Sonoma County Travel Info During the Pandemic
This page is to inform you of updates regarding Sonoma County Travel info and for Mendocino County Travel related to COVID-19. We hope it assists you in vacation planning for The Sea Ranch and other locations in Sonoma County.
Important to note that Sea Ranch Abalone Bay will remain close due to its construction plans. Become a member of our Inner Circle to be first to receive the announcement of our reopening and be first to book your dates!
Updated Restaurant and Cafe information and their COVID protocols have been added to our Restaurants in and near The Sea Ranch page.
Update: September 1, 2020~Barber shops, hair salons, and malls allowed to reopen in Sonoma County.
The state’s new framework focuses primarily on two metrics: the number of new cases per 100,000 residents per day (based on a 7-day average with a 7-day lag) in each county and the percentage of COVID-19 tests that come back positive Counties must remain in each tier for a minimum of 21 days before being eligible to move to the next level.
California’s Coronavirius FAQs
Here’s a breakdown of how the new system works and what it means for restaurants, gyms, and more as posted in The Mercury News.
Q: What are the four tiers?
A: The tiers are purple, red, orange, and yellow.
- Purple is the most restrictive tier. It means there is still widespread transmission of COVID-19 — more than 7 daily new cases per 100,000 residents or more than 8% of tests returning positive. Nearly 90% of the state is still in the purple tier, which means counties still must close many indoor operations.
- Red is when there is substantial transmission — a new case rate between 4-7 per 100,000 and a testing positivity rate between 5-8% — and some non-essential businesses must remain closed.
- Orange is a new case rate of 1-3.9 per 100,000 and a testing positivity rate of between 2-4.9% and allows more openings.
- Yellow is the least restrictive tier, where most businesses are allowed to operate indoors, with masks and social distancing.
Q: How does a county move from one tier to the next?
A: The new system is designed to ensure stability. So counties can only move from one tier to another after three weeks and they must demonstrate two weeks straight of stability to move forward. Instead of updating figures daily, the state will now post updates weekly on Tuesdays starting Sep. 8, so any movement will happen on a weekly basis, not daily.
Q: Why do some counties with higher case rates get into less-restrictive tiers?
A: Case rates are now the main determining factor for where each county is on the scale, but case rates could be kept artificially low if the county isn’t testing enough. To prevent any incentive for counties to test fewer people and lower their case rate, the California Department of Public Health is crediting counties that are testing above the state average.
San Francisco, for example, has a daily case rate of 9.8 per 100,000 residents, according to the re-launched CDPH website that tracks the new metrics. A 9.8 rate should put them squarely in the purple tier, but San Francisco is listed in the red tier. That’s because the state adjusted for the fact that San Francisco has been testing residents at about 3 times the previous threshold of 1.5 tests per 1,000 residents daily in August, and has the highest cumulative testing rate of any county in the state.
Q: Did anything change immediately under the new system?
A: Yes, shopping centers and stores, hair salons, and barbershops can open for indoor business again, even in the purple tier, although patrons must wear masks and stay six feet apart. Shopping centers and stores must limit the number of people inside at one time, starting at 25% in the purple tier.
Q: Why then are some counties like Alameda still not allowing haircuts inside?
A: Individual counties can decide to open slower than the state allows, which is why Alameda and San Francisco aren’t opening hair salons for indoor service, for example, while Santa Clara, San Mateo, and Contra Costa started to on Monday. Alameda opened salons outdoors Monday and San Francisco will on Tuesday.
Q: What about my kid’s school?
A: Schools and colleges in the purple tier cannot offer in-person instruction, other than elementary schools that have been granted a waiver by the local health department. Once a county moves to the red tier and stays there for two weeks, schools can reopen classrooms.
Q: And my office?
A: The state says people in purple and red counties who can work remotely. Orange and yellow counties can allow indoor office work, but should encourage telework.
Q: So when can I go out to eat like normal again?
A: The vast majority of Californians — nearly 9 out of 10 — currently live in the purple tier. For now, restaurants and wineries in purple-tier counties can only open outdoors. Bars, breweries and distilleries have to stay closed.
