COVID-19 restrictions tighten in Contra Costa County

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KRON) – With Contra Costa County back in the most restrictive purple-tier, the county’s COVID task force is reminding businesses to follow health orders to prevent the spread of the virus.

The task force has been working to educate businesses amid receiving about 900 COVID related complaints since the start of the pandemic.

And cases are rising, which has prompted additional restrictions in the county.

“A lot of what we’re seeing is people not wearing their mask when they’re at their business, or employees of a business not wearing a mask. So we really try to educate them on the importance of covering their face,” said Contra Costa County District attorney’s office public information officer Scott Alonso.

And that is part of the reason why Contra Costa County has moved back again to the purple tier, the most restrictive phase of reopening in California.

“A lot of it are restaurants, but it could be gyms. It could be a CrossFit or a salon. It could be outdoor dining where there’s not social distancing. It could be indoor dining, which now isn’t allowed,” Alonso discussed.

With that rollback, the county’s COVID-19 task force will be focusing on enforcement.

“We know how hard it is for businesses right now. We want to support them, but ultimately they need to follow public health guidelines to stop the spread of the virus,” Alonso added.

Owner of Hair 2000 Salon agrees.

“People are probably not being as safe as they should,” Luis Soto said.

He owns Hair 2000 Salon in Orinda and is feeling the impact of seeing fewer clients.

“Some of our clients hear the news that the numbers are rising, so they’re getting a little nervous about it and they’re having a hard time making appointments because they want to stay home. They feel safer at home.”

Only one client is allowed inside at a time. Soto takes their temperatures, constantly sanitizes, and is getting tested himself for COVID.

He hopes other fellow businesses are doing their part to prevent the spread of the virus.

“It’s a struggle, but you know we got to do the best that we can. And the most important thing is just to be safe and to keep everybody safe.”

In the meantime, the county’s task force made up of the health department, sheriff’s office, and department of conservation will be responding to complaints about businesses and individuals not following the rules.

“Individuals can be fined $100, and a business can be fined $250. And that could escalate per violation, so a business could actually see a fine up to $1000 per violation,” Alonso explained.

The last thing the county wants to do is fine people and businesses, but their goal is to bring COVID cases down.

To report COVID violations in Contra Costa County, you can call a tip line at 925-957-8608 or send an email to da-reportfraud@contracostada.org.

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