Santa Rosa, CA – December 16, 2020 – Although the 11-county Bay Area region Wednesday was placed under a mandatory Stay-Home Order that will take effect on December 17, 2020 Sonoma County health officials are reminding local residents and visitors that a Stay-Home order has been in effect here since December 12. 2020. The local order took effect 32 hours after Sonoma County joined six other Bay Area counties and the city of Berkeley last week in proactively implementing the state’s Stay-Home order due to rising COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations.
“The fact that the entire region is now under a mandatory Stay-Home Order is just further evidence of how quickly the virus is spreading in the Bay Area and throughout the state,” said Dr. Sundari Mase, Health Officer for Sonoma County. “These orders are incredibly challenging for businesses, we know. But they represent our best chance at stopping this surge before it gets out of control. Our case rate and numbers are at an all-time high and some of our hospitals are already being pushed to extremes.”
The California Department of Public Health had indicated that a Stay-Home Order would become mandatory for any of the five regions in the state once a region’s ICU capacity dropped below 15 percent. The Bay Area’s ICU capacity on Wednesday fell to 12.9 percent automatically triggering the order for the entire region, particularly for the four counties (San Mateo, Napa, Solano and Santa Cruz) that had not yet adopted the order.
Sonoma County is already under a Stay-Home Order that aligns with the State’s Order, therefore no new restrictions are being implemented at this time.
Under the local order, residents are directed to stay at home except for work, shopping or other essential activities, such as medical appointments, allowed by the State’s Regional Shelter in Place Order. All sectors other than retail and essential operations must be closed. Outdoor recreation is allowed.
Retail operations are allowed to continue at 20 percent capacity, or 35 percent capacity for stand-alone grocery stores. Schools that have received waivers are allowed to continue operation, places of worship are permitted to hold outdoor services, and restaurants are able to offer take-out, pick up or delivery. Hotels, vacation rentals and other lodging are only allowed to offer accommodations for those coming to the area for essential work or for COVID- 19 mitigation and containment measures. But the following operations are required to cease both indoor and outdoor services:
- Hair salons and barbershops
- Personal care services
- Movie theaters (except for drive-in theaters)
- Wineries, bars, breweries and distilleries (except for operations related to production, manufacturing, distribution and retail sales for off-site consumption)
- Family entertainment centers
- Museums, zoos, and aquariums
- Live audience sports
- Amusement parks
Outdoor activities are allowed but only for the purpose of facilitating physically distanced personal health and wellness through outdoor exercise. Outdoor gym operations are allowed, but no indoor activities are permitted. No food, drink or alcohol sales will be allowed as part of outdoor operations. Additionally, overnight stays at campgrounds are not permitted.
Playgrounds may remain open to facilitate physically distanced personal health and wellness through outdoor exercise.
While the regional order is expected to be in place until at least Jan. 7, Sonoma County’s order will remain in effect until at least 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021.
The health order is available on the Sonoma County website at https://socoemergency.org/order-of-the-health-officer-c19-17-implementing-the-terms-of-the-regional-stay-at-home-order/. Residents can learn more about what activities are restricted by visiting https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/.
The County urges residents to plan on celebrating the holidays with only those living in their immediate households in accordance with the Stay-at-Home Order and not to rely on the availability of a vaccine during December. Although a COVID-19 vaccine is now available in limited doses, it will not be widely available until later in 2021.
The County is committed to offering resources to residents during this time. Residents who need support and information can visit socoemergency.org/coronavirus, and businesses can find resources and guidance on socolaunch.org/.