For tickets click, here – 2022 Heritage Foundation Dinner | Contra Costa County (cccfheritagefoundation.com).
Bonchon is bringing even more crunch to California
Popular U.S.-based brand opens first delivery and carryout-only concept
First 50 guests eat free, plus lion dancers
The wildly popular restaurant, known for crispy, hand-brushed Korean fried chicken, is opening its 27th California location in Brentwood, situated at 5611 Lone Tree Way (near FedEx Office and Home Depot) with hours of operations from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant will be spearheaded by local entrepreneur Thomas Nyugen.
This Brentwood location also marks the very first one for Bonchon dedicated to delivery and carryout operations. With the new model, it will allow for seamless customer interaction and ease the ordering process for individuals looking to get their favorite Bonchon meal through delivery or on-site pickup.
“Not only am I able to grow with such a globally-loved brand but being able to offer the first delivery and carryout-only location is such an accomplishment,” said Nyugen. “I am eager to serve the Brentwood community Bonchon’s flavorful chicken with our specialty sauce offerings, I am certain that we will quickly become a regular spot for those looking to get a great meal for family, friends or themselves.”
To give residents an opportunity to try Bonchon’s delicious, crunch-worthy wings, a grand opening celebration will take place on Thursday, August 11. The first 50 guests in line will receive five of the brand’s double-fried chicken wings, hand-brushed with their choice of the soy garlic or spicy signature sauce, for free. To add to the grand opening excitement, the Brentwood location will also host lion dancers at 6:00 p.m. on August 11 for all guests to enjoy.
Their menu also has Starters which include pot stickers, shrimp shumai, Takoyaki (ball-shaped calamari), chicken sliders, pork buns, Korean tacos, popcorn shrimp and edamame; Main Dishes which include bulgogi (thinly sliced marinated ribeye, sautéed with mushrooms, scallions, sesame seeds, and onions), japchae (marinated ribeye stir-fry), chicken katsu over rice, tteokbokki (rice cakes with fish cakes), bull dak (spicy chicken and rice cakes), wraps, bibimbap and fried rice dishes, plus udon noodle soups and sesame ginger salads. Their sides include fries, onion rings, kimchi, cole slaw, pickled radish, kimchi coleslaw and, of course, rice; plus they offer a rice cake dessert called mochi. Bonchon | Menu
“Our team could not be more eager to open this new California location with Thomas. His passion for Bonchon and dedication to catering to communities’ needs are just two of the reasons he is a great operator within our franchise system,” said Greg Buchanan, chief administrative officer at Bonchon. “Customer convenience is a top priority for us, so developing our first delivery and carryout location is a huge step for the brand. We know that residents will love having an easy way to get their Bonchon fix!”
Since its inception in Busan, South Korea in 2002, Bonchon’s mission to share Korean comfort food around the world has been more than a success. With 385-plus locations worldwide and more than 115 locations in the U.S., the Korean chicken brand is a global sensation. On top of the cult-favorite fried chicken wings, drumsticks and strips, the brand also provides a variety of flavorful offerings and Pan Asian favorites including japchae, kimchi, Korean tacos and potstickers.
As strategic expansion continues and Bonchon locations sustain consistent sales growth, multi-unit operators have placed a high priority on adding the concept into their portfolios.
About BonchonBonchon is a global restaurant brand known for distinctive Korean double-fried chicken, Asian fusion cuisine, and Korean specialties. Born in Busan, South Korea in 2002, the concept was established in the United States in 2006. Bonchon sets out to have its fans “Crunch Out Loud” by sharing the joy of hand-battered, double-fried, crazy crispy Korean fried chicken with the world.
Bonchon currently currently has more than 386 restaurants across eight countries including Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia, Myanmar, Australia, Vietnam and the United States. In the U.S. the chain has more than 114 restaurants with franchise outposts in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington D.C., Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
The brand has earned several accolades – it was recognized by Business Insider as “the gold standard for fried chicken” as well as included in Nation’s Restaurant News 2021 “Top 500 Restaurants”, Fast Casual Magazine’s 2022 “Top 100 Movers & Shakers” and Entrepreneur’s 2022 “Franchise 500”, “Fastest Growing Franchises”, “Top Food Franchise” and “Top Global Franchise” lists.
Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.
