CONCORD (KPIX) – Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement to ‘hit the dimmer switch’ on reopening, hit the business community hard. They were banking on the July 4th weekend to recoup some of their losses, and shutting down indoor restaurants and bars may do very little to stop the spread of coronavirus, according to one Bay Area health official.

At Todos Santos Plaza, many restaurants have been fortunate to have an outdoor dining component to their business. A health official tells KPIX 5 the spread of COVID-19 isn’t happening here, it’s happening closer to home.

At Lima restaurant in downtown Concord, indoor dining was supposed to start July 1.
“We started hiring people, we start preparing menus, ordering more product, and then for what? For nothing,” says owner and chef John Marquez.

With Governor Newsom shutting down indoor operations at businesses such as restaurants, Marquez decided to just close up shop during what typically would be one of the busiest weekends of the year.
Marquez adds, “Its frustration because we need to know ahead of time so we can plan for ourselves.”

In Solano County, socially distanced indoor dining has been allowed for weeks. Public Health Officer Dr. Bela Matyas feels the Governor’s orders will have very little impact on the course of the virus.
“I fully expect that we will continue to see the surge in spite of those closures because people’s behaviors they’re normal for this time of year,” says Dr. Matyas.

Matyas says in Solano County, the rise in cases stem mostly from the Memorial Day weekend and family get-togethers such as graduation parties. Solano has seen an uptick in hospitalizations and two deaths in the last several days.
Matyas says the county’s focus is to weather the storm and protect the most vulnerable, adding “I don’t think it’s realistic to stop the spread of Covid at this point. I think what we want to do is have as little harm occur as possible while the spread is occurring.”

The Governor’s orders are in effect for at least 3 weeks. Ease in restrictions will depend on the number of cases and hospitalizations.

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