Updated 12-7-2020 – The San Joaquin region, including Calaveras County and Murphys, had less than 15% ICU capacity on Friday, December 4th, and was ordered to comply with the Regional Stay Home Order as of Sunday, December 6, 2020, at midnight.  These new orders will remain in effect for a minimum of 21 days.  These orders close bars, restaurants, wineries, and tasting rooms for in-person services (take-out, retail activities, curbside pick-up may all be available).  Retail businesses may remain open at decreased capacity.  Lodging has been ordered to close for all but essential workers.  Salons and most personal care services are closed. 

Updated 11-28-2020 -Calaveras County Joins Many Other Counties in the Purple 

Due to a rise in COVID-19 cases, the state moved Calaveras County into purple (widespread risk level), the state’s most restrictive tier. Changes to the tier system occur when immediate action is needed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Counties are required to put into place any sector changes the day following the tier announcement.
The goal is to make sure patients can get access to the care they need and prevent hospitals from being overrun. This means that several non-essential indoor businesses must close. Calaveras Public Health urges caution and encourages people to take the necessary steps to prevent being exposed to the virus and help the county continue to lower its risk level.
The purple tier impacts many local businesses that will now have to close indoor business operations or reduce capacity. As of now, businesses that can operate outdoors only with modifications, include:
Gyms and fitness centers
Movie theaters
Places of worship
Restaurants (including wineries, tasting rooms, & tap rooms that serve food)
Wineries and tasting rooms
Bars, breweries, and distilleries must close.
To learn more about how this change in tiers impacts businesses and activities in Calaveras County please view the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy to find specific business information and the county’s latest status.
As of November 21, 2020, it is required that all non-essential work and activities stop between 10PM and 5AM in counties in the widespread (purple) tier.
Visit the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy at https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/

Updated 11-25-2020 – Along with most of California, Murphys, and Calaveras County have seen an increase in Covid-19 cases over the last couple of weeks.  We are now in the Red/Substantial Tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. You can check the current status of the County and any activity or business type here.  Currently, most businesses are open with limitations or no indoor activities in the case of wineries and tasting rooms.  Bars are currently closed. As we move further into fall and winter, some of our businesses will move to a winter schedule where they are only open on Fridays-Sundays, including many tasting rooms.  Others, including most retail shops and restaurants, will still be open 5-7 days/week.  It’s always best to check with an individual business to confirm hours, and any requirements they may have such as reservations, face coverings, limited group sizes, etc.

Updated 11-9-2020 – Murphys and all of Calaveras County are in the Yellow/Minimal Tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.  You can check the current status of the County and any activity or business type here.  Currently, most businesses are open with limited indoor capacity.  As we move into fall and winter, some of our businesses will move to a winter schedule where they are only open on Fridays-Sundays, including many tasting rooms.  Others, including most retail shops and restaurants, will still be open 5-7 days/week.  It’s always best to check with an individual business to confirm hours, and any requirements they may have such as reservations, face coverings, limited group sizes, etc.

Updated 7-21-2020 – You’ll notice that we have eliminated some of the parking on Main Street to provide expanded seating for our restaurants and tasting rooms.  Visit our map page for the locations of our free public parking areas, ATMs, and other amenities.  Enjoy your visit!

Updated 7-14-2020 – Murphys’ organizations are working with our county government to help our businesses remain open under these difficult conditions.  Our retail shops are open with some restrictions. Our wineries, restaurants, and tasting rooms, including those brewpubs that offer sit down dining, are open for outdoor dining and tasting, take-out, and pick up.  As space will be limited to facilitate distancing, reservations may be required, and you should always check with the individual business to verify their days & hours of operation, reservation requirements, and specific offerings.  Please be patient and keep your eye out for special offerings, including winery & vineyard visits, virtual events, and online shopping offers.  Our family-owned shops, restaurants, and tasting rooms are hard at work making sure you enjoy your time in Murphys.  Don’t forget to bring your face covering and wear it whenever you are unable to maintain a 6′ distance between your group and others.

This may be a good time to grab a picnic and hit the high country for a hike, paddle, or nap in the shade if you’ll be staying for a few days.  While lakes located on the highway tend to be very busy on weekends, weekdays or a short hike can provide lots of space and an opportunity to enjoy our beautiful Sierra mountains.  Highway 4 above Arnold is a National Scenic Byway and worth the drive.

