North Bay official provides details on plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions in Sonoma County

SANTA ROSA, Calif (KGO) -- Six Bay Area counties have extended the novel coronavirus related shelter-in-place order until the end of May however, some other counties are thinking of reopening sooner. Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins spoke with ABC7's Kristen Sze about their plans as to when and what they are thinking about opening.

RELATED: 6 Bay Area counties relax some shelter-in-place restrictions; here are changes starting May 4

Recently, in the North Bay, the Sonoma county health officer announced lifting park closures.

"This amended closure order lets residents use their local parks while minimizing the likelihood of unsafe crowding," Dr. Sundari Mase said. "The community is making an extraordinary effort to flatten the curve of infections, but the risk is still too great to fully reopen parks. I'm asking the public to continue sheltering at home and visit only those parks they can easily walk or bike to."

The order states that park visitors are still required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.

"It has been difficult for our community to live with restricted access to parks during our temporary shelter in place order these past weeks." said Susan Gorin, chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. "This revised order opens up our parks for walking and riding, which is so important for our community. We look forward to the day when we can travel to all of our favorite parks, but until then, we need to stay close to home and limit our exposure to others."

RELATED: Sonoma County reportedly planning to ease COVID-19-related shelter at home restrictions this week

According to the order, Sonoma Coast beaches will remain closed because of the potential for crowding and the limited resources available to enforce local walk-in and bike-in access along the coastline. The order allows Russian River beaches to open to residents who can walk or bike from their homes. Residents can use the parks only for walking, hiking, jogging, biking and fishing.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Sonoma County reports 228 COVID-19 cases and 2 deaths.

Hopkins said they are not setting a specific date for lifting the shelter in place order like the other 6 Bay Area counties and said county's decision to ease restrictions is driven by data. Their approach to reopening the county is closely driven by the Governor's orders.

Watch the full interview in the player above.



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