Group of North Bay restaurants, wineries and hotels sue state over shutdown limits

20 January 2021

A group of more than 50 restaurants, wineries and hotels in Sonoma and Napa counties is suing Gov. Gavin Newsom and California’s public health officer over pandemic restrictions that they say threaten the viability of their businesses.

The group, calling itself the Wine Country Coalition for Safe Reopening, filed suit in Napa County Superior Court on Tuesday, just as Sonoma County set a new local record for the highest number of monthly COVID-19 deaths, with nearly two weeks still to go in January.

The 22-page lawsuit seeks a loosening of the six-week stay-home order that now indefinitely prohibits restaurants, pubs and tasting rooms in the two counties from offering anything beyond takeout and delivery service — limits the group assailed as “draconian.”

Newsom and Tomás J. Aragón, the state’s health officer, are named as the defendants in the case, the latest in a long line to take aim at California’s pandemic-era restrictions on business activity and civic life.

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