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New restrictions on indoor businesses in Contra Costa County

Bay Area

CONCORD, Calif. (KRON) – Contra Costa County is one of the 19 counties on the governor’s COVID-19 watch list.

He’s ordered indoor operations in these counties to close, including dine-in restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, zoos, museums and card rooms.

Contra Costa County Health Officials have not yet allowed these businesses to reopen.

They were originally scheduled to open Wednesday but the county postponed that over the weekend.

No customers inside but the patio has been open for weeks at a bar in Concord.

This bar serves food and was able to reopen when the county allowed outdoor dining to reopen on June 5.

“The summertime, everybody wants to sit out there anyways so this is kind of, in some extent, normal for us,” Nathan Bouse said.

Nathan Bouse is the co-owner of Residual Sugar Wine Bar in Concord.

They were closed for months but were able to reopen in the beginning of June when Contra Costa County Health Officials allowed outdoor dining to begin.

Residual Sugar Wine Bar serves food alongside their drink menu and customers can sit outside on their patio.

According to California Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday, restaurants and wineries here cannot open indoor seating for at least three weeks.

Hospitalizations in the state have increased 51-percent within the past two weeks and the state is now using 60-percent of its available hospital beds.

“A lot of restaurant and bar owners are going through it right now and it’s tough so we are counting our blessings,” Bouse said.

Just last week, many businesses were preparing to reopen Wednesday in Contra Costa County. 

Businesses like bars, personal services, gyms and indoor leisure activities and hotels but the county postponed this decision over the weekend due to the number of coronavirus patients in county hospitals increasing by 75-percent in the past two weeks and the number of newly identified cases increasing from 38 to 87 a day.

Contra Costa Health released the following statement Wednesday that said in part:

‘The county is in close communication with the California Department of Public Health about the need to proactively address the accelerating spread of COVID-19 in our community. The state is particularly concerned about certain indoor activities that involve people gathering together in ways that make physical distancing or masking difficult or impossible, putting attendees at higher risk of becoming infected.’

Hops and Scotch, a bar in Walnut Creek, offers customers masks and hand sanitizer is located in multiple locations on their patio.

They said even if they got the go ahead to allow customers to sit inside, they aren’t going to allow it to keep their customers and their employees safe.

“We weren’t planning to reopen inside anyways as of July 1 and yes, people definitely want to be outside. We want to make sure the health and safety of our employees first,” Baldeep Sangha, Hops and Scotch owner, said. 

Owners of the wine bar here in Concord are saying the same thing that it’s not worth opening up inside and risking the health and safety of employees and customers when there’s plenty of seating outside.

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