COVID-19 Update 07/09/20: Is Sonoma County Reopening or Closing?
COVID-19 Update 07/09/20: Is Sonoma County reopening or closing? Well, that answer depends on what day you ask. So, let’s discuss what that means…
Here in California, local, county and state officials continually monitor COVID-19 data. Some of that monitored data includes the number of positive cases, deaths, the positivity rate and the hospital and ICU rates. Data indicator thresholds are then set to help contain the spread. Indicators below a certain threshold, allow for some further reopening. While indicators above the threshold, triggers a watch list. If a county remains on a watch list for 3+ consecutive days, the state requires the county to reinstate some sectoral closures.
On June 19th, Sonoma County’s data indicators allowed the county to move further into reopening! And as those sectors reopened, modifications using guidelines set forth by the state of California, needed to be put in place. Leisure travel/tourism was one of these sectors allowed to reopen!
However, in just the 3 weeks since then, our data indicators have been consistently trending upwards. As of today (July 9th), Sonoma County is at the threshold. And our county health official expects that by early next week, some closures will have to be reinstated.
So to wrap up this part…many sectors reopened, but some sectors may be closing again. And if you are making plans to visit, check Sonoma County or Sonoma County Tourism just before coming to see the latest info. Now then, what about Wine County Journeys?
Wine Country Journeys is not Reopening Yet
It is up to each individual company to decide when they are ready to reopen their doors. Many factors go into this difficult decision. First, they must be able to meet the required modifications. Secondly, they must assess the potential risk to both their employees and their customers. Lastly, they need determine if customers are ready to return. Just because a company reopens, does not mean the customers are ready to come back.
At this time, Wine Country Journeys has decided we cannot reopen yet. This was a difficult decision, one that was made after many discussions and running various scenarios. The two biggest factors in the spread of COVID-19 are distance and duration. The closer people are to one another, coupled with the length of time they spend together, increases their risk significantly.
Recommended modifications include additional sanitation requirements, partition/barrier between the driver and guests, separation of guests’, masks, limited time inside the enclosed vehicle, and windows fully open with outside ventilation. Our tours have always been small intimate groups, and as such, our vehicles are simply not large enough to create the proper physical distancing/partitioning. In addition to that, our travel times (inside the enclosed vehicles) can be up to 1.5 hours at a time. Between the modifications and risk, we simply cannot reopen yet. As things progress and change, we will continue to evaluate our timing of reopening. As always, we will keep our website up to date with our latest news.
Wine Country Journeys will be back!!!
We hope everyone is doing the responsible thing and helping to stop the spread of COVID-19 to save lives. We’re doing our part here and looking forward to seeing you in the future! While we are anxious to reopen and start touring our beautiful Wine County again with all of you, we simply have to be patient and wait. We know it is for the best, as our top priority remains the health and safety of our workers, guests and the greater community.