With COVID-19 cases declining from a recent surge, Sonoma County Health Officer Sundari Mase, M.D., today clarified a recent health order that limited indoor public events to 50 people. As of today, indoor events can include 50 spectators. The total number of attendees does not include staff involved with the event, media, players or performers.
Mase said the Jan. 10 health order, which also limits outdoor gatherings to 100 people where social distancing can not be accommodated, helped to reduce Sonoma County’s case rate from a record high of nearly 250 new cases per day per 100,000 residents to 199 new cases per day today.
“The health order was necessary when COVID-19 cases were spiking in the community, and it helped us bend the curve,” said Mase. “Allowing 50 spectators to attend indoor events along with the performers, players and staff will not significantly impact our case rate at this time.”
The health order is due to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 10. Mase said that hospitalizations have plateaued since the order went into effect, and she noted that other Bay Area counties are seeing a similar trend.
Spectators at indoor events are still required to follow other health orders, including the requirement to wear face coverings.
On another front, Mase today announced she will extend a Feb. 1 deadline for workers in some high-risk occupations—including employers of law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, pharmacies, dental offices, operators of temporary disaster shelters in Sonoma County, as well as public and private schools serving students in transitional kindergarten through grade 12—to undergo twice-weekly testing if they have not submitted proof they have received a COVID-19 booster shot, if eligible for one. The deadline for the testing requirement will be extended to March 1 or until the current shortage of COVID-19 tests is alleviated. Employees must still submit proof they have received a booster, if eligible for one, by Feb. 1. If these employees are unvaccinated or unboosted, they must wear a surgical or respirator mask in indoor work settings, beginning Feb. 1. Details of the amended health order will be posted Friday on SoCoEmergency.org.