San Joaquin County relaxed its COVID-19 restrictions again on Friday, this time to include dine-in restaurants and retail stores among those businesses that can open to the public.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the county public health officer, Dr. Maggie Park, said that the county has met state standards for testing capacity, hospital capacity, protection of essential workers, protecting vulnerable populations and epidemiological stability.

In other words, the rate of new infections and hospitalizations has stabilized. As of Friday, the county was reporting that there had been 752 cases of COVID-19 reported in the county, with 586 recoveries and 33 deaths, and 167 people hospitalized since the first cases were reported in early March, of whom 13 are currently in the hospital.

The businesses that may open as of Friday are dine-in restaurants and retail stores; logistics and manufacturing centers; certain service-oriented businesses, namely car washes, pet grooming, landscaping services and child care centers; offices; and outdoor museums or open gallery spaces. All are still required to meet sanitation and social distancing standards, as spelled out in guidelines for restaurants and for retailers developed by the California Department of Public Health and Cal-OSHA.

Some types of businesses and venues must still remain closed: bars, winery tasting rooms, gyms, hair salons, tattoo parlors, movie theaters, community centers and pools, concert venues, festivals and sporting events, and religious services with the exception of drive-in services.

Detailed information on county actions and state guidelines can be found at The state’s COVID-19 website also has resources on how businesses can be safe when they reopen.

Contact Bob Brownne at, or call 209-830-4227.

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