Contra Costa County Allows Car Gatherings With Strict Rules

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A new health order Friday is giving high school seniors in Contra Costa County options when it comes to graduation ceremonies, but these come with strict rules. 

“I’m really excited,” said a Monte Vista high school senior. “Excited to be able to go to the park and hang out with my friends for a little while.”

The county is allowing gatherings in large outdoor areas such as parking lots for up to three hours, but guests must remain in their cars, and no motorcycles are allowed.

Organizers must provide security for any gathering with more than 10 cars. 

“I think it’s a little bit premature to be honest,” said high school senior Anna Bogomazov. “If we’re all in our cars and we have the proper equipment it’s a cool way to celebrate.”

Health department officials say they are making the move because they are seeing a slow in the spread of COVID-19 in Contra Costa County.

“We think we made enough progress that we can turn that dial up and allow slow opening up of some outdoor activities,” said Dr. Rohan Radhakrishna, Contra Costa County Deputy Health Officer.

This also gives churches new options, but some are being cautious. 

“I imagine Zoom, YouTube Live, Facebook Live will continue to be used especially to help include members of the congregation at risk more than others,” said Reverend Will McGarvey from the county’s Interfaith Council. 

The new order takes effect on May 19. 

“We are quickly running out of time. Graduations are a week from tomorrow things are still up in the air for us,” said Marcus Walton from the West Contra Costa Unified School District.

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