Dear Chamber Members, Downtown Santa Barbara Members and Community Partners,

As of 9:00 p.m. on March 12, 2020, "Santa Barbara County has  NO  confirmed cases of COVID-19 to date," according to Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

The health and safety of our employees, employers, and the larger community is our top priority. Toward that end, we are committed to making preparations for operational continuity plans, ensuring that remote work is an option for employees to the greatest extent possible, and reminding all members of our organizations and community of best practices with regard to health and safety.   

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we recommend that you stay up to date on the latest information provided by local health officials to help ease employee and customer concerns while preventing the spread of the virus. 

The County of Santa Barbara Public Health Department released a new website with up-to-date information on COVID-19. You can view their resources by clicking here.

Businesses should familiarize themselves with workplace recommendations from the US Chamber of Commerce CalChamber  and the  State of California.

As recommended by the County of Santa Barbara Public Health Department, if you are not feeling well or are experiencing cold, flu or other symptoms, stay home to avoid spreading your germs to others. Take common-sense precautions to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and viruses like colds and flu and stay home to avoid the spread of germs.
Here are initial steps you can take to be prepared:
Allow for flexible working arrangements when available:
As an employer, if you have the opportunity to address work infrastructure to allow for employees to work remotely during this time, we recommend that you put together an action plan and be prepared should a public health emergency be declared. Action plans should include reviewing staffing to identify workers who could work from home, resulting in fewer people and less contact between people at the workplace. Employees should speak to their employer about alternative work plans, such as telecommuting.
Document impacts to your business:
While the COVID-19 situation is still unfolding, we are recommending that all businesses and organizations carefully document impacts to your businesses caused by the outbreak.  Documenting any losses from canceled events or decreased sales could assist in   insurance claims or potential relief programs from government agencies. 

Meetings, Conferences & Events.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued guidance limiting group events to 250 persons, per space, through March 31, 2020. Additionally, groups under 250 people are encouraged to maintain six feet of space between participants. High risk individuals are limited to 10 people at a time.  Yesterday afternoon, Governor Newsom issued an  executive order  directing residents to follow public health directives and guidance, including to cancel large non-essential gatherings that do not meet state criteria. Both the CDPH guidance and executive order contain important details, and we encourage you to take the time to read these documents thoroughly.
As of 9:00 p.m. on March 12, 2020,  Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has issued a declaration of a local health emergency and health officer order for the postponement and cancellation of events, as indicated on their website, as well as social distancing measures. The guidelines to be implemented are in direct alignment with California Department of Public Health's most recent guidelines issued yesterday regarding social distancing and public gatherings.

Online Resources:

We will be continuing to issue updates as we receive notifications from the Santa Barbara County Health Department. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for support.

S T A Y  C O N N E C T E D