“The time has come to shut down those establishments that don’t obey the code.” – District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff
“There are no Omicron variant cases yet in our county.” – CC Health Services Director Anna Roth
Approve $95.5 million for new West County Reentry Treatment & Housing Facility; East County Groundwater Plan approved
By Daniel Borsuk
A defensive Contra Costa Health Services Director Anna Roth faced criticism from county Supervisors, especially emanating from District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff on why 13 restaurants remain open in defiance of county COVID-19 health orders. As of Sept. 22, by order of the county’s Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and other entertainment venues must require patrons to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test in order to enter. (See related article)
“There is no change in enforcement,” Roth said at Tuesday’s supervisors meeting. As of November, 99 percent of restaurants in the county are compliant. We have 13 outstanding cases.”
But Roth’s statement did not satisfy Mitchoff, the supervisor who initially unveiled the code enforcement issue with the county health services.
“The time has come to shut down those establishments that don’t obey the code,” Mitchoff said. “We have done the education. We’ve done the warning.”
None of the owners of the 13 restaurants spoke at Tuesday’s supervisors meeting. Lumpy’s Diner in Antioch, and MJ’s Downtown Café are among eating establishments that the county has tagged as out of compliance of COVID-19 health code.
One of the 13 restaurants on the county’s red tag list, the In-n-Out in Pleasant Hill has been closed for indoor dining health code violations.
District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg came to the defense of Roth and her department’s code enforcement division commenting, “I think you’re doing an outstanding job out there. The volume of people out there who are out of compliance is small. I enjoy eating inside a restaurant. I understand the stress,”
In the meantime, Roth reported that while 75.6 percent of Contra Costa County residents are fully vaccinated, twenty-seven persons are hospitalized in county hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms One patient dies daily on average from COVID-19 symptoms, she noted.
“There are no Omicron variant cases yet in our county,” said Roth.
In an interview for a KRON4 news report, County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said, “We don’t just jump right in there with a fine at the get go. We give the businesses the opportunity. Because our goal is to get to compliance for people to follow the order. Our goal isn’t to issue a bunch of fines.” The report also shared that Farnitano said only four restaurants in the county have been fined.
$95.5 Million West County Detention Facility Expansion Plan Approved
Supervisors unanimously approved a $95.5 million design-build contract with Montana-based contractor Sletten Construction Company to design and build five secure housing units, a medical treatment center, reentry program space and building, and visitation facilities at the West County Detention Facility in Richmond. It will be known as the West County Reentry Treatment & Housing Facility. WRTH presentation CCCBOS120721
One of the objectives of the project is to reduce overcrowding by 128 inmate beds to 288 high-security inmate beds in five housing units. Ninety-six beds will still be mental health treatment beds.
Possible Relocation of Marsh Creek Shooting Range
In a related matter, supervisors approved as a consent item a report on the future use and potential relocation of the shooting range at the Marsh Creek Detention Facility possibly to the Concord Naval Weapon Station. At the low-security detention facility inmates learn wood making skills and other basic education skills.
Used also as a training facility for the Office of the Sheriff and law enforcement agencies from Contra Costa County and surrounding counties, the Marsh Creek Range Facility generates revenue for the county. The range will bring about $113,000 for fiscal year 2021-2022, wrote County Administrator Monica Nino in her report to the supervisors.
Supervisors also approved the East Contra Costa Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan on a 5-0 vote. The $1.4 million groundwater study applies to the cities of Antioch and Brentwood, Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, Diablo Water District, Discovery Bay Community Services and East Contra Costa Irrigation District.
Even under drought like conditions, the plan found, “Groundwater conditions in the ECC Subbasin are favorable and reflect stability over the past 30 years or more. Using various analogies, the Subbasin can be described as generally full through various water-year types, including drought and is in good “health.” The favorable conditions are in part due to surface water availability that represents the largest sources of supply for municipal and agricultural uses in the Subbasin.”
Ryan Hernandez of the Department of Conservation and Planning said if the board of supervisors did not adopt the ECC-GSP, the county would be in violation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which would result in the State Water Resources Board intervening in local groundwater management.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.
