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Santa Barbara Coronavirus Support Guide: Resources and Ways to Help

March 17th, 2020 by Prontopia

Prontopia's headquarters of Santa Barbara is known for being a tight-knit community. We've witnessed the ways the community came together through 2017's fires and mudslides, and we will get through this. There are few other experiences that consciously unite the world at once, and though these are unfortunate circumstances, we are reminded through this of our connection. For resources, support, and ways to help, here's our Santa Barbara coronavirus support guide.

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(We will continue updating this post. Last updated March 20, 2020).

What's Happening With COVID-19 in Santa Barbara?

  • The first case has been confirmed as of March 15th - you can find more information here.

  • Sansum Clinic spokesperson Jill Fonte confirmed that drive-through testing will be made available foe the COVID-19 virus beginning on Tuesday morning. Note that it's by appointment only and at the recommendation of a patient's health-care provider.

  • Many businesses across Santa Barbara have closed their doors and postponed their events to protect the community. Many restaurants remain open for delivery or take-out service only.

  • Santa Barbara County bars, nightclubs, pubs, breweries, and wineries should immediately close to the public under new guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health on March 17th.

  • You can watch Santa Barbara County's COVID-19 March 16 virtual press conference here.

  • Street sweeping has been suspended, but timed parking (75 or 90 minutes) is still being enforced

  • The Santa Barbara MTD is letting know that extra bus cleaning is taking place nightly with medical-grade disinfectant on all high-touch surfaces.

  • March 18, Mayor Murrillo hit the streets with financial relief forms for businesses.

  • Here are the measures UCSB is taking.

  • The Santa Barbara Independent offers updated current statistics about the coronavirus in Santa Barbara here.

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Social Distancing: The #1 Way to Help Santa Barbara

Social distancing is the most important way to protect yourself and those around you and to flatten the curve (more on that here).

Social distancing is the practice of reducing close contact between people to slow down the spread of infection or diseases. Make sure to avoid: group gathering, sleep overs, playdates, concerts, theater outing, athletic events, crowded stores, workouts in gyms, visitors in you house, and mass transit systems. Use caution when it comes to local restaurants, visiting the grocery store, picking up medications, etc. And you're safe to take a walk, go for a hike, play in your yard, hang out with the people who live with you, go for a drive, have group video chats, and much more.

If you're able to work at home, cancel your commitments, and avoid social gatherings - DO. That's because a lot of people can't, from those without paid sick leave to our healthcare workers to everyone staffing pharmacies and restaurants.

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But Stick Together With Your Community

Social distancing doesn't mean cutting off contact with the people in our community. There are so many awesome examples of fitness instructors leading workout classes from rooftops in Spain, people playing music from balconies in Italy, friends planning happy hours over Google Hangouts, singalongs out of windows in Copenhagen, and more. Check on the people around you and keep the morale high. Social distancing doesn't have to mean lonely, bored, or inactive.

  • For those of you who are a part of the fitness community in Santa Barbara, there are so many ways to keep it up (and for those of you who would like to join, you still can!). See below.

  • Though churches have closed their doors, many are staying in touch and offering online streaming services in place of regular gatherings.

  • Download NextDoor to check on your neighbors and receive local updates.

  • Prontopia is hiring local assistants in Santa Barbara - if you wish to assist those who need it in this community, submit an application here.

Support Small Businesses

Small businesses will be taking a huge hit as they close their doors to help protect their employees and their clients. Purchase gift cards or order online from your favorite places to help businesses make it through.

  • Order coffee online from Santa Barbara-based Vega Coffee (offering fairer-than-fair-trade roasts)

  • You can order delicious sandwiches and more online from Three Pickles

  • Need some "quarantine cupcakes"? Order from Crushcakes Cafe!

  • Listen! If your restaurant is offering pick-up and delivery, email with as many details as possible and they will be included in a master list on this website (which you should check, because it will be updating regularly!).

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Not exactly local businesses, but...

Getting Exercise

Social distancing doesn't mean you need to stay still - and it shouldn't! Exercise is a crucial part of our physical and mental wellbeing right now.

  • If you're a fan of Josette Tcakik's zumba classes in Santa Barbara, you can still take them and be a part of the community online. 4pm on weekdays and 11:30 am on Saturday (PST - $5. Teach everyone you live with!

  • If you're a member of Corepower or Power of Your Om in Santa Barbara, both are offering free online classes to members.

  • Lady Gaga's former backup dancer is leading online dance parties - here's how to join. Or start your own!

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Supporting Nonprofits and Community Efforts

Mental Health, Laughs, & Entertainment

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Managing Time At Home For You & Your Family

For kids and families:

A kind reminder:

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For everyone:

Being Productive While Working at Home

  • GoToMeeting is offering free Emergency Remote Work Kits to help businesses transition to working remotely.

  • Friday is a communication app that helps distributed teams stay connected - perfect for lots of brand-new full-time remote teams.

  • Zoom is offering additional resources, including free lessons on how to use their video conferencing to effectively collaborate.

Resources from Our Community

  • Organic Soup Kitchen delivers nutritious soups to those with suppressed immune systems. To apply for a sliding-scale Soup Meal Program within Santa Barbara County, please leave a message with your contact information at (805) 364-2790. An intake receptionist will get back to you within 72 hours.

  • Goleta Union School District is serving free meals to all kids and teens 18 and under from March 16-19, regardless of what school the child attends. The meals are served at Ellwood Elementary School, La Patera Elementary School, El Camino Elementary School, and Isla Vista Elementary School. Breakfast is from 7:30 - 8:30am, and lunch is from 11:30 - 1:30pm.

  • Kiva Cowork will continue their Kiva Gives program and are building a coalition of businesses to help create a bigger impact for our local nonprofit community, and Amazon's new local Santa Barbara branch will be matching their Q2 contribution. For more information about this program, please contact Michael Lewis at

  • The Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade held a webinar on March 16th about neighborhood cooperation in crisis - you can watch it here.

  • If you're out of work - HERE is where to look for help.

  • The Foodbank SB just launched their first round of additional food distributions to help over 70,000 local employees facing economic challenges due to COVID-19.

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Helpful Links:

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Santa Barbara County Public Health Department

Santa Barbara Foundation

Nonprofit Resource Network of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Cottage HospitalSanta Barbara Bucket Brigade

California Department of Public Health

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization


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