Entire Bay Area Could Lose Indoor Dining After Sharp Covid-19 Uptick

94% of California’s population to move back to most restrictive reopening guidelines

Amid an unprecedented surge in Covid-19 cases, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced yesterday that he would be “pulling an emergency brake” to slow the rate of infections and classified 41 of the state’s 58 counties, or roughly 94% of California’s 40 million population, as purple in its color-coded reopening guide.

The purple tier, which indicates that Covid-19 is widespread in a county, translates to closures of nonessential indoor business operations, including restaurants, gyms, and places of worship. Nearly all of the Bay Area counties, with the exception of San Mateo County, have already moved forward with rolling back indoor dining. Per Eater:

“Santa Clara, Marin, and Contra Costa Counties announced that all restaurants must move back to takeout, delivery, and outdoor service as of Tuesday, November 17, after a sharp uptick in cases of Covid-19. Those three counties join San Francisco, which closed dining rooms as of November 14, even as other regions, like Alameda and Solano counties, warn that they might also revert to takeout and outdoor service only.”

As Emily Mullin recently wrote, full-service restaurants offering indoor dining remain one of the riskiest places to go to and account for a large majority of Covid-19 infections, according to research using cell phone data from Stanford University and published in Nature last week.

“Restaurants are by far the riskiest, about four times riskier than the next category, which are gyms and coffee shops, followed by hotels,” Jure Leskovec, PhD, an associate professor of computer science at Stanford University and senior author on the paper, said during a press briefing on Tuesday.”

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Gloria Oh

Gloria Oh

Senior Editor, Medium. Founding Editor of Index. Previously, The Atlantic.