “access and the leave the ocean for water sports or for physical activity (which does not include sitting, lying, standing, sunbathing, sightseeing, picnicking, and all other non-exercise, passive, or sedentary activities).” So you can’t lie on a blanket, but you could play an intense game of, say, beach rugby? (Noozhawk says that the city’s recent decision to keep its beaches open becomes irrelevant because the county order supersedes it.)

••• “Santa Barbara City has opted to close parking lots at beaches in accordance with the governor’s new recommendations. The beaches themselves will remain open after the City Council was unable to reach majority on a decision to close them. Restrictions will be in place at beaches throughout the city. Parking lots will be closed beginning Friday and will remain closed through Sunday. Stearns Wharf and Harbor Main lots will remain open during this time.” Does anyone think that people won’t just park on the street? Or that people driving up from L.A. and Ventura counties—where beaches are closed—are going to turn back around once they see the parking lots are closed? —KEYT

••• And evidently people won’t be able to grill food or sit in a hammock on the beach this weekend. I feel safer.

••• Bob Hazard—who has covered the water situation forever—deemed the recent desalination deal between Santa Barbara and Montecito good for both parties. —Montecito Journal (not online)

••• The Montecito Journal (not online) floats the rumor that change of some sort is coming to the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara (yes, that’s its actual name): “We’re told that existing reservations have been canceled through July 15, and any new reservations are not being booked until 2021, but it’s unclear  when the resort will reopen. Rumors range from an extended remodel being planned, to an up[coming sale of the property, but our inquiries to public relations staff have gone unanswered.” Heaven knows the hotel needs to update its Bella Vista restaurant.


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