Outdoor Dining No Longer Allowed After New Alameda County Health Order

Press Release

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On Saturday, Alameda County health officials released a decision that no longer allows for outdoor dinning after a new surge in coronavirus cases across California.

The total number of cases in Alameda County is at 7,725 with 148 deaths.

Here is the release:

ALAMEDA COUNTY – Yesterday, July 10th, we learned the State issued updated guidance, dated July 9, prohibiting outdoor dining in non-variance counties, including Alameda County. While Alameda County’s Health Officer Order allowed for outdoor dining, under this stricter State guidance, all restaurants, wineries and bars in Alameda County may only be open for drive-through or pick-up/delivery options.

Updated state guidance for restaurants providing takeout, drive-through, and delivery is available here https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-takeout-restaurants.pdf.

Our decision to permit outdoor dining was based on the Health Officer’s assessment that outdoor activities, with appropriate protective measures, carry less risk than indoor activities. At the time, many other counties had applied for a variance alongside or shortly after opening outdoor dining without consequences, and Alameda County took that same approach. At that time the State did not differentiate dining guidance by indoor/outdoor as it now does. With the new guidance dated yesterday and enforcement actions observed last week in Santa Clara County, the State is demonstrating a new approach.

We are moving toward obtaining a variance from the State, and a letter of support for a variance is on the agenda for next Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting. Alameda County hit pause on reopening on June 29thdue to rising case rates and hospitalizations, and delayed plans to apply for variance.

While the data have not become more favorable, applying for a variance is a procedural action that would provide us with the flexibility to ensure that we can continue to allow the activities that the Health Officer determines are lower risk for our community.

Approval of a variance is not an indication that we will pursue additional re-openings of other industries or sectors at this time.We plan to continue to make reopening decisions based on our COVID-19 indicators and data, science, and disease conditions in the County.

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