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Sonoma County gets clearance from California to advance to Phase 2 reopening

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Track cases in Sonoma County, across California, the United States and around the world here.

The state has given Sonoma County permission to move forward in reopening more of its economy and civic life, with plans in the works at the county level to allow patio service at restaurants, breweries and tasting rooms, drive-through graduation ceremonies and drive-up religious services.

The state’s Department of Public Health added Sonoma to a list of counties that say they’ve met California’s readiness criteria Friday, and a county spokesman confirmed that Sonoma County’s request for a variance from the state’s roadmap to reopening had been approved, allowing the county to move more quickly and paving the way for swifter reopening of some commercial and cultural activities.

The details of an anticipated revised health order outlining businesses and establishments permitted to reopen are expected later on Friday.

Sonoma is the third Bay Area county after Napa and Solano to secure state approval to move ahead with its Phase 2 reopening.

The request, submitted earlier this week, outlines the steps Sonoma County has taken to better account for the spread of the pandemic and to react in case of an increase in case numbers beyond state thresholds. Such an increase could trigger renewed restrictions on economic activity — the county noted that no more than 10 people with COVID-19 had been hospitalized from May 3 to May 17, the two-week period preceding the request by Dr. Sundari Mase, the county’s health officer.

A total of 444 cases have been detected in Sonoma County, though the true spread of the virus is likely greater due to asymptomatic cases and the lack of broad testing infrastructure earlier this year. As of Friday afternoon, 233 COVID-19 cases were active, 207 patients had recovered, and four people had died.

This story will be updated.

For more stories about the coronavirus, go here.

Track cases in Sonoma County, across California, the United States and around the world here.

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