By Wilson Walker

SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) — In Sonoma County, case numbers are rising so quickly that health officials are asking everyone to make changes.

The county says more than half of its new cases are coming from large gatherings of people. So it’s prohibiting those – 50 people indoors, 100 outdoors.

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Health officials are also asking everyone to voluntarily stay home as much as possible.

“We all have our shots,” said Barry Marshall in Santa Rosa. “I am a little skeptical of the effect of staying inside for 30 days.”

With the heavy fatigue of nearly two years of pandemic, Sonoma County’s new health order was bound to produce some skepticism & some eye rolls. That does not mean the message isn’t getting through.

“I’ve heard a directive, that people are supposed to be responsible,” explains Rick in Petaluma.

With its case rate up nearly 400% in two weeks, Sonoma hospitals now fear they could end up with triple the number of patients they saw during the last winter surge. It’s that worry, an overwhelmed healthcare system, that’s connecting with a lot of people.

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“OK, let’s say that you break your leg,” Rick says. “Do you want to be able to use those services.”

“This has been two long years,” says jewelry store owner Jenny Cherney. “It’s been fairly brutal on small businesses.”

Cherney says the 30-day request will almost certainly lead to less business.

“But I’m more concerned about my community,” she explains. “I don’t want people getting sick and dying, and if I have to slow everything down for a little while, then that’s what it is.”

And that’s the hope in the frustration, that this really is just for ‘a little while.’

“Oh, definitely,” Marshall says. “I think by March 1st we’ll be done with the major part of this.”

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The health order does not apply to workplaces, restaurants, malls or schools. It officially takes effect at midnight. and lasts until Feb. 11.