Napa County 1st in Bay Area allowed to reopen dine-in restaurants

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Napa County 1st in Bay Area allowed to reopen dine-in restaurants
Effective immediately, restaurants in Napa County can reopen for dine-in service if they have made adaptations that meet state guidelines.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Effective immediately, restaurants in Napa County can reopen for dine-in service if they have made adaptations that meet state guidelines.

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California has approved Napa County to move further into Phase 2, which includes dine-in restaurants, retail stores, shopping malls and swap meets -- all with adaptations.

As for wineries and tasting rooms, they will have remain closed because they are apart of the state's Phase 3 of reopening.

Braiden Albrecht, a wine maker at Mayacamas, Napa's Historic vineyard, says they are eager to enter Phase 3.

"It hasn't been easy, but it's like everyone, we are all in this together. We want to make sure that we are part of the solution, even if it hurts financially for a little bit," said Albrecht.

Napa County businesses that reopen are required to meet state standards, show customers and employees the establishment has reduced risk, and post signage of their social distancing protocol.

"Those that you could only do curbside, now will be able to go into the store with certain amount of social distancing and wearing face covering. Businesses, offices, outdoor museums and the Culinary Institute of America," said Diane Dillon, Chair of the Napa Board of Supervisors.

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Napa is among the counties with the lowest cases of COVID-19.

The latest data shows three deaths and 92 confirmed cases, but Supervisor Dillon says they are ready in case of an influx of cases.

"You had to demonstrate that you are prepared if there is a surge and we exceeded all the basic requirements," said Dillon.

As per schools, the Napa County Office of Education says they are not ready to open by June 1st and added this statement:

"The five school districts of Napa County (Napa Valley Unified, St. Helena Unified, Calistoga Joint Unified, Howell Mountain Elementary, Pope Valley Union Elementary) and the Napa County Office of Education will not be opening for in class instruction on June 1. The districts will continue with the already established distance learning programs through the end of the school year as previously announced. In the County of Napa statement "schools" refers to all education facilities ranging from preschool to K-12 programs and college. Napa County businesses and agencies upon reopening are required to, at a minimum, meet the California COVID-19 Resilience Roadmap Standards for Stage 2 which includes staff training, physical distancing requirements and detailed disinfecting protocols. For schools to reopen and meet the required modifications will take significant planning and arrangements. The Napa County school districts school year will end in early June, and it not feasible to implement these changes in that time."

RELATED: 26 counties in California given green light to reopen schools, restaurants and malls

This week Sonoma County got the preliminary green light from the governor's office to reopen, but they had to amend their local order.

"Honestly there were are a couple things that were on dispute. Like for instance we said we wanted to open tasting rooms but the Governor's office came back and said, tasting rooms can open but only under the restaurant guidance which says alcohol can be serve with food," said James Gore, Sonoma County Supervisor.

"We also requested to do small services for churches. They said we could do drive in services, but you can't do small services. Tomorrow it will be approved by the governor's office," said Gore.

Sonoma County believes they will become the second county to reopen this week.

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