COVID-19: What's Open and What's Closed in Bay Area Counties

A doctor with the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic walks by a supportive sign on a boarded-up shop in the Haight Ashbury area of San Francisco on March 17, 2020.  (Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)

Updated July 8

Governor Newsom and Bay Area health officials are responding to an uptick in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations by slowing down the planned reopening of bars, businesses, parks, and other public spaces.

Contra Costa, Solano, Marin and Napa counties are on the state's growing watch list of counties where the spread of the coronavirus is of greatest concern. The Governor announced on July 1 that many commercial indoor activities in these counties will be closed for three weeks: indoor operations in restaurants, wineries, bars and tasting rooms, movie theaters, museums and card rooms.

You can see the status for each Bay Area county by clicking on the links below.

Alameda

Alameda County called a halt on June 29 to its plans for reopening, citing concerns about hospitalizations and cases of COVID-19.

Officials said the case rate per 100,000 people increased from 63.2 to 71.1 within one week. Daily hospitalizations were decreasing through June 22nd, but since then the county has had a daily increase in hospitalizations. Local officials say they're concerned about the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, and alarmed by the disease trends in places that have opened at a faster rate.

On June 19, outdoor museums, outdoor restaurant dining, religious services and retailers resumed, with restrictions.

Stores and restaurants must limit customers to ensure social distancing. Religious services have to restrict attendance to 100 people or 25% of building capacity, whichever is lower.

Effective June 8, the county allowed child care and camps to open, and for youth extracurricular activities to resume with up to 12 children and adults per group. Each unit should remain intact for a minimum of three weeks, and each participant is restricted to one group at a time.

Outdoor gatherings of up to 12 people from different households, called a "social bubble," are currently permitted, provided residents only participate in one at a time and the group is maintained for a minimum of three weeks.

The county has issued guidance for businesses to reopen under a site-specific protection plan, which is not required to be filed with the state or county. Businesses must perform a detailed risk assessment, create a plan and post it on-site in a visible location near the entrance. You can find guidance and a template for creating a site-specific protection plan here.

The county already allows for curbside pickup at stores, and for manufacturing and logistics businesses to operate. Some businesses with limited person-to-person contact, including dog walking and pet grooming, are permitted.

Some libraries are open for curbside pickup by appointment.

California announced on June 8 that movie theaters could reopen with limited seating and other restrictions, but a spokesperson for Alameda County Public Health Department said the county had no plans "in the immediate future" to follow suit.

Read the full text of the latest public health order here. And here is the county's reopening plan.

Contra Costa 

On Wednesday, July 1, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state is mandating the closure of indoor operations at restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters, zoos, museums and card rooms in counties on the state's watch list, which includes Contra Costa County. All bars in these counties must also be or remain closed.

On June 29, Contra Costa announced it will postpone several reopenings planned for July 1. The county was set to allow for indoor dining, bars, indoor religious services, gyms and fitness centers, indoor museums, hotels for tourism, bowling alleys and other leisure facilities to resume operations.

But after a sharp spike in cases and hospitalizations since June 15, the county decided to put off those plans. On June 28, Gov. Newsom urged Contra Costa, and several other counties, to either close or put off reopening bars.

The county says it will delay reopening the above businesses and activities until county data indicate that the spread of the virus has slowed, as measured by at least a week of stable case numbers, hospitalizations and percent of tests that are positive.

Contra Costa announced on June 11 that it received a variance from the state to move at its own pace for reopening, and the county has issued a timeline for when different sectors will be permitted to resume operations.

On June 17, hair salons and barbershops were able to reopen. The revised stay-at-home order also allowed for indoor funerals and religious services of up to 100 people.

Schools and colleges can open in July and August, depending on their schedule.

Contra Costa also has an updated chart to show what's currently open.

Already permitted:

Indoor retail shopping, business offices, outdoor museums and pet grooming.

Services that don’t require close customer contact, such as housekeeping, car washes, plumbing and pet grooming.

Outdoor restaurant dining, outdoor swimming pools and dog parks.

Outdoor religious services of up to 100 people and indoor services of up to 12 are allowed.

