Alameda County Health Department

The Alameda County Public Health Department (ACHPD) announced July 11 that — due to new guidance from the state — it will no longer allow outdoor dining.

On July 9, the state updated its guidance and prohibited outdoor dining in non-variance counties, including Alameda, which now means all restaurants, wineries and bars may only be open for drive-thru or pickup/delivery options. To review updated state guidance for restaurants providing takeout, drive-thru and delivery, visit https://bit.ly/Indy_StateUpdate.

“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,” wrote an ACPHD press release signed by Neetu Balram, public information manager. “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 29, 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,” Balram continued. “Approval of a variance is not an indication that we will pursue additional reopenings 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.”

For more information, visit http://www.acphd.org.