“How is it our responsibility to be the vaccine police!!” – Contra Costa restaurant owner
“the peak of the surge seems to have passed” – CC Health Services
“We can’t give you an exact percentage of cases that can be attributed to restaurants and the other high-risk venues covered in the order.” – CC Health Services spokesman
No “Metric” for ending latest order; county wants “significant portion” of 5-11 year-olds vaccinated
By Allen Payton
Shades of Nazi Brown Shirts will begin next week in Contra Costa County as patrons of restaurants, gyms and entertainment venues will hear something a similar to the phrase used during World War II by the Hitler-led German regime, “Your Papers, Please!” That’s because as of Wednesday, Sept. 22, by order of the county’s unelected health officer, Dr. Chris Farnitano, those types of businesses in the county must require patrons show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test in order to enter, even though “the peak of the surge seems to have passed” as mentioned in the press release from Contra Costa Health Services.
According to the press release, “The new order applies to businesses where people remove face coverings to eat or drink indoors, such as restaurants, bars and entertainment venues, and to gyms and other indoor fitness facilities, including yoga and dance studios, where patrons breathe more heavily due to exercise.”
The order was issued in the press release Tuesday afternoon which reads:
COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination or Test Required for Some Contra Costa Businesses
Contra Costa County joined San Francisco, Berkeley and other communities across the U.S. today with a countywide health order that increases COVID-19 safety in restaurants, gyms and other indoor businesses where there is elevated risk of the virus spreading.
The new order, effective September 22, requires patrons of these businesses to show proof they are fully vaccinated to enter indoor areas, or a negative COVID-19 test result from the past three days.
Contra Costa has endured a severe spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations this summer due to the increasing prevalence of the highly infectious delta variant of the virus and unvaccinated residents.
While the peak of the surge seems to have passed, data show the county’s daily case rate remains as high as it was last February. There were 15 COVID-related deaths in Contra Costa from August 25 to 31, and 20 from September 1 to 7, the two highest seven-day totals since March. Unvaccinated residents account for 95.9% of the county’s deaths so far.
COVID-19 case rates are about five times higher in unvaccinated county residents compared to fully vaccinated residents, hospitalization rates are approximately 16 times higher, and death rates are approximately 22 times higher.
“This order is necessary now to save lives, protect our overburdened healthcare system, and slow the pandemic enough to keep our schools open,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County Health Officer. “Reducing community transmission of the virus now is key to preventing future spikes in cases from overwhelming our county’s hospitals during the winter months.”
The new order applies to businesses where people remove face coverings to eat or drink indoors, such as restaurants, bars and entertainment venues, and to gyms and other indoor fitness facilities, including yoga and dance studios, where patrons breathe more heavily due to exercise.
The order also includes a requirement for workers in indoor areas of these businesses to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 by November 1 or test weekly for COVID-19.
To show proof of vaccination, patrons must show photo ID and their vaccination record cards from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), or copies or pictures of their cards. Documentation from healthcare providers will also be accepted, as will digital COVID-19 vaccine records issued by the State of California.
Visit myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov for a link to your digital vaccination, which can be downloaded on to your smartphone.
Visit cchealth.org/coronavirus for more information about this health order, or to find a safe, fast and free COVID-19 vaccination in Contra Costa County.
Restaurant owners in the county responded to the news with frustration. “How is it our responsibility to be the vaccine police!!” shared one owner who chose to remain anonymous.
“Kiss the restaurants good-bye,” said another, also anonymously.
However, another restaurant owner said anonymously, “We need to contribute to the pandemic to get better.”
Questions For Health Services
In response, questions were sent to county health services staff asking, “what percentage of COVID cases in the county can be attributed to restaurants, indoor entertainment venues and gyms, please?”
In addition, they were asked, “why not include what other countries are requiring for those who want to travel there, which is proof of having COVID within the past three months, since those folks have higher levels of antibodies than those who have been vaccinated, especially those who have been five to eight months ago?”
09/16/21 UPDATE: No Percentages of Impact from Affected Businesses
Contra Costa Public Health Services spokesman Will Harper responded with the following: “We can’t give you an exact percentage of cases that can be attributed to restaurants and the other high-risk venues covered in the order. Due to the nature of these businesses, it is not always possible to identify all the patrons who were exposed and infected by a case at one of these sites. What we can say is that indoor settings where people remove their masks, such as restaurants and bars, or where they breathe heavily, such as in a gym, increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission. As the order states, outbreaks have been documented in bars, gyms, and restaurants in California this year.
Currently there is no scientific consensus on the strength or duration of natural immunity after a covid-19 infection, or how reliably to measure this. For now, we felt most confident in requiring proof of vaccination. Vaccination is still recommended for people who have had Covid-19 to boost their immunity and protect them from a repeat infection from Covid-19. We have clear data showing that vaccinated people are more protected the unvaccinated people, regardless or prior Covid-19 infection history.”
