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Coronavirus

More San Francisco Bay Area Counties Ban Indoor Dining

November 14, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO — Several San Francisco Bay Area counties are joining San Francisco in banning all indoor dining and scaling back other activities as coronavirus cases surge nationwide, alarming public health officials as the holidays approach.

Santa Clara, Marin and Contra Costa counties announced Friday that they will halt indoor dining as of Tuesday.

Contra Costa County also is ordering indoor gyms and fitness centers to close. Santa Clara is requiring gyms to operate at 10% capacity and closing all outdoor bars, bowling alleys and other indoor family centers.

The Bay Area generally has been more cautious than the rest of the state in allowing activities during the pandemic, and health officers representing 7 million people implemented a stay-at-home order back in March ahead of a similar order by the state.

Dr. Sara Cody, health officer for Santa Clara County, which is home to Silicon Valley, said it is “absolutely imperative” to take action given the steep increase in cases starting around Election Day. She said she expects the state to move the county back to a more restrictive tier of operation and would rather not wait to take action.

Businesses have pushed back on the idea that restaurants and gyms are to blame for virus transmission, and health officials have said that small, casual gatherings at home where family and friends are not wearing masks or socially distancing are to blame for the latest surge.

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NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden promised to distribute hundreds of millions of free COVID-19 tests and to open more testing sites to fight surging infections, but the stepped-up efforts will not come in time for people who want to find out if they are infected before the holidays.

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