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New Ban on Mass Gatherings In Impact in Sonoma County – CBS San Francisco

SONOMA (CBS SF) — Sonoma County this weekend comes under a new ban on mass gatherings and a request that people stay home. It’s just another disheartening setback for an area that depends on visitors.

“My first thought was I wouldn’t worry too much because I read it and saw that it wouldn’t affect restaurants,” says Sam Morphy, owner of The Red Grape. “The big blow came when the recommendation was to just stay at home.”

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The Red Grape celebrated its 20th birthday today. Morphy says he couldn’t have survived the past two years without eating plenty of roadside food, and he’s already doing more after the health order was issued on Monday.

“It’s always a bad time when they tell people to stay home,” he says.

“Yes, it’s definitely a here we go again feeling,” says Mark Bodenhamer of the Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Wine boxes have been replaced by mask boxes in the chamber offices.

“So we have quite a few N95s. And we have a second batch of KN95 and hand sanitizer that the state Department of Emergency Services sent to us,” Bodenhamer says, pointing to the supply.

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The board says the real frustration is that the announcement came so suddenly — particularly for groups hosting large events.

“With these things, it would be really nice if we knew even a week in advance that a shutdown or restrictions were coming,” says Bodenhamer.

January is already a slow month here. The hope is that after the order expires, some normality will not be far behind.

“So we’re content to sit it out,” explains Bodenhamer. “We really hope that by spring we’ll be ready to get back into business.”

“The Omicron seems to be going away quickly,” Morphy hopes. “We just hope there’s nothing behind it. We are looking forward to a good spring summer and of course a good summer. We just hope that doesn’t take anything away from us.”

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As in restaurants, the health regulation does not apply to workplaces, shopping centers or schools. It lasts until February 11th.

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