'Sign of hope': Sonoma County lifts some restrictions

Sonoma County allowed several businesses reopen Friday but under strict limitations. Others are still prohibited for now.  

Reopening almost totally rests on everyone minding the rules. 

Erica Heald held the long delayed grand opening of her second Sonoma womens boutique Myriad, sister store to Perle.

"It's a sign of hope, It means there's some light a the end of the tunnel, that we're making progress," said Heald.

Though online, Facebook, social media marketing and curbside pickup will have to do for now, we got to where we are now because society cooperated.

"Keeping their hands clean, you know, staying home, not going out when they're not supposed to so that we all can get back to our life, because I miss my customers, I miss my friends, I miss my family," said Heald.

It is in important small step. "Slowly, but surely we're starting to get little bits of our economy running and that's really helpful to try and keep jobs here and keep out community moving forward." said Sonoma Chamber of Commerce CEO Mark Bodenhamer.

Where teleworking is not possible, offices may re-open, but may not be open to the public.

Also not allowed: car washes, residential and janitorial cleaning, pet grooming and dog walking. Childcare facilities may open now to non-essential workers, but under strict safety protocols. Subject to the rules, outdoor museums, open air galleries, botanical gardens and outdoor exhibition spaces may open.

But, still closed for now: outdoor restaurants, cafes, or bars, zoos, amusement parks, indoor museums and galleries. Also still closed are close customer contact businesses such as hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, beauty shops, massage parlors, ear piercing salons, and tattoo parlors.

Retail sales by curbside pickup, delivery, or shipping is allowed from stores shopping malls, strip malls, and outlets but going inside, for now, is out.  

"They have great plans in place to operate in a way that's consistent with the health guidelines that our count and our state are putting forward," said Bodenhamer.

But, there's still a long way to go. "Hopefully by June, we can have some partial service in the patio," said Rob Della Santina, proprietor of Della Santina's Trattoria. His trattoria had indoor and patio dining before the shutdown but will continue pick-up and delivery service until dining in is permitted.

"I am dealing with potential rehearsal dinner in fall so this is another question for dinner for 30 or 25 this fall but I can't book those yet," said Della Santina.

The caution for purveyor and patron alike, don't break the rules. "If things go, you know, we see an increase in cases, and the health officer feels maybe we can, we should restrict something again, we can do that easily," said Rohish Lal, public information officer for the Sonoma County Health Department.