The county also allows for small outdoor social gatherings, as well as child care and camps for all children, limiting the size of each group to 12.

Parks, beaches and other outdoor spaces are open, subject to restrictions.

Recreational areas and facilities with "high-touch" equipment, including playgrounds, gyms, climbing walls and spas, are still closed. Sports or activities that include the use of shared equipment or physical contact between participants are prohibited except for  members of the same household or living unit.

Use of outdoor picnic and barbecue areas and overnight camping are permitted for people belonging to the same household.

Libraries are open for "front door service."

Courthouses are open.

Read the health orders for all businesses and activities that are allowed to resume, plus requirements for reopening.

You can follow the county's progress on meeting its goals for relaxing restrictions on its indicators dashboard.

Marin

The California Department of Public Health added Marin County to the state watchlist on Friday, July 3rd. State health officials said the rise in cases and hospitalizations is being driven by several factors: the outbreak of COVID-19 at San Quentin State Prison, outbreaks in congregate living facilities and Latino neighborhoods and increased community transmission among essential workers.  Marin County Health Officer Dr. Lisa Santora said in a statement: "We've made gradual steps forward, and without our continued vigilance we will be forced to shut down portions of our economy again."

On July 5, officials did just that, closing indoor dining for a minimum of three weeks.

In late June, Marin County leadership postponed additional reopenings scheduled for June 29, due to a spike in coronavirus cases and record highs for hospitalizations and ICU patients in the county. These included hotels, motels and short- term rentals, gyms, tattoo parlors, massage and skin care services, and nail salons.

Businesses that could still reopen on June 29 included indoor dining; hair salons and barbershops; campgrounds and RV parks; picnic areas; and outdoor-based vehicle gatherings such as drive-in movies. Muir Woods National Monument also reopened.

Businesses and organizations preparing to reopen must complete a Site-Specific Protection Plan.

Marin has implemented a social bubble model for allowing people to gather again. The strategy calls for a group of up to 12 people agreeing to limit their face-to-face socializing to only each other for at least three weeks. Participation in only one social bubble at a time is allowed, with children permitted to join a second group for child care or camp. Children living in two different households can belong to the groups of both parents. Read the county's guidance on social bubbles here.

On June 18, Marin released guidelines for opening schools in the fall.

The county is calling for younger students to stay within the same group of classmates throughout the day, following a schedule that will minimize contact with other children.

Middle and high schools can form larger groups of students from more than one classroom subject to some restrictions.

Schools should maximize available outdoor space for class instruction. Meals will be served outside or in classrooms.

Protocols must also be in place to address the possibility of various members of a school's community testing positive for the coronavirus.

The guidelines include protocols for hand-washing, social distancing, face coverings and health screenings.

Read the full list of requirements here.

Indoor retail sales and personal cleaning services resumed June 12, as long as certain restrictions are met.

For indoor retail, which includes retail at auto dealerships, owners and managers must strictly limit the number of people in stores and their proximity to one another.

For indoor cleaning services, such as housekeeping and janitorial services, limitations include the absence of residents, tenants or members of the public in spaces being cleaned, whether they are residential or commercial, and that state cleaning guidance be followed.

The reopening of indoor retail follows the June 5 green light for outdoor faith-based and cultural ceremonies, charter boats, dog parks, swimming pools, and a wider range of outdoor recreational businesses to proceed.

At the start of June, the county reopened child care, summer/sports camps, general office space, libraries (curbside pickup and mail), restaurants (outdoor dining), outdoor retail, regional beaches and parks.

Some county departments are open for in-person service. See a list and schedule here.

The county has released an indicators dashboard where you can check the key metrics health officials are monitoring in determining when to expand the resumption of various activities.


Napa 

Governor Gavin Newsom added Napa to the state watch list on July 8th due to a rise in cases driven by family and community gatherings and increased transmission among the Latino population and agricultural workers. Napa County has been following the state's reopening road map and had received a variance to move beyond California's blueprint for shrinking the types of businesses and activities subject to the shutdown order.

