Contra Costa County's new indoor rules for diners, drinkers and gym users

Today, after announcing the mandate eight days ago, Contra Costa County now requires anyone dining, drinking or exercising indoors to be vaccinated or show proof of a negative, recent COVID-19 test. 

The signs are everywhere saying, come on in but prove you fit the mandate profile.

Lafayette has an enchanting collection of restaurants, doing great business on sunny warm days. But cold, perhaps wet weather may soon loom ahead. 

"Patrons that have to show proof of vaccinations or a recent negative test. Employees have to be vaccinated or begin testing weekly. The employee requirement doesn't go into effect until November first to give employees a chance to get vaccinated," said Contra Costa Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano. 

Well over 80% of Contra Costa County residents are vaccinated. Nonetheless, said the doctor, "We need to put in some extra steps in place until we get our vaccinations levels even higher," said Farnitano

To be clear, this does not apply to outdoor drinking, dining or exercising. But it's pretty clear, for a lot of people here are wearing their masks outdoors anyway.

The county wants no repeats of hospital filling spikes. "Delta arrived and we saw this terrible summer surge," said Farnitano.

Merchants are living with the new mandate. "I have no choice. I should ask for the vaccination card for every single customer, said Sam Sukh, co-owner of Papillon Gourmet Coffee shop. 

"Some of them like it. Some of them doesn't like because they  want to show everyplace that card to so it. It's really hard to customers," said Sukh. 

"I don't have a problem with that. I think we need to get this pandemic behind us and stop it from spreading and that's how we're gonna do it. We're not gonna do it by no masks and no vaccinations," said customer Carol Click. 

"This will make people feel safer about eating indoors and taking their mask off indoors; that they're surrounded by other people who are vaccinated or have tested negative," said the Farnitano.

The mandate will stay in place until the science driven data proves it's not needed.