Sonoma County was added to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s coronavirus county watchlist Friday, July 10, joining 29 other counties in the state, according to the county’s health officer, Dr. Sundari Mase. Being placed on the watchlist is one of the first steps in a series of actions that could have certain businesses in the county shutting back down in as soon as three days, should case numbers not improve.
According to Mase, the county’s caseload per 100,000 residents has increased five-fold since early June. If the county isn’t able to show a decrease in the statistics that help serve as red flags for the state health officer, the state’s health officer is expected to issue restrictions that will prohibit indoor gathering for restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, bars, clubs, distilleries, brewpubs, movie theaters, card rooms, zoos, museums and family entertainment centers, like bowling alleys and arcades.
Though those businesses would no longer be able to be open for indoor activities, outdoor dining and take-out will still be allowed, and wineries, bars and tasting rooms would likely still be able to operate outdoors.
“Each one of us is responsible for slowing the spread of coronavirus and protecting our most vulnerable residents,” Mase said in a statement. “We can all do our part by continuing to wear face coverings, keeping our distance from others, and staying home when sick and not attending social gatherings.”
Virus cases in the county over a 24-hour period spiked on July 3, when the reported new cases in a single day nearly doubled the previous highest spike. Initial numbers reported listed 92 new cases on July 3, though the county’s coronavirus data portal says that 87 new cases were added.
The county’s most recently reported numbers, last updated on the evening of July 9, reported 1,561 total cases in the county, 774 of which are active and 773 of which are recovered. Fourteen people have died in the county, due to complications from the virus.
Counties being monitored at the state level are put on the California Department of Public Health’s data monitoring chart, which identifies the reasons the county is being placed on the list, as well as actions that need to be taken to address the reasons. As of 6 p.m. On July 10, the website had not yet been updated to include Sonoma County.