Local restaurants that have begun seating people indoors will have to return to takeout or outdoor patio service for at least three weeks under new guidance from the state as COVID-19 rates continue to rise.
A variety of businesses in San Joaquin and 18 other counties are on the list from the California Department of Public Health, including indoor wineries and tasting rooms, dine-in restaurants, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums, and card rooms. Most of those businesses had not yet been cleared to reopen here and must stay closed. Bars and pubs must also remain closed.
The announcement came Wednesday from Gov. Gavin Newsom as the state reached 222,917 cumulative cases and 5,980 deaths from COVID-19.
He noted that there had been a significant rise in the rate of positive test results as well as the total number of cases reported. That indicates that the change is not due solely to increased testing.
“We are doing everything we can to focus on certain sectors of our economy where that spread is more likely, where that spread can be more concentrated, and try to mitigate that spread,” Newsom said.
The new guidance applies to businesses with a high risk of transmission because of how people spend time there: They are places where people congregate and may mix with members of other households for a prolonged period of time. At restaurants in particular, diners spend periods of time not wearing a face mask indoors while eating and drinking.
San Joaquin County is included because it, like the other 18 counties, has been on a state monitoring list for at least three consecutive days or more.
Neighboring Stanislaus and Contra Costa counties are also on the list.
The affected businesses, including restaurants and wineries, can continue doing business outdoors with modifications including face coverings and physical distancing.
Bars, brewpubs, breweries and pubs, which had not been cleared to reopen in San Joaquin County, must cease all operations in the affected counties.
Newsom said multiagency strike teams will enforce the closures, targeting businesses and workplaces that do not comply. The teams will include Alcohol Beverage Control, CalOSHA, Department of Business Oversight, Department of Consumer Affairs and the California Highway Patrol, and they will partner with local public health departments.
What this means for Fourth of July
Just days before the Fourth of July weekend, Newsom also recommended that San Joaquin and the other counties cancel any planned fireworks shows.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the city of Tracy had not announced any changes to the fireworks show planned for 9:20 p.m. Saturday above Tracy High School. The city expects residents to watch the fireworks from their homes or cars and maintain social distancing.
State beaches in the Bay Area will be closed to deter crowds during the holiday weekend. Other state parks will be open with measures in place to limit overcrowding.