Mill Valley city leaders last week sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom demanding he reconsider allowing outdoor dining.
The city says its small businesses are struggling or closing, and the local restaurants need the outdoor dining option to stay afloat. The city contends outdoor dining is safer than shopping, which is still open with restrictions.
The letter explains that COVID-19 cases in the county have gone up since outdoor dining was shut down and that the act of eating outside in a ventilated space is safer than shopping. Public health experts disagree, explaining that dining between more than one household is still very high risk.
Businesses across the state have been hit hard by the coronavirus restrictions, and Marin County is no exception. Data collected by researchers with Harvard’s Opportunity Insight Tracker show that in 2020, the number of small businesses in the county decreased by about 37% and business revenue in the county dropped by about 45%.
As of Tuesday morning, there was no indication that Newsom had responded to the letter.