9/17/21 UPDATE: No “Metric” for Ending Latest Order, County Wants “Significant Portion” of 5-11 Year-Olds Vaccinated
A follow up question was sent asking what factors Dr. Farnitano will use to determine when this latest order will end.
Harper responded, “While we have not defined a specific metric at this time, the key measures we will be looking at to inform when it is safe to lift indoor masking requirements and venue verification and test requirements include the impact on our health care system (have our Covid-19 hospitalization and ICU levels returned to June, 2021 levels), the impact on schools (are significant numbers of students missing out on classroom time due to illness, isolation and quarantine) and our community vaccination rates (which will be crucial to preventing another surge if other public health measures are relaxed), especially if we are able to vaccinate a significant portion of the 5-11 year-old population once the vaccines are approved for them. California learned an unfortunate lesson that the vaccination rates we had in June were not sufficient to prevent a serious surge without other interventions like indoor masking in place.”
Additional Questions Go Unanswered
Additional questions were sent to Harper, asking, why do you want to vaccinate a significant portion of the 5-11 population when such a minuscule percentage of that age group are contracting the virus and a much smaller number have died?
In addition, he was asked about one of his previous responses, how can it both be that “Currently there is no scientific consensus on the strength or duration of natural immunity after a covid-19 infection, or how reliably to measure this” and “We have clear data showing that vaccinated people are more protected than unvaccinated people, regardless of prior Covid-19 infection history”?
Please check back later for any other updates to this report.
The State of California announced today that Contra Costa County will be able to move into the less restrictive Orange Tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy on Wednesday, April 7.
Contra Costa County currently has a COVID case-rate of 4.9 cases per 100,000 people and an overall testing-rate positivity of 1.8% (and 3% for the health equity metric). COVID-related hospitalizations are down to their lowest point since October. Meanwhile, nearly 500,000 county residents are at least partially vaccinated.
It has been five months since the last time the county qualified for the Orange Tier.
“This is great news for our community,” said Diane Burgis, chair of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors. “The last few months have been difficult for everyone and it’s nice to see us make more progress in the fight against COVID.”
Contra Costa Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said people should not let down their guard yet. He noted that case rates have plateaued recently, suggesting a slowdown in the recovery. “We are still in a pandemic and people should continue to act accordingly: Keep wearing masks in public and get vaccinated as soon as you can. I still strongly recommend people to avoid most indoor activities with people outside of their own household until they are fully vaccinated,” Dr. Farnitano said.
Last week, Contra Costa extended vaccine eligibility to everyone ages 16 and over who lives, works or goes to school in the county. Currently, people between the ages of 16-49 must schedule appointments through Contra Costa Health Services at cchealth.org/coronavirus or by calling 833-829-2626. Other healthcare providers, including the state’s MyTurn system, do not yet offer vaccine to people below the age of 50.
Starting Wednesday, April 7 several business sectors and community services can reopen or expand capacity:
- Places of worship: 50% maximum capacity
- Restaurants: 50% maximum capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer
- Gyms, fitness centers and studios (including at hotels): 25% maximum capacity and indoor pools are permitted; Indoor hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms continue to be closed
- Movie Theaters: 50% maximum capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer encouraged
- Amusement parks: Overall park capacity and indoor capacity will be limited to 25%, including indoor dining.
- Bars: Outdoors with modifications; no meals required to be served
- Breweries, Distilleries, and Wineries: Indoors at 25% maximum capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer; no meals required to be served
- Family entertainment centers: Indoors for naturally distanced activities like bowling, escape rooms, and billiards; 25% maximum capacity
- Outdoor sports and live performances with fans/attendees: Up to 33% and with advanced reservations only. Concession sales will be primarily in-seat (no concourse sales). Designated indoor seated dining area capacity will be limited to 25%. Attendance will be limited to in-state spectators and guests must attest their reserved seats are only for one household.
- Retail: Open indoors with modifications and food courts permitted with indoor dining restrictions
Contra Costa County must remain in the Orange Tier for at least three weeks before moving into the next, less restrictive yellow tier.
Schools can reopen without submitting a safety plan; county shows steady improvement since Winter COVID-19 spike
COVID-19 is spreading slower in Contra Costa than during a post-holiday peak a few weeks ago, allowing some business and community activities to resume in the county for the first time since November.