Being on the state watchlist means that, starting at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Napa County has to close bars, pubs, breweries and brewpubs -- both indoor and outdoor services. Other affected businesses include indoor dining, indoor winery and tasting rooms, movie theaters and indoor zoos,  museums and card rooms. The closures are expected to remain in place through at least July 30th.

Hair salons and barbershops can open, with mandatory face coverings for workers and customers. Any service that requires touching the client's face is prohibited. In addition, places of worship can reopen provided they limit attendance to 25% of building capacity or a maximum of 100 people, whichever is lower.

Schools in Napa County were permitted to reopen as of June 1, but all five school districts and the county's Office of Education opted to continue to suspend in-class instruction through the end of the school year.

Libraries are open for curbside service.

Here are the county's road map to recovery and its most recent public health order.

San Francisco

On June 7, San Francisco announced that more scheduled reopenings will be temporarily put on hold. Indoor dining and outdoor bars will not be permitted to resume operations on July 13, as previously planned.

Businesses and activities currently allowed to be open, including outdoor dining and indoor retail shopping, can continue operating.

San Francisco announced on June 30 that it has canceled its annual Fourth of July waterfront fireworks show. In a statement, Mayor London Breed encouraged residents to follow health orders over the July 4th holiday weekend.

On June 26, a day after San Francisco received the go-ahead from the state to allow tattoo parlors, salons and a number of other businesses to reopen, officials did an about face and are now postponing these plans. From Mayor Breed:

The state on June 25 approved the city for a variance, which allows for more local control of reopening schedules. That prompted San Francisco to move ahead with plans to allow hair salons and barbershops, outdoor museums and zoos, tattoo parlors, massage businesses, nail salons, and outdoor bars to resume operations starting June 29. But that will now be delayed.

View San Francisco's reopening timeline here. The city is tracking the health indicators its using to guide reopenings here.

San Francisco already allows the following to operate:

  • Indoor retail at half of its capacity limits, with malls required to have plans approved
  • All curbside retail with no limit on the number of on-site personnel, subject to social distancing
  • All manufacturing, warehouse and logistics with no limit on the number of on-site personnel, subject to social distancing
  • Nonemergency medical appointments
  • All private indoor household services like cooks and house cleaners
  • Child care and education
  • Summer camps with stable groups of up to 12
  • Small outdoor gatherings (up to 12 people), including religious services and ceremonies
  • Outdoor fitness classes (up to 12 people) with social distancing
  • Professional sports and other entertainment (up to 12 people) with no in-person spectators, under approved plans
  • Some offices. Staff needed for operations who can't work remotely can work from the office as long as safety rules are followed. For those who can work remotely, they should continue to do so.

Outdoor dining service is also allowed, subject to social distancing protocols. Tables are limited to six people and diners must wear face coverings when not seated at a table.

San Francisco restaurants and other businesses can also apply for the city's Shared Spaces Program, which will allow them to use a portion of the sidewalk, street or other public space for outdoor dining or pickup of food or retail goods.

The city anticipates opening schools, bars, nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms, playgrounds and museums in mid-August. Here is the full schedule with all of the planned reopenings.

Office workers must continue to work from home if possible.

On June 6, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department reopened public tennis courts with safety precautions in place. Players must mark their tennis balls for identification and only touch their own balls. No sports aside from tennis will be allowed on the courts. Read the full safety rules here.

The San Francisco Public Library remains closed, but does off virtual programs for kids and adults.

Here is San Francisco's guidance and a tip sheet for more safely interacting with other people. "Although the Stay Home Order is still in place," the city and county said in a news release, "San Francisco recognizes that people may be starting to see family and friends again and is using a harm reduction model to provide guidance on the safest ways to do so."

San Mateo

On June 17, San Mateo issued a new  health order expanding its list of permitted openings to the following:

  • Dine-in restaurants
  • Hair salons and barbershops
  • Casinos
  • Family entertainment centers
  • Restaurants, wineries and bars
  • Zoos and museums
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Hotels for tourism and individual travel
  • Cardrooms and racetracks
  • Campgrounds and outdoor recreation
  • Indoor and outdoor pools
  • Outdoor recreation areas and outdoor shared recreation facilities

Car parades and protest gatherings are also allowed.

