County Virus Cases Tick Upward Since Reopening. 42 Cases in 48 Hours.

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Sonoma County’s health officer and other county officials are cautiously optimistic that more of the local economy can be reopened, even as the initial phase of reopening has been accompanied by a small but definite upturn in newly detected virus cases.

In the past 48 hours, 42 new cases have been reported, the highest two day total since testing began.

All of this comes as the county conducts more tests than ever before.  That includes more than 500 a day at two state funded testing sites open to anyone in Santa Rosa and Petaluma, and a county run drive through site, limited at present to front line workers, first responders and essential workers, at the public health office.

The last 10 days have seen three of the five highest daily tallies of new coronavirus cases since testing began in Sonoma County, a total of 124 in just over a week.

Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase says it appears that more of the cases are being spread through community transmission, a development she said was expected as stay-at-home orders began to be relaxed.

All of this comes as Sonoma County is asking the state this week for permission to adopt a faster reopening plan.  That plan would expand upon the current one which allows curbside retail activities, and as of this week the resumption of routine healthcare visits.

If approved, as early as the Memorial Day weekend Sonoma County may allow restaurants, brewpubs and wineries with outside seating to begin welcoming on-site customers.  It would also reopen summer camps for children, and allow drive up religious services and other activities.

All of those activities would be subject to rules requiring social distancing, sanitizing of surfaces, use of masks by restaurant staff, and other changes.

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