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Sonoma County health officials have enacted a 30-day ban on large gatherings in response to a dramatic spike in coronavirus infections.

The health order, which begins Wednesday and includes both indoor and outdoor gatherings, does not require residents to stay at home as they did during the first few months of the pandemic in 2020, but county officials hope the guidance breaks some of the alarming trends they are seeing.

Under the new health order, large gatherings of more than 50 people will be banned, along with outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people. Half of all reported cases in the last two weeks that have a known source of infection have been linked to gatherings — especially gatherings with more than 12 people, health officials said.

The order is being put into effect in the hopes of not overcrowding local hospitals and medical facilities in the next few weeks, as the Omicron variant sweeps across California.

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