Contra Costa County to mandate proof of vaccination or negative test at bars, restaurants and gyms

Contra Costa County to mandate proof of vaccination at bars, restaurants and gyms
Photo by Mike Kinney

Starting Sept. 22, Contra Costa County will require patrons of restaurants, bars, fitness gyms and other businesses within the County to show proof of full vaccination when entering indoor areas or a negative COVID-19 test result from the past three days.

“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,” County officials said in a statement Tuesday.

Starting Nov. 1, workers in indoor areas of these businesses will be required to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or test weekly for COVID-19, the health order states.

The County joins San Francisco, Berkeley and other communities across the U.S. in implementing similar health orders, citing a “severe spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations this summer due to the increasing prevalence of the highly infection delta variant of the virus and unvaccinated residents.”

“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.”

Photo by Mike Kinney

County officials say the summer surge of COVID-19 cases seems to have passed. However, the daily case rate remains “as high as it was last February,” officials said. The County recently saw the two highest seven-day totals in COVID-19 deaths since March, with 15 from Aug. 25 to Aug. 31 and 20 from Sept. 1 to Sept. 7.

Unvaccinated residents account for 95.9 percent of the County’s COVID-19 related deaths so far, the County added.

“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,” the County said.

Visit for a link to your digital vaccination, which can be downloaded on to your smartphone.