Photo: Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE
Outdoor dining in Alameda County has been suspended after a new state guidance prohibits the activity from occurring in counties that have not received a regional variance from state officials.
Alameda County and Southern California's Imperial County are the only two counties in the state that have not gone through the attestation process for a variance to move deeper into the state's reopening plan. In a late Friday night statement, Alameda County officials said they must abide by the stricter state order.
"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 pick-up/delivery options," the statement reads.
In another statement released Saturday morning, the county announced it plans to apply for a regional variance in the near future.
"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," county officials wrote. "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."
The county noted that obtaining a variance does not necessarily mean other business that have yet to reopen such as hair salons, gyms and indoor dining are slated to return in the near future.
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Eric Ting is an SFGATE digital reporter. Email: [email protected] | Twitter:@_ericting