Coronavirus Impact: Napa County ready for yet another emergency; COVID-19 shelter in place

NAPA, Calif. (KGO) -- "We have four seasons in Napa--earthquakes, fires, floods and repair," said Dr. Jeffrey Yablon, a retired neurosurgeon who calls the idyllic wine country town his home.

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Napa knows how to do emergencies and with all the events that have come before it residents here say they're ready to take on the next challenge--COVID19. Health officials announced an official shelter-in-place order on Wednesday.

The order will begin Friday, March 20 and it requires that most people stay home unless engaging in certain essential activities, like getting food and medical supplied. Indiviudals may also leave home to perform work that is deemed essential such as law enforcement, first responders, emergency and public safety. Officials say people are allowed to go outside to take care of pets, go on a walk or just to get outside as long as social distancing is maintained.

"I think people have to be very cautious about the virus and keep the six-foot distance as I am from my former partner as well as you," said Yablon, "and I think if the health authorities tell us to stay home except for essential services, that's what we need to do."

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In downtown Napa, it didn't take an official order for many tasting rooms, retail stories and restaurants to close or offer very limited service.
Baris Yildiz has owned Ristorante Allegria for ten years and feels like he's been down this road before. At least this time, he can still offer takeout.

"I know some of the restaurants are going to stay open just to do to-go orders," said Yildiz. "Every other year it sounds like something happens in Napa, but this is something that's happening all over the world, not just in Napa."

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Napa's many wineries have already closed their tasting rooms, thanks to Governor Gavin Newsom's weekend directive.

But Kathryn Hall, who owns St. Helena's Hall Wines along with 4 other properties, will survive, and so will her community.
"I've been talking with other vintners over the weekend and I think we're all recognizing that we're in this together and we need to find some kind of solution to help our employees out as well."

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