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COVID: Sonoma County Eases Capacity Limits On Indoor Gatherings As Case Rates Decline

SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) – Officials in Sonoma County revised capacity restrictions on indoor gatherings including high school athletic events Thursday as a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant appears to be easing.

Health officer Dr. Sundari Mase said that indoor events, which were restricted to 50 people, has now been revised to 50 spectators. The total does not include players, performers, media or staff involved with the event.

"Allowing 50 spectators to attend indoor events along with the performers, players and staff will not significantly impact our case rate at this time," Mase said in a statement.

Attendees at indoor events will still be required to wear masks, officials said.

Earlier this month, Mase limited the size of indoor gatherings and capped capacity of outdoor gatherings to 100 people when social distancing cannot be maintained. Health officials also voluntarily urged residents to stay home and travel only for school, work and other necessary trips.

The health order had several exceptions, including gatherings "that occur as a part of regular school instructional events or outdoor recess, workplace settings, courthouse activities, places of worship, cafeterias, or any venue that is open to the public as part of regular operations such as shopping malls, stores, restaurants/food facilities and museums."

Mase said the health order helped bring down case rates, which were at a record of nearly 250 per 100,000 residents per day, to 199.

"The health order was necessary when COVID-19 cases were spiking in the community, and it helped us bend the curve," Mase said.

Officials said the health order, which was enacted on January 12, will remain in effect until February 10 at 11:59 p.m. More information on the Sonoma County health order can be found on the county's COVID website.

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