The average daily number of new cases in Contra Costa has fallen enough that California today moved the county from the purple tier to the red tier of its Blueprint for a Safer Economy, effective Sunday, March 14.
Contra Costa was poised to enter red tier on Wednesday next week, but will transition a few days earlier after the state met a goal of administering 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in high-risk, economically disadvantaged communities on Friday. That triggered a relaxation of the blueprint’s requirements.
“It is encouraging to see our data moving in the right direction, and it’s a testament to the hard work Contra Costa residents have put in to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County’s health officer. “But it is important that we make healthy choices to keep up our momentum. This pandemic is not over yet.”
Contra Costa has more tools to protect against COVID-19 than it did last fall, including safe, effective vaccine. So far more than 250,000 county residents have received a dose – about one quarter of the population.
More groups of Californians will become eligible for vaccine on Monday, March 15, including public transit workers, people in congregate living situations and people who have health conditions that put them at high risk of serious illness from a COVID-19 infection. Visit covid19.ca.gov for more information.
Vaccine, along with physical distancing, face coverings, avoiding close contact with people who are not housemates, hand hygiene and regular testing are all healthy choices that protect against COVID-19 and that have helped reduce transmission of the virus since January.
In early January, nearly 50 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population were identified every day in Contra Costa, during the worst part of the most recent surge. On Friday, the county’s adjusted per-capita case rate was 6.7, qualifying for reduced state health order restrictions, including:
- Restaurants, gyms, dance studios and museums may resume indoor operation, following state health guidelines.
- Indoor retail stores and shopping malls may increase their maximum occupancy and grocery stores may operate at fully capacity.
- Small private gatherings may be held indoors, following state health guidance.
- Colleges and other higher education institutions may reopen indoor lectures, following state health guidance.
- Elementary and secondary schools can reopen for in-person learning without submitting a safety plan to Contra Costa Health Services.
For details and sector-specific health guidance, visit covid19.ca.gov. Contra Costa also updated its county health orders so they do not create additional restrictions to business or community activities.
Contra Costa met other state criteria for returning to the red tier weeks ago, with the average daily percentage of COVID-19 tests that return positive in the county below 8 percent (2.4 percent on Friday). The average daily percentage of positive tests in disproportionately impacted neighborhoods identified through the state’s health equity metric was 4.3 percent.
For Contra Costa data and COVID-19 health information, visit cchealth.org/coronavirus.
On January 20th, you can enjoy a fabulous Italian meal and support both Meals on Wheels Diablo Region and a local restaurant at the same time! Tips for Change is a generous program offered by Gianni’s Italian Bistro in San Ramon to help support local nonprofits.
Here’s how it works – MOW Diablo Region will receive all tips and 10% of sales on take-out orders, but meals must be preordered by Tuesday, January 19 at 6:00 PM. To place an order, go to www.giannissanramon.com or call 925-820-6969. For online orders, click the “order online” button, then click on deliver or pick-up (delivery is limited). Be sure to click on the appropriate date – Wednesday, Jan. 20th, then choose your menu items (wine and cocktails are also available for take-out) and your desired time for pick-up at Gianni’s Italian Bistro, 2065 San Ramon Valley Boulevard, San Ramon.
Meals on Wheels Diablo Region is the only meals on wheels that delivers both meals and services in the entire county. Since March, the agency has seen a 40% increase in clients needing delivered meals, but with the support of the community, no senior has missed a delivered meal or a needed life-improving service. Participating in Tips for Change is a win-win-win. It helps support a local restaurant, helps support Meals on Wheels Diablo Region and funds raised impacts the lives of vulnerable seniors.
Orders can be placed as early as today! Preorders must be in no later than Tuesday, January 19 at 6:00 PM for pick-up on Wednesday!
In coordination with other Bay Ara counties
If the current restrictions don’t work “we are prepared for further restrictions” – Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa Health Officer during Friday afternoon press conference
On Thursday, California reached the unfortunate milestone of 1 million COVID cases statewide. With transmission and hospitalizations on the rise, health officers representing counties across the Bay Area are tightening local rules for high-risk indoor activities where the virus can spread more easily.
