More businesses in Danville are openly defying Contra Costa County’s coronavirus health order.
The Danville police chief is urging businesses to follow the law and county leaders said bigger fines may be on the way to enforce the order.
“We have not had any cases of COVID,” said Rodney Worth, who owns the Peasant and the Pear restaurant in Danville. “None of the restaurants I know have had any cases of COVID.”
Worth said he will open up his outdoor patio soon, adding he has already lost five other Bay Area restaurants during the pandemic, his house is in foreclosure and he is on the brink of bankruptcy.
“I am physically, mentally, emotionally broke down,” he said. “This is way too long. I’ve lost everything.”
Danville Police Chief Allan Shields said he understands their struggle, but continues to urge businesses and customers to follow the law. He said it is the police department’s obligation to enforce it.
“If there are businesses that are serving food outside, serving food at tables, we will be obligated to enforce the order and issue a citation,” Shields said.
Some community members are pledging to help businesses pay the fines and gathered in front of the Veterans Hall promising to fight to keep the town open.
“My heart is breaking,” Danville resident Courtney Pronin said. “These businesses have to close yet again before the holidays. I don’t know how they’re going to support their families, how their employees will support their family.”
Businesses said they realize they will likely face penalties, but said opening is worth the risk.
“They can sue me or fine me as much as they want,” Worth said. “I will never have enough money to give them. They can fine me $10,000. They’ll never get it.”