By Betty Yu

SONOMA (KPIX) — On Monday evening, the dining room at El Dorado Kitchen on the Sonoma Square was empty after being full over the weekend.

The governor’s new statewide restrictions once again prohibit indoor dining and bars, wineries and other indoor businesses from operating amid a spike in coronavirus cases.

The rule wipes out half of this hotel restaurant’s business and means there are fewer shifts to go around among servers.

“Now that we’re backtracking again, it’s kind of difficult, we’re stuck between the right amount of shifts for everybody to make a decent wage and/or balance that with the bonus $600 from unemployment,” said El Dorado Kitchen manager Matt Jetson.

The governor’s restrictions have dealt another economic and emotional blow to many businesses.

Sonoma County is on the state’s watch list.

Public health data show that the rate of infections per 100,000 residents has increased six-fold, from 20 cases in early June to more than 120 on July 12.

“I mean it is unfortunate because a lot of businesses are suffering, especially ones that don’t have this outdoor space,” said Alison Killian, a visitor from Chicago. “But I understand that there are a lot of risks with having people in closed, inside areas.”

For now, wineries and tasting rooms can still operate outdoors. Take-out and outdoor dining are also allowed.

Since it first reopened, Roche Winery says it has been serving tourists and many visitors from other Bay Area counties.

“I don’t want to have to shut down again and not be able to have people here. We’re a small family-owned winery and so we rely on business to keep us going,” said tasting room manager Sean Morgan.

The state’s restrictions on indoor operations will remain in place until at least August 2.

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