Shelter Order Amended: Outdoor Dining, Summer Camps Now OK in Sonoma County

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With the state of California giving the go-ahead to its request for a variance, Sonoma County moved forward to ease it’s shelter in place order late Friday by allowing outdoor dining and summer camp activities to resume across the county.

The new rules go into effect at 12:01AM on Saturday.  They also allow wineries, breweries, bars and pubs to reopen to dining if they serve food in an outdoor setting.  As of yet no indoor dining is permitted in Sonoma County.

The new order limits the occupants of any outdoor table to members of the same household or living unit.

The amended order also expands allowable childcare to include summer day-camp programs and allows drive in ceremonies and drive-in movies to take place.  Under the order libraries can now reopen to curbside pickup, and faith based organizations can do in person counseling, if no other option like virtual counseling is possible.

Earlier this week the county asked the state for permission to proceed more quickly into stage 2 of the governor’s reopening plan.  That request was granted Friday.  This comes as counties all across the North Bay are allowing a greater range to activities to resume, including indoor dining and retail in Napa County and Lake Counties, and the opening of beaches in Mendocino County.

Already Sonoma County has allowed parks to reopen, most retail to resume on a curbside pickup basis, and restaurants have continued in operation as curbside pickup or delivery businesses.  The largest impact of the new amendment will be to allow restaurants to serve meals outdoors.  To qualify, those businesses must follow a carefully constructed set of guidelines regarding social distancing, hygiene, face coverings for workers, sanitation, and the monitoring of the health of employees.

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