COVID: Will more Bay Area counties ban gatherings like Sonoma?

12 January 2022

Invoking the kind of restrictions on activities that marked the early months of the pandemic, Sonoma County starting Wednesday will prohibit large gatherings — indoors and out — in an effort to tamp down the alarming spread of COVID-19 from the super-contagious omicron variant.

For now, health officials in other Bay Area counties say they have no plans to follow suit, even though their virus transmission rates are in many cases worse than Sonoma County’s. But more restrictions elsewhere aren’t completely off the table.

“There’s so much rapid change. Numbers are going up rapidly,” Santa Clara County Executive Jeff Smith said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if something came up in the next week or so.”


SonomaCounty’s order begins at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday and will remain in effect until Feb. 11. It prohibits gatherings of 50 or more people indoors and 100 or more outdoors, as well as gatherings of 12 or more people considered high risk for severe COVID-19 illness.

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