New COVID Restrictions in Sonoma County: What to Know

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Wednesday marked the first day Sonoma County banned large gatherings and officially requested for residents to stay home as much as they can.

The goal of the dramatic new restrictions is to slow the spread of COVID.

Sonoma County's new rule says residents cannot have any indoor gatherings of 50 or more people for the next 30 days.

For Nathan Cummings, who serves as artistic and education director at the Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma, the restrictions forced quick changes to allow performances to continue.

"I know that everybody is tired of the word pivot, but we are able to pivot to cap our audiences to still stay under the guideline and present our last weekend of live performances," Cummings said.

The theater is now selling 40 tickets max per performance and pushed back a February showcase by one week.

"It's hard to take a step back, but the health and safety of our audience is paramount with everything we do here," Cummings said. "So we will roll with the punches."

Meanwhile, the new restriction also states outdoor gatherings must be limited to no more than 100 people.

"I think quite honestly it's going to have both a short term and long term impact for Sonoma County," said Claudia Vecchio, Sonoma County Tourism president and CEO. "We are definitely seeing our properties have to scramble and react to the order that was just put into place quickly."

In addition to the order, there is also a recommendation residents shelter in place during that time.

Jannette Bell at Flying Cloud Farm said a wedding is booked at their location a day after the order is set to expire. But they are unsure what will happen at the end of the month if coronavirus case numbers do not go down.

There are exceptions to the new restrictions, specifically the order does not apply to schools, which in the county currently still remain open for all students.

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