(News Article):CALIFORNIA Governor Gavin Newsom On Wednesday Ordered Wineries In 19 Counties to Close Amid Surging Coronavirus Cases — But His Own Winery and Tasting Room Remains Open. | The Off-Topic Members Lounge | Forum

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(News Article):CALIFORNIA Governor Gavin Newsom On Wednesday Ordered Wineries In 19 Counties to Close Amid Surging Coronavirus Cases — But His Own Winery and Tasting Room Remains Open.
July 3, 2020
6:23 pm
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Richard Daystrom PhD
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The U.S. SUN

Nicole Darrah, News Reporter

New York

Jul 3, 2020, 11:10 ET

Updated: Jul 3, 2020, 14:35 ET

 

CALIFORNIA Governor Gavin Newsom On Wednesday Ordered Wineries In 19 Counties to Close Amid Surging Coronavirus Cases — But His Own Winery and Tasting Room Remains Open.

 

Newsom made the announcement after the Golden State reported a nearly 50 percent increase in COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks.

California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered wineries in 19 counties to close amid surging coronavirus caseCredit: AP: Associated Press

 Indoor operations at restaurants, wineries, and tasting rooms, family entertainment centers, movie theaters, zoos, museums, and cardroom gambling businesses were ordered to close down. The updated coronavirus restrictions apply to 19 counties, including Los Angeles, that have been on the state’s monitoring list because of an increasing number of cases for three straight days.

But, as noted by California’s KMPH-TV, Newsom’s winery and tasting room in Napa Valley PlumpJack Wines — is still open. The winery's website explains Newsom found PlumpJack Wines in 1992 as his first business. PlumpJack Wines is seen here in Napa Valley, California Credit: Google Maps

"Over the next decade, the PlumpJack Group began to grow under his leadership to include many of the restaurants, wineries, and retail establishments in the current portfolio."

The winery's next available tasting is on Tuesday, per the venue's website, which explains their new rules and guidelines amid the pandemic. Customers are doing tastings by appointment only for groups with six people or less, and both employees are required to wear masks in all public areas — while guests must wear a face covering "when not seated at their designated tasting area."

The tasting rooms are also going through "enhanced cleaning measures," and the winery said all guests will have access to areas to properly wash their hands. "Each tasting flight will be pre-poured upon arrival to avoid unnecessary close proximity between our team and guests," the winery said.  Guests will also be given "sanitized glassware" and "no dump buckets will be provided."

Newsom's winery, PlumpJack Wines, remains open, but is only offering private tastings. According to KMPH, Newsom owns stock in PlumpJack Group, "which includes a winery in Napa Valley's Oakville.  "The news outlet reported that Newsom's 2018 tax filings show he and his wife own shares in the group, which brought in a combined salary of almost $600,000 in 2018.

As of Wednesday, Napa County, where the winery is located, had reported 344 coronavirus cases, and was not included in the list of 19 counties.While the state has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases, virus-related hospitalizations have increased 43 percent over the past two weeks, startling officials.

Newsom’s new restrictions announced on Wednesday took effect immediately and will last at least for the next three weeks. On Tuesday, Newsom state officials will be looking at the health orders “more broadly, beyond the Fourth of July.” The governor also announced he's creating "strike teams" to enforce business closure will target “non-compliant workplaces.”

The teams will include members from the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and California Highway Patrol, among other departments. Newsom suggested that state officials would first try to convince businesses that weren’t complying with the new restrictions to cooperate instead of penalizing them. “It’s more education. I’m not coming out with a fist,” Newson said. “We want not come out with an open heart, recognizing the magnitude of some of these modifications.”

 

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W. O. Belfield, Jr.

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