FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Alameda County COVID-19 Health Emergency Press Release on Outdoor Dining
Statement from Alameda County Health Care Services Agency
ALAMEDA COUNTY – Yesterday, July 10th, we learned the State issued updated guidance, dated July 9, prohibiting outdoor dining in non-variance counties, including Alameda County. While Alameda County’s Health Officer Order allowed for outdoor dining, under this stricter State guidance, all restaurants, wineries and bars in Alameda County may only be open for drive-through or pickup/delivery options. Updated state guidance for restaurants providing takeout, drive-through, and delivery is available here https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-takeout-restaurants.pdf.
Our decision to permit outdoor dining was based on the Health Officer’s assessment that outdoor activities, with appropriate protective measures, carry less risk than indoor activities. At the time, many other counties had applied for a variance alongside or shortly after opening outdoor dining without consequences, and Alameda County took that same approach. At that time the State did not differentiate dining guidance by indoor/outdoor as it now does. With the new guidance dated yesterday and enforcement actions observed last week in Santa Clara County, the State is demonstrating a new approach.
We are moving toward obtaining a variance from the State, and a letter of support for a variance is on the agenda for next Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting. Alameda County hit pause on reopening on June 29th due to rising case rates and hospitalizations, and delayed plans to apply for variance.
While the data have not become more favorable, applying for a variance is a procedural action that would provide us with the flexibility to ensure that we can continue to allow the activities that the Health Officer determines are lower risk for our community. Approval of a variance is not an indication that we will pursue additional re-openings of other industries or sectors at this time. We plan to continue to make reopening decisions based on our COVID-19 indicators and data, science, and disease conditions in the County.
Lao Thai Kitchen will continue to provide take-out/to-go orders only. For the safety and well-being of the community, staff, and our customers, we will continue to implement guidelines from the government and health officials by wearing facial coverings, practicing social distancing, sanitizing areas and equipment, and providing hand sanitizers for use for our customers. We will continue to provide any updates as soon as we receive any press releases. Thank you for your continued patronage.
Lao Thai Kitchen