Read the full health order here.

Per state guidelines, personal services like nail salons, body waxing, and tattoo parlors were allowed to resume operations on June 19.

Restaurants that reopen must designate an on-site employee to maintain health, safety and proper social distancing protocols during opening hours.

Additionally, tables must be set up more than 6 feet apart, and patrons are required to wear face coverings, except when seated at a table.

Charter boats are allowed to operate, so long as 6 feet of distance can be maintained at all times between passengers. The passengers on the boat "must not shake hands, share food or drinks, or engage in any physical contact with each other or with the captain and crew."

Outdoor funerals can be conducted with 25 people or fewer, while indoor funerals will be allowed with 10 people or fewer.

The county allows retailers to provide curbside sales or drive-through pickup, and to let shoppers inside stores provided the businesses identify and enforce the number of people that can be accommodated given social distancing requirements, which must be posted.

Manufacturing and logistics operations that provide goods for retail stores are allowed. Small and large construction projects can resume subject to protocols.

Offices can open for employees who cannot perform their jobs from home. Businesses that are deemed essential by the state of California can also operate.

Outdoor museums, indoor and outdoor pools, and outdoor recreation areas can also reopen, subject to restrictions.

Religious services can resume, subject to guidelines provided by the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These include limiting attendance to a maximum of 25% of building capacity or 100 individuals, whichever is lower, one-way aisles and social distancing markers.

Libraries are open for curbside pickup.

The county is continuing to "discourage" gatherings outside of a single household, but they are now allowed to take place with up to 50 people, provided face covering and social distancing requirements are followed.

Santa Clara

On July 7, Santa Clara County announced it was granted a variance from the state that will allow it move ahead with a new health order that departs from incremental, phased reopenings. Instead, the new guidelines set broad, mandatory criteria for businesses and activities to resume, as well as additional sector specific rules. The new guidelines, which include requirements for facial coverings, capacity limits and case reporting, will go into effect on July 13.

The new order also allows for indoor gatherings of up to 20 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 60 people with safety precautions in place — although  gatherings  are "strongly discouraged."

Under the new rules, salons, gyms and many other business will be able reopen. Higher risk activities, such as indoor dining or going to a nightclub or stadium event, remain off limits.

Santa Clara County has been removed from the state's county watch list, and on July 7 the county announced that outdoor dining can resume.

On July 1, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state is mandating the closure of indoor operations at restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters, zoos, museums and card rooms in counties on the state's watch list, which previously included Santa Clara County. All bars in these counties must also be or remain closed.

As of early June, multiple sectors and activities were allowed to reopen in Santa Clara County, including in-store retail, outdoor dining, all manufacturing, small service businesses, child care and summer programs, as well as religious, cultural and civic activities.

A screen capture from Dr. Sara Cody's presentation to Santa Clara County supervisors.

The county put together a "What's Open?" primer to guide residents.

Summer educational and recreational programs for children are limited to 12 or fewer participants per group. For religious services and cultural ceremonies, outdoor gatherings of up to 25 are allowed. Residents can go camping should they follow social distancing requirements. All pet grooming is open, and dog walking is permitted.

No-contact, in-home services like house cleaning can resume, as can low-contact businesses like shoe or watch repair.

Any outdoor recreational activities that do not involve physical contact and adhere to social distancing protocols, such as swimming in pools, are already allowed to resume. Car-based gatherings are permitted, including drive-in theaters.

In-person shopping at small retail stores, as well as shopping centers is allowed, but social distancing protocols must be followed.

The county has created guidance for K-12 public and private schools to help plan for reopening for the 2020-2021 school year. Whether schools can move ahead with reopening for in-person instruction in the fall will depend on the containment of COVID-19 this summer.

In a June 26 press release, Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody wrote that she anticipates releasing a new order the week of June 29. She said the order "will mark the end of our sector-specific strategy and the beginning of a new phase, where many activities will be allowed to resume with appropriate risk reduction measures in place. And of course, many high-risk activities simply cannot safely resume here or elsewhere anytime soon."

