reopening the bay area

Will State Allow Bay Area Counties to Loosen More Coronavirus Restrictions?

Counties in the region, including Santa Clara, currently in the state's red tier may soon be allowed to move into the less restrictive orange tier, which would allow some restaurants to offer indoor dining

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Several counties in the Bay Area are expected to find out Tuesday if the state will loosen coronavirus restrictions on businesses, including indoor dining at restaurants.

The state is expected to announce which counties have done enough to move tiers in the COVID-19 monitoring system.

In the South Bay, Santa Clara County believes it will be moving from red to the less restrictive orange tier, which would allow the county to resume indoor dining.

The Old Wagon Saloon in San Jose's San Pedro Square is hoping and preparing to welcome customers back inside its restaurant.

"We would love a few more customers here," said Sabrina Urias, Old Wagon Saloon general manager. "It would help."

If the county is allowed to move into the state's orange tier, guidelines will allow qualifying restaurants to reopen indoor dining at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.

The Old Wagon Saloon considers it a step in the right direction, but not a big enough step to hire people back.

"It's not yet a big enough number," Urias said. "In a way we're overstaffed right now, even for just the patio dining."

The counties' looser restrictions on businesses come with a warning from Gov. Gavin Newsom.

"Don't be misled that this disease is any less deadly," Newsom said. "(It's) quite the contrary."

Still, some customers are hesitant to head back into restaurants.

"For me, personally, I think I'd wait because I live with people who are very at-risk," San Jose resident Geronimo Suetos said.

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