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Two Bay Area Counties In Radically Different Stages Of Reopening

Daniel Arauz on Wikimedia Commons
Person wearing a mask in Chinatown, San Francisco, California.

Yesterday, one Bay Area county moved forward with reopening while just across the water, another remained stuck in shelter-in-place.

San Francisco has moved to the least restrictive tier in the state’s reopening plan. It’s the first Bay Area county to do so. This means that starting next week there will be some changes including that movie theaters will be able welcome more people and nonessential offices can to open at a quarter capacity.

This comes as the county continues its steady reduction in COVID-19 infections. The weekly average is around 30 new cases a day

Meanwhile, in Sonoma that number is about double. Sonoma remains the only Bay Area county with the tightest level of state-mandated limits on businesses and other public activity. 

There, the Latinx population has been hit really hard, accounting for just over half of reported cases despite being only a quarter of the population. 

Latinx people are a large share of the essential workers in Sonoma’s agricultural sector, where public health outreach has been particularly challenging. 

Alegria De La Cruz, the Director of the Sonoma Office of Equity, says the county is working to include Latinx community leaders in its efforts to lower infection rates.


Annelise was born and raised in the East Bay and has a background in oral history and urban studies. For the last four and half years, she's worked as a criminal defense investigator at a public defenders office in the Bronx, New York and at an appellate defenders office in the Bay Area. As an investigator, she frequently interviews people involved in different parts of the criminal punishment system. Through her work, she has become passionate about the power of personal narratives and compelling stories to increase cross-cultural understanding and initate change.