Solano

On Wednesday, July 1, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state is mandating the closure of indoor operations at restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters, zoos, museums and card rooms in counties on the state's watch list, including Solano County. All bars in these counties must also be or remain closed.

Solano County has received a variance from the state to follow its own road map to recovery, organizing businesses and activities into low- medium-, and high-risk categories.

On June 19, nail salons, tattoo parlors and massage therapy services in Solano County were given permission to reopen.

On June 16, the county amended its stay-at-home order to allow professional sports without live audiences. Sports facilities must be disinfected regularly, and an adequate supply of personal protective equipment for all athletes, coaches, staff and vendors must be available.

Earlier in June, the county announced the reopening of racetracks, campgrounds, RV parks and day camps. Lake Solano Park and Campground and Sandy Beach Park and Campground are closed to the public except for boat launch during posted park hours.

Movie theaters in Solano County are also permitted to open, with theaters limited to 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is lower. Theaters must have a reservation system and patrons must keep distanced by 6 feet.

Public library branches have started reopening with service by appointment.

On June 8, the county moved into Stage 3 of reopening, allowing for family entertainment centers, wineries and bars, zoos, galleries and museums and gyms and fitness centers to begin reopening. Hotels, lodging and short-term rentals for travel and tourism were also given the green light, all with safety protocols in place.

The county also allows for in-restaurant dining and in-store retail shopping, provided businesses meet the state's social distancing guidelines. Shopping malls, swap meets and office-based businesses can reopen with social distancing restrictions in place.

Barbershops and hair salons can open with modifications.

Places of worship can open provided they limit attendance to 25% of building capacity or a maximum of 100 people, whichever is lower, per the state's guidelines.

The county tracks reopenings on its website.

Sonoma

As of July 8, county officials expanded antibody testing to residents who were considered essential workers in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. These individuals include grocery store workers, in-home support services caregivers, construction workers, utility workers and childcare providers.

Sonoma County officials announced on June 12 that tasting rooms for wineries and breweries are allowed to open without needing to serve food at the same time. Bars and pubs are not included, but can operate if they serve meals.

If COVID-19 cases remain stable, the county had hoped to open the following on June 19: casinos and card rooms; film, television, and music production; professional sports without a live audience; schools; day camps; campgrounds; hotels for tourism; bars; gyms and fitness centers; movie theaters; and zoos and museums.

As of June 6, businesses permitted to operate grew to include everything from agriculture to auto dealerships to child care to drive-in movies to indoor and outdoor retail, including shopping centers. Restaurants, hair salons and barbershops are also on the list. The openings are subject to limitations and social distancing guidelines, including reduced number of customers, face covering requirements, and self-checks by employees for COVID-19 symptoms, including elevated body temperature.

For the full list of which types of businesses are permitted to operate, see Section 17,  under Allowed Businesses, of the current health order.

County officials had also announced they will develop new measures to open more business sectors on June 22, provided health indicators remain stable. Businesses in this category, known as Stage  3 by the state, include hotels, campgrounds, RV parks, nonspectator professional sports, museums and fitness centers.

In early June, the county further eased restrictions on outdoor recreation for residents, reopening coastal parking lots and restoring daytime visiting hours at beaches. Individuals and households can use coastal parks for lower-risk activities, including hiking, walking, running, fishing and surfing.

Picnic and barbecue areas, playgrounds, dog parks, outdoor exercise equipment, drinking fountains and recreational campgrounds remain closed.

Libraries are open for curbside pickup.

Religious and cultural ceremonies, as well as protests, are allowed for up to 100 people or 25% of capacity, whichever is lower, provided social distancing, face covering and other requirements are followed.

Dr. Sundari Mase, the county's public health officer, said the expansion is possible because of the stable case rate. But she cautioned that, “The virus is not fully contained. We have not graduated to business-as-usual.” Mase encouraged community members, especially those with health conditions or those over 65 to carefully consider the time and number of interactions they have with others in public.

Michelle Wiley and Carly Severn contributed to this post.

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