LODI, Calif. (KTXL) – Businesses in San Joaquin County are excited to be reopening but county officials say they might have to shut down again if COVID-19 cases continue to surge.
Michael David Winery in Lodi opened its doors to customers this weekend.
“It’s our first time here in a long time because they’ve been mostly closed,” said visitor Lee Rode.
The winery had been serving customers through online orders and drive thru pick-ups but now they are serving them by the bottle with outdoor dining.
“The next best thing right now is basically to serve the food with wines that people already know,” Michael David Winery co-owner Michael Phillips told FOX40.
Phillips says he thought he would be able to reopen his tasting room Friday as parts of the state move into phase three of reopening.
But he and long-time customers were disappointed to learn they will have to wait a little bit longer.
“We’ll take what we can get right now, and we just have to be patient for the county to open up for actual tastings and get back to semi-normal,” said Phillips.
“We’re happy that they’re being careful because we know there’s a problem,” said Rode.
San Joaquin County scaled back on some of the phase three reopenings because of the surging number of COVID-19 cases that have been increasing over the last several days.
County health officer Dr. Maggie Park said she opted not to allow gyms and other higher risk businesses to reopen just yet.
“We now have more people in the hospital with COVID than we’ve ever had before,” explained Park. “I really don’t want to open up a bunch of sectors, only to close them down in another week.”
Park says the county is on a state monitoring watch list and if the numbers don’t improve the county could see some businesses shut down again.
“We are trying our best to get a control of the situation,” said Park. “I’m going to be watching the data carefully.”
Phillips says he understands the decision and was just happy to be able to welcome visitors at all.
“Of course we were hoping to open up,” said Phillips. “But hopefully soon, all the wineries will be open in Lodi.”