When a county moves to the red tier, where San Francisco and Napa currently sit, restaurants are allowed to serve patrons indoors but have to limit capacity to 25% or 100 people, whichever is less. Wineries still have to operate outdoors and bars, breweries, and distilleries must stay closed. While Napa moved to open some indoor dining on Monday, San Francisco told restaurants to hold off for now.
In the orange tier, where a few counties, like Shasta and Plumas, currently reside, restaurants can serve up to 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is less. Wineries can move inside but must limit capacity to 25% or 100 people, whichever is less. And bars, breweries, and distilleries can open outdoors.
Yellow counties, like Modoc and Alpine, must still limit restaurant capacity to 50%. Wineries also must limit capacity to 50% or 200 people, whichever is less, and bars, breweries and distilleries can open indoor service but must cap it at 50%.
Q: How about gyms?
For purple counties, gyms and fitness centers are only allowed outdoors, and saunas and steam rooms must stay closed. Red counties can start to reopen indoor gyms, but the limit capacity to 10%. Orange counties can increase indoor capacity to 25% and open indoor pools. Yellow counties can up capacity to 50% and open saunas, spas, and steam rooms.
Q: How do I find out more about what’s open and closed in my county?
Visit covid19.ca.gov. The state has created a tool that allows people to search by county or sector. Make sure to check with your county’s public health department, too, in case the county has imposed stricter measures.
Gov. Newsom Announces New Reopening Plan for California
Sonoma County Purple Tier
August 31 -Businesses and activities with Modifications May Open
Requirements to Reopen
- Accommodate mask wearing at all times (for example, eating and drinking requires removing masks)
- Allow physical distance between individuals from different households
- Limit the number of people per square foot
- Limit time that an individual is at the business or activity
- Limit time of exposure
- Limit mixing of people from different households
- Limit amount of physical interactions of visitors/patrons
- Increase airflow (such as operating outdoors or opening windows and doors)
- Limit activities that are known to increase virus spread (like singing, shouting and heavy breathing)
New Enforcement Penalties for Sonoma County’s Health Orders.
- Failure to wear facial coverings
- Not practicing safe social distancing (maintaining 6-foot separations from non-family members) when in public
- Taking part in gatherings of more than 12 people who aren’t sheltering in the same household
The Board also approved the creation of a hotline – 1-833-SAFE707 – for the public to report infractions.
The ordinance was approved unanimously by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on an urgent basis, meaning the rules became effective immediately.
Mendocino Initiate Fines for Not Wearing Masks
Be aware that when you enter Gualala you are in Mendocino County. Mendocino County supervisors approved an ordinance last week allowing designated county personnel to cite individuals for failure to wear a facial covering, with fines of $100, $200, and $500, for first, second and third offenses, respectively.
CA State Places Restrictions on Some businesses
California Coronavirus FAQs
GET READY – GET SET…GO!!
Sonoma County leisure tourism resumed on June 19, 2020.
And when you go be sure to pack your mask (including a spare for just in case!). Then remember to wear your mask, plus maintain 6 feet spacing between you and others. By following these protocols without a doubt the state will safely reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s important to note Sonoma County always required the use of a mask while in public spaces.
It must be remembered, the following plans will only move forward so long as we don’t see several “red flags.” Therefore, concern remains for the worsening of multiple metrics of the re-opening criteria. You can keep track of our current status with the “Roadmap to Reopening” dashboard on the SoCoEmergency site.
Our public health team is continually assessing the data and expects to make the final, formal call on Phase III reopenings next week.
Vacation Planning- At Your Own Risk
While this Amendment, Order, or the State Order, allows these venues and locations, continue to practice COVID-19 protocols. It’s important that you assure your vacation plans and activities do present a risk. Community members should conduct their own risk-based assessment of what activities are appropriate, especially those who have underlying medical conditions, people age 65 or older, or who are otherwise vulnerable (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/index.html).
All health orders may be found here: https://socoemergency.org/emergency/novel-coronavirus/health-orders/