Reopening California

Anticipation Builds as California Nears Full Reopening

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

With less than three weeks until the state fully reopens, Bay Area health officers are bracing for big changes in restrictions. Nowhere will the changes be more drastic than in Solano County – the only Bay Area county still in the red tier.

Molly Tou of Two60 Kitchen and Bar is counting the days until Solano County can say goodbye to the red tier and businesses can open at full capacity.

"This restaurant has never been open at 100%," Tou said. "We are anticipating that a lot of folks will be coming out, just eager to come out and enjoy dining again."

Tou opened her restaurant during the pandemic. She’s anxious to move forward and finally fill her dining room once the state lifts restrictions on June 15.

"I'm kind of choosing not to look back at all the ups and downs this past year has brought," she said.

Solano County Health Officer Dr. Bela Matyas said fully reopening is the right thing to do.

"I think we’re at a point now where as a community we’re close to as good as we’re going to get," he said.

Though Solano remains the only Bay Area county stuck in the red tier, Matyas said nearly everyone who wanted to get vaccinated has now had a chance to – about 60% of those eligible. He said the shutdown may have done more harm than good.

"I definitely think it’s time to reopen in the sense I’m not really convinced that it was ever necessary to close," he said. "The impact on businesses has been very real. Many people in our community have lost their jobs, would’ve lost their homes had it not been for eviction moratoriums."

In nearby Marin County, where nearly 75% of the entire population is expected to be vaccinated by June 15, Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis said he still worries. Marin County is leading the way in vaccination rates, but Willis is urging the community to continue to be cautious.

"It will be up to every business what they choose to do and I think many will choose to continue to practice facial coverings for vaccinated and unvaccinated people indoors as a matter of safety," he said.

Tou hasn’t yet decided whether she’ll require her staff to continue to mask up, but she will allow customers to choose what’s best for them.

Some said they can’t wait to leave the masks behind.

"I am ready to party," customer Stella Nevigato said. "I’m ready to party, yes. I am ready."

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