Sonoma County Bars, Museums to Close; No More Indoor Dining Until August 2

State public health officials on Sunday ordered Sonoma County bars without food service to close and put a halt to indoor dining service as well as visits to museums and entertainment centers, marking the latest and most significant regression for the county into pandemic prohibitions with the coronavirus resurgent in the community and deepening its toll on livelihoods.

The highly anticipated health order from the state Department of Public Health goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday and adds Sonoma County to a list of at least 29 other California counties facing reinstated restrictions driven by a wave of summertime coronavirus infections and hospitalizations.

The number of known cases in the county reached 1,819 Sunday night, a tally that has increased sharply since Memorial Day and contributed to the state’s decision to add Sonoma County to the growing list of counties being ordered to dial back indoor business activity.

“The current data reflect that community spread of infection is of increasing concern across the state,” California Public Health Officer Sonia Angell stated in the order signed order dated Sunday.

The latest closures will remain in effect through at least Aug. 2.

Patio dining service, outdoor wine tasting and other open air commercial activities are still allowed. Bars that don’t serve food must close all operations, indoors and outdoors.

The rate of infections in Sonoma County has increased sixfold since early June from 20 cases per 100,000 residents to more than 120 cases per 100,000 as of July 12, Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase said in a county news release.

Two additional county residents died from COVID-19, the local health department reported late Saturday, bringing total known death toll to 16.

More than half of those people have died in the past two weeks.