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State Health Order – July 13

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The County’s Health Orders and Guidance are updated as needed based on changing State requirements and current local needs as determined by the County Health Officer. In order to see the most current orders that may supersede any previous order, please view local orders and guidance, and state orders.

The public can see what’s open and what’s closed in Sonoma County to find more details on what businesses are currently open in Sonoma County. The California Blueprint for a Safer Economy provides information on the state’s criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities.

State Public Health Officer Order for Sonoma County, July 12, 2020

On March 19, 2020, I issued an order directing all individuals living in the State of California to stay at home except as needed to facilitate authorized, necessary activities or to maintain the continuity of operations of critical infrastructure sectors. (See
https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/.) I then set out California’s path forward from this “Stay-at-Home” Order in California’s Pandemic Resilience Roadmap. That Roadmap identifies four stages of the pandemic: safety and preparation (Stage 1), reopening of lower-risk workplaces and other spaces (Stage 2), reopening of higher-risk workplaces and other spaces (Stage 3), and finally an easing of final restrictions leading to the end of the Stay-at-Home Order (Stage 4). On May 7th, I announced that statewide data supported the gradual movement of the entire state into Stage 2 of the Pandemic Resilience Roadmap, https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/COVID -19/SHO%20Order%205-7-2020.pdf. On May 8th, the Governor outlined a process where counties who met specific criteria could move more quickly than other parts of the state through Stage 2 of modifying the Stay-at-Home order, including certain businesses deemed higher-risk.

The current data reflect that community spread of infection is of increasing concern across the state, and most particularly in those counties on the County Monitoring List. In addition to the impact on the general population, community spread increases the likelihood of expanded transmission of COVID-19 in congregate settings such as nursing homes, homeless shelters, jails and prisons. Infection of these vulnerable populations in these settings can be catastrophic. Higher levels of community spread also increase the likelihood of infection among individuals at high risk of serious outcomes from COVID-19, including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. For those counties that have been on the County Monitoring List for three consecutive days or more, the risk is high enough that actions must be taken to protect the public.

The Pandemic Resilience Roadmap classifies bars, pubs, breweries, brewpubs, dine-in restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums, and cardrooms as Stage 2 or Stage 3 sectors with high risk of transmission due to a number of features of the businesses and the behaviors that occur within them. Public health studies have shown that the risk of transmission is exacerbated in indoor spaces, particularly when lacking appropriate ventilation. The sectors specified above, operating indoors, operate at the highest risk of all sectors allowed to reopen to date. These sectors are settings where groups convene and may mix with others for a prolonged period of time, increasing the risk of escalating the transmission rate of COVID-19. While physical distancing is critical to mitigating exposure, it is intended to protect an individual with brief exposures or outdoor exposures. In contrast to indoor spaces, wind and the viral dilution in outdoor spaces can help reduce viral load.

Bars, both indoor and outdoor, have additional risk factors. A bar, foundationally, is a social setting where typically not only small groups convene, but also where groups mix with other groups. Bars also have an added risk imposed by the consumption of alcohol as the primary activity offered in such venues. Alcohol consumption slows brain activity, reduces inhibition, and impairs judgment, factors which contribute to reduced compliance with recommended core personal protective measures, such as the mandatory use of face coverings and maintaining six feet of distance from people in different households, both indoors and outdoors. Louder environments and the cacophony of conversation that are typical in bar settings also require raised voices and greater projection of orally emitted viral droplets.

In summary, while these businesses represent a valued part of the fabric of our state, the characteristics of these types of establishments contribute to an environment with substantially increased risks for COVID-19 transmission. For those counties that have been on the County Monitoring List for three consecutive days or more, it is necessary to place restrictions on these sectors to protect the public.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, as State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health, order:

  1. Sonoma County shall close bars, pubs, brewpubs, and breweries, whether operating indoors or outdoors.
  2. Sonoma County shall restrict indoor operations as specified below:
    1. Dine-in restaurants must close indoor seating to customers. During this closure all dine-in restaurants may continue to utilize outdoor seating and must comply with the guidance for dine-in restaurants. Restaurants should continue to encourage takeout and delivery service whenever possible.
    2. Wineries and tasting rooms must close indoor services to customers. During this closure all wineries and tasting rooms must comply with the guidance for restaurants, wineries, and bars.
    3. Family entertainment centers and movie theaters must close indoor services and attractions to customers.
      1. Family entertainment centers may continue to provide outdoor services to customers, and must comply with the movie theaters and family entertainment centers.
      2. Drive-in movie theaters may continue to operate and should follow additional applicable guidance for retailers of Drive-In Movie Theaters.
    4. Indoor attractions at zoos and museums must close to visitors.
      1. Zoos and museums may continue to operate outdoor attractions and must follow the guidance for zoos, museums.
    5. Cardrooms must close indoor services to customers and must follow the guidance for cardrooms.
  3. These closures shall remain in effect in Sonoma County until I direct otherwise, which will be no earlier than August 2, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.
  4. This order supersedes any orders issued by Sonoma County on or after June 28, 2020, for the purpose of closing bars, pubs, breweries, and brewpubs.
  5. My May 7, 2020 Order permitting other Stage 2 sectors to open statewide, and all subsequent orders and directives adding or removing additional sectors to the list of those permitted to open statewide, continue to apply to Sonoma County. All of my other Orders, Guidance, and Directives, including but not limited to my guidance mandating the wearing of face coverings,
    https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/COVID-19/Guidance-for-Face-Coverings_06-18-2020.pdf, and my guidance prohibiting all gatherings, https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/CDPHGuidanceforthePreventionofCOVID19TransmissionforGatherings.aspx, continue to apply to Sonoma County.
  6. Pursuant to the authority under EO N-60-20, and Health and Safety Code sections 120125, 120130(c), 120135, 120140, 120145, 120150, 120175,120195 and 131080, this order is to go into effect Monday, July 13, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and shall stay in effect until further notice.

Sonia Y Angell, MD, MPH
State Public Health Officer & Director California Department of Public Health