In his announcement last week that California’s coronavirus infection rate was increasing at an alarming rate, Gov. Gavin Newsom called out bars and restaurants as particularly risky for the spread of the virus. “We’re not shutting restaurants down,” Newsom said, but reiterated that diners should report spots that seem to be violating the rules of mask wear or social distancing to the appropriate authorities.
“Read up on these guidelines,” Newsom has said, urging diners to bone up on their local safety rules. “When you go to a restaurant and it’s clear that they’re not practicing what we are preaching, report them. Give us the tools to enforce.”
According to San Francisco’s latest guidelines, which were issued last week, restaurants that fail to follow health orders will have their permission to allow outdoor dining suspended or revoked, and those whose violations persist will be ordered to close. In other counties, it’s up to the sheriff’s department to enforce health orders.
That county-by-county distinction makes it confusing to figure out who to call if you’re alarmed by a situation at a local restaurant. The county department of Public Health? The state Alcoholic Beverage Control? The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health? None of those options are technically wrong, but here’s what officials from Bay Area counties say is the best way to alert them to restaurants that might be endangering patrons or employees:
- Alameda County: First, confirm that you’re in Alameda county with this list of its cities. Then, email firstname.lastname@example.org with details including venue name, address, and details of the alleged violation.
- Contra Costa County: After your city check, fill out this form with your complaint
- Marin County: Here’s the list of cities to confirm you’re contacting the right authorities, then call 415-473-6919 or email marinEHS@marincounty.org with the details.
- San Francisco County: Call 311
- San Mateo County: Cities list is here, complaints go to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office at 650-363-4911.
- Santa Clara County: City check, then fill out this form.