COVID surge: Bay Area extends stay-at-home order

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KRON) – State officials have extended the Bay Area’s stay-at-home order for the 11-county Bay Area region, including Sonoma County.

Restrictions remain in place until the state’s four-week projections of the Bay Area’s total available ICU bed capacity is greater than or equal to 15%.

This decision comes from an increasing amount of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.

“Sonoma County residents and businesses have endured so much over the past year, and I know that everyone is anxiously awaiting the time when we can finally return to a sense of normalcy and safely reopen our economy,” said Lynda Hopkins, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “While we are hopeful that the vaccine will soon provide the means to end this pandemic, the virus is still raging through our community. We are asking everyone for a little more patience while we slow the spread and work through our vaccine distribution plan.”

Under the extended order, people are urged to stay at home except for work, shopping or other essential activities.

The following operations are required to remain closed:

  • Outdoor dining (takeout and delivery still available)
  • Outdoor and indoor personal care services, including hair and nail salons
  • Indoor gyms, including one-on-one personal training
  • All in-person low-contact retail, like electronics repair or dog grooming (curbside operations still open)
  • Outdoor museums, zoos, and aquariums (outdoor botanical gardens and historic sites still open)
  • Hotels and lodging for leisure (still open for essential travel, and for isolation and quarantine) 
  • Drive-in gatherings, including drive-in movies
  • Bus and boat tours
  • Outdoor family recreation centers, like miniature golf and batting cages

Outdoor gyms and fitness classes can have up to 12 people, including staff, outside.

Outdoor activities are allowed but only for the purpose of facilitating physically distanced personal health and wellness.

Indoor grocery, retail and shopping malls can stay open

  • As of December 10, grocery stores can increase maximum capacity to 35%
  • All retail and essential businesses must have a way to check the number of people inside and limit it
  • Special shopping hours should be reserved for older adults and others at risk of serious illness from COVID-19
  • No eating or drinking is allowed

Schools that have not opened must stay closed

Schools that have opened already can stay open. All other schools must stay closed.

Grades TK-6 who want to reopen need a waiver from the Health Officer. Middle and high schools can apply to open outdoor classes. 

Childcare facilities and after school programs may also stay open.

Organized youth sports may continue, but cannot hold competitions or allow spectators. 

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