Napa County braces for second wave of coronavirus restrictions, added back on state's watch list

YOUNTVILLE, Calif. (KGO) -- On Tuesday, the State of California notified Napa County that is back on the coronavirus watch list, with all the consequences. They will take effect just past midnight, Thursday morning.

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No more indoor dining, tasting rooms, theaters, or bars.

The only difference this time, Napa business people know what to expect.

"I woke up and felt like I felt in March," said Toni Chiapetta, who owns the Sweetie Pies Bakery. Her business survived the last closure by making dinners to go. Now she'll be doing it again.

"Is it easier this time?" we asked.

"Yes. I'm ready this time. We know what we're up against."

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That will be at least a three week closure enforced by the state due to rising Coronavirus numbers. The figures did not surprise Dr. Karen Relucio, Napa County's health director.

"We are at a point where we have exceeded 100 per 100,000 cases in the past four days so now we are on the state's monitoring list."

For restaurants with outside patios, service may continue, as will the stress for owners who can only guess about staffing or buying food. Bettina Rouas, who owns Angele Restaurant, expects plenty of uncertainty. "It is devastating to open and close and open and close and nobody knows what to do next."

In response, businesses improvise to survive. At V.Sattui winery, they have already closed indoor tasting and moved it all outside. Innovation has become the next best option in this battle against the tide of a virus.

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"Until there is a vaccine I don't see us going back to a lot of inside functions," said Tom Davies, the winery president. "I think we should be prepared this will go on for a long time."

So, what happened? There are theories. After Napa opened so early, Bettina Rouas believes Napa is a victim of its own success. "Everyone got in their cars and drove to Napa without masks," she said. "The very business we wanted? It may have hurt us."

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