SONOMA (Up News Info SF) – Sonoma County is following in the footsteps of its North Bay neighbors and making further progress in Phase 2 of the reopening.
The California Department of Public Health made the announcement to allow the county to advance to Stage 2 late on Friday afternoon, just in time for Memorial Day weekend. Sonoma joins two other Bay Area counties that are already in the most advanced stage of reopening, Napa and Solano.
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Sonoma County, along with dozens of other California counties, filed a Certificate of Variation with the state, saying it meets the criteria set by Governor Newsom for the reopening of Phase 2.
According to the certification, the county has about 446,000 residents, requiring 670 tests per day and currently exceeding that capacity.
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"Because our residents have done such an amazing job following County and state health orders, we can allow the gradual reopening of some businesses here in Solano County," Supervisor Erin said in a statement.
Under the new rules, more low-risk companies, such as restaurants and shopping malls, will be able to reopen according to state guidelines that require social distancing. Facilities like wineries, breweries, and bars may also open for outside dining if meals are served, according to the county.
Outdoor activities are allowed as they pose a lower risk of virus transmission than indoor activities, according to health officials, and clients are limited at a table to members of the same household or dwelling unit.
While the announcement also mentioned the reopening of schools, the Sonoma County Office of Education had previously announced that county schools would continue distance education until the end of the academic year.
However, the expanded reopening applies to summer camps and other educational or recreational institutions or programs that provide care and supervision for children of all ages.
Companies that can't open yet include companies that offer personal services like beauty salons, gyms, museums, zoos, bars that don't have food service, clubs, concerts, and other live venues.
So far, there have been 444 cases of COVID-19 in Sonoma County. Four people have died.