Contra Costa Health Services today issued an order to close, effective Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 8 a.m.:
- Indoor dining
- Indoor fitness centers
- Concession stands at movie theaters
Dine-in restaurant and gyms reopened at reduced capacities when the county entered the state’s red tier in late September. But recent increases in COVID cases and hospitalizations make the closures necessary to help contain spread of the virus.
“Indoor interactions at restaurants, movie theaters, and indoor gyms and fitness centers are high-risk activities,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County Health Officer. “And given what we’re seeing happen across the country and the region, we must act now.”
Diners at restaurants remove their masks to eat or drink, as do movie patrons when snacking on food from concession stands. People also breathe heavily while they exercise at indoor gyms, increasing the risk of droplet and aerosol transmission of COVID-19, which can be only partially reduced by wearing a face covering.
Contra Costa recently moved from the state’s orange tier to the more restrictive red tier because of an increasing number of cases in the county. Meanwhile, hospitalizations in Contra Costa have returned to levels not seen in several weeks. On Nov. 11, 50 people with COVID were hospitalized in the county – the highest number since September.
“I’ve said this many times before, but it’s so important I can’t repeat it enough: The best way to protect against COVID-19 is to wear a face covering whenever you are near people who do not live with you, and whenever you go in a building that is not your home,” said Dr. Farnitano.
Health officials are especially worried about people gathering indoors with the holidays coming up and may consider other closures in the days and weeks ahead. Contra Costa County, which is now in the red tier, could move into the state’s most restrictive tier, the purple tier, within the coming weeks. If the county moves into the purple tier, schools that haven’t reopened will have to remain closed until the county moves back into the red tier or until they receive a waiver from the state.
“Our hope is that this new health order will slow down the spread of COVID so schools will have a better chance to reopen,” Dr. Farnitano said.
Dr. Farnitano Press Conference
During a Zoom press conference Friday afternoon Farnitano was asked by the Herald, “Is this decision based on what’s actually happening in our county, or what’s happening in other Bay Area counties and elsewhere?” he responded, “We’re really looking at all of it.”
Where people are getting COVID, “many if not most cannot pinpoint any specific locations,” Farnitano explained. “But where we can identify, restaurants, gyms we are imposing restrictions.”
“Why can’t we just protect the vulnerable and allow the rest of us get back to living our lives?” the Herald asked.
“That would be an ideal strategy if it can work. But it can’t. The vulnerable can’t live in a bubble,” Farnitano stated. “We see it in our nursing homes. Those who work there go home, go shopping, and are with their families where they can be exposed.”
“To protect the most vulnerable in our society we need to keep the overall transmission to a minimum,” he added.
“What is the basis for closing indoor fitness centers and not other indoor activities,” he was asked.
“We have seen looking across the country and across the state there have been outbreaks in gyms and fitness centers,” Farnitano said during a press conference Friday afternoon. “People can exercise outside or at home. Outdoor fitness operations are still allowed. This current order doesn’t have an endpoint. When our hospital case rates come down…then we can reconsider these orders.
“Masks does not provide the same level of protection when youre around someone breathing heavily and exercising,” he added.
The actions are “due to the rapidly rising of rates in our community,” Farnitano explained.
One person asked about the county “moving the goal posts instead of enforcing existing rules”.
“The enforcement efforts have not proven sufficient,” Farnitano responded. “The more we can wear our masks and stay away from others outside of our households the sooner we can get past this upsurge.”
“Our case rate in the past seven days are already in the Purple Tier. We are testing at higher levels than state averages. Our adjusted case rate is even in the Purple Tier,” he said. “We have seen the case rate increase in the last several days in our hospitals.”
The county is issuing these orders, now so, “We can hope to blunt that wave, blunt that surge…to get us through a winter surge quicker and with less harm to the community as far as illness and death,” Farnitano explained.
“Are church services impacted further,” he was asked.
“Not at this point,” Farnitano responded. “We implemented restrictions on churches last week for the Red Tier. We are prepared to add additional restrictions in the future if our hospitalizations rise, in advance of state restrictions.”
“We are looking at all of our health care systems and how we can get through the latest wave,” he explained.
“Will it be enough? I am not sure. We will have to watch the data and see,” said Farnitano. “We all have to do our part, wear our masks, six feet of social distancing.
“But if it doesn’t we are prepared for further restrictions,” Farnitano added. “The state could move us into Purple the day after Thanksgiving.”
“Why don’t you believe in herd immunity,” he was asked.