UPDATED 7-13-2020 – In accordance with the Governor’s new orders, indoor operations in these sectors have been closed:

  • Dine-in restaurants
  • Wineries and tasting rooms
  • Movie theaters 
  • Family entertainment centers (for example: bowling alleys, miniature golf, batting cages and arcades)
  • Zoos and museums
  • Cardrooms
Additionally, bars, brewpubs, breweries, and pubs must close all operations both indoor and outdoor statewide, unless they are offering sit-down, outdoor dine-in meals. Alcohol can only be sold in the same transaction as a meal.
Murphys businesses are, of course, disappointed as this is a result of statewide metrics rather than our own metrics.  Please help us keep our numbers low by practicing social distancing, sanitizing your hands when entering and leaving a business, and wearing your face covering when out in public.

UPDATED 6-25-2020 – We know lots of you are looking forward to a visit to Murphys, and we look forward to welcoming you back, but for now, please help us move through the steps of reopening as quickly and safely as possible and perhaps choose a non-holiday weekend for your visit.  Remember that we are still under “Stay Home” orders in California and non-essential travel is discouraged.

The good news is that Calaveras is one of California’s rural counties that was able to begin opening Stage 3 services to our residents beginning June 12, 2020, including tasting rooms, family entertainment, fitness centers, campgrounds, and lodging. That’s all in addition to the Stage 2 businesses which have been open with precautionary measures for the last few weeks including restaurants, retail shops, and hair salons.  As of June 19th, additional personal care services may be offered by salons and spas. As always, call ahead because most places will be providing services on an appointment-only basis and may not be ready to provide all their usual offerings.

That’s the good news for this week.  The bad news is that some areas are seeing an increased rate of Covid-19 infections and, if this continues, we may have to pause or even rescind some of these openings as has occurred in some adjacent valley counties.  Please help us keep Murphys open!  We still have very low rates of infection and we’d like to keep it that way.

Not all businesses who may open are actually open so please contact any business you plan to visit or check their social media pages before coming to town to visit them.  The Calaveras Winegrape Alliance has detailed information on the status of its’ member wineries and tasting rooms.

Be prepared if you do plan to visit.  State guidelines for the reopening of businesses require them to enforce physical distancing, wear face coverings, perform additional sanitizing, and, in some cases, businesses may require you to have a reservation, remain outside until sufficient space is available to accommodate you or your group, and wear a face-covering when not eating or drinking.

Be patient with us while we work through the challenges, this is new to all of us.  Help us stay open by cooperating with the requests of business staff and servers, maintaining 6′  between yourself and other groups, frequently washing or sanitizing your hands, and having a face-covering handy so you can put it on when requested to do so.  Do not travel or enter a business if you are not feeling well or have a fever.

Murphys wants to be open to serve you but we need your help to ensure that we do not experience additional outbreaks that would cause us to close businesses.  And, of course, we want everyone to remain healthy!

With your cooperation, we look forward to additional openings as the state allows. In the meantime, you can support your favorite businesses from home!


Take out food and curbside pickup are still the preferred options for most dining and shopping as businesses will need to respect the social distancing requirements even as they offer more in-person services.  Essential businesses like grocery stores, gas stations, banks, and pharmacies are open.

Many wineries & wine tasting rooms are open, however, some tasting rooms may continue with only curbside pickup of club releases and wine sales for a little longer. Some wineries have been offering delivery and shipping promotions. All purchasing options can be found at the Calaveras Winegrape Alliance website here: https://www.calaveraswines.org/curbside-delivery-andship.

Please contact any business you would like to visit to confirm the availability of in-person dining, hours, and to determine if a reservation will be required prior to visiting. Watch this page for more information and visit the Calaveras Winegrape Alliance pages for more details on tasting room openings.


Lodging and Vacation Rentals became available to visitors on June 12th!  Please check with individual businesses to verify availability and restrictions.


Business Offices and Outdoor Museums may be open at this time in conformance with the state’s reopening guidelines.  Some Personal Services are beginning to open including Salons & Barbershops.  Churches and other Places of Worship are resuming services with some limitations as well as Fitness Centers. As always, check with individual businesses to verify hours and availability as there may be modifications to facilitate distancing requirements.

Continued Restrictions – Updated to reflect June 15, 2020 State Guidance:

The following sectors, businesses, establishments, or activities are not permitted to operate in the State of California at this time:

  • Indoor playgrounds such as bounce centers, ball pits, and laser tag
  • Movie theaters and live theater
  • Saunas and steam rooms
  • Nightclubs
  • Concert venues
  • Festivals
  • Theme parks
  • Higher education

The health and well-being of our community is our first priority. Please be mindful, practice physical distancing and use your face covering when in public.  Spread the word — Not the virus!  And stay safe wherever you are.

We will update this post with the current information as we have it. 

Photo: Cindy Rochelle