“Herd immunity would take an enormous toll on the community and lead to enormous deaths, more than we’ve seen,” Farnitano responded. “We would need 70 to 80% levels of herd immunity. It would take uncontrollable disease for months and months and months and that would be too high of a toll for the community.”
Allen Payton contributed to this report.
UPDATE: With the new health orders announced on Friday Oct. 30 by San Francisco Mayor London Breed that “San Francisco will temporarily pause most planned reopening efforts previously scheduled to resume on Tuesday, November 3rd”, reducing maximum capacity for indoor dining to 25%, Tadich Grill, for now, will not be reopening for indoor dining as was planned for Nov. 9th. In response to the new health order, the owners and management posted the following message on the restaurant’s website: “We are currently closed and will re-open when the Mayor of San Francisco allows a minimum of 50% indoor seating capacity. Thank you for hanging in there with us. We are eager to get back to serving you!”
By Allen Payton
The oldest restaurant in California and west of the Mississippi, and the third oldest in the nation, Tadich Grill, first opened in San Francisco in 1849, the year of the Gold Rush. It was continuously run until forced to temporarily close, earlier this year due to the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders. But the good news is according to owner and Alamo resident Mike Buich, the iconic eatery will be reopening on Monday, November 9.
That’s due to San Francisco being designated to be in the state’s health equity metric yellow, Minimal Tier 4 for community transmission of the virus, the least restrictive tier, as of October 20, according to the City and County of San Francisco Public Health Officer order.
“After seven months of forced closures, we are thrilled to be reopening our doors on Monday, November 9th,” Buich said. “While the pandemic has been devastating and challenging on many levels – for our customers, our employees, our business and our industry at large – we are excited to reconnect with our loyal following and help restore some life into downtown San Francisco.”
Located, rather appropriately on California Street, the restaurant is widely known as San Francisco’s best seafood restaurant, with a broad selection of non-seafood offerings, such as steaks, soups (clam chowder, of course) and salads, as well. Their specialties include cioppino, monza, thermidor and branzino and fish entrees include salmon, petrale sole, sand dabs, halibut, swordfish and Chilean sea bass.
The historic restaurant, which features both table dining and a long bar counter, will be open Monday through Friday 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Saturdays 5:00-9:00 p.m. and Sundays for private parties only, and will now offer reservations.
“We’ve taken the downtime to explore and launch reservations for the first time in 171 years, as well as adopt other safety precautions to ensure the ongoing safety and well-being of all those who visit us at 240 California St.,” Buich shared about the restaurant that’s been in his family since 1928.
Mike and his daughter, Melissa, the restaurant’s CFO, refused to layoff any of their 35 employees for several months, according to a KTVU Fox2 interview they gave earlier this year. That was due to “the support from the Tadich community,” using a GoFundMe page to make up the lost wages, and through a loan from the PPP program, according to Melissa Buich.
However, in a July post on the restaurant’s Instagram page, the owners wrote, “It’s been over four months since we were first ordered to close our doors due to COVID-19. Since that time, we have been immensely grateful for the response of our loyal customers who have ordered takeout and nationwide delivery, purchased gift cards and merchandise online and donated through our Go Fund Me page to help us ride the wave as we chased the date for re-opening.”
“As you’re aware, that date continued to change and today we have no visibility into when that day will come. In parallel, the temporary relief from our PPP loan has dried up and without additional government aid, we’ve made the difficult decision to temporarily hit pause. Following the close of business this Friday, July 31st, we will temporarily suspend operations until we are able to re-open for indoor dining.”
Tadich’s owners committed to reopen once indoor dining was allowed.
“When that time finally comes, we will be eager to serve you your long-time favorites in a dining room optimized for your health and safety,” the owners posted. “We deeply appreciate your loyalty and support. Because of you, we have been able (to) navigate these unprecedented times until now, and because of you, we will come back stronger than ever to continue our 171 year run.”
That time has finally arrived.
“We are sincerely appreciative of our customers who have supported us throughout this long journey and can’t wait to welcome each of you back with socially-distanced, open arms, a classic cocktail and a hearty meal,” said Mike Buich. “Though reduced capacity and a more selective menu may be new to all of us, we are committed to the same gold-standard quality and great time we’ve been providing for generations.”
To make your reservations via Tock for lunch or dinner at Tadich Grill click, here. To learn more about the restaurant, it’s food, staff and history, visit tadichgrillsf.com or once they’ve reopened, call (415) 391-1849.