reopening the bay area

Alameda County to Reopen More Businesses

NBC Universal, Inc.

Alameda County’s coronavirus shelter-at-home orders are easing up. Starting Friday morning, limited indoor retail, outdoor dining and other businesses can resume.

On Thursday night, some places were dusting off the merchandise, getting ready to invite customers back into their stores.

At Five Little Monkeys Toy Store in Berkeley, they've asking customers to reserve shopping time so they can limit how many people they let in.

"There's a lot of people I had been used to seeing, like, every week," said Timothy Brown from Five Little Monkeys Toy Store. "And I haven't seen them in three months, so yeah, it will be good.”

Inside the store, they've moved displays to give people plenty of space and they've arranged their items to make them easier to see. An effort to limit what people can touch.

Retailers aren't the only ones getting ready to reopen.

At Chinese for Christ Church, the exit and entry are already labeled to make sure congregants don't bump into each other. Churches will be limited to 25%  of the auditorium's capacity.

"Being able to sing, being able to pray, being able to listen to sermon in person I think really makes a big difference," said church member Joshua Kim, adding that their church is also trying to figure out how to have services outside to include more people.

Under the new order, colleges can begin certain athletic training programs and gyms can begin outdoor fitness classes. But not every business with will be ready. Some are still boarded up from looting a couple weeks ago.

"It was weirder seeing everything boarded up. It looked like a ghost town," said Nathan Gabriel, Iyasare Restaurant Operator.

On 4th Street in Berkeley, most stores just took the boards down. For restaurants, parking spots have been turned into dining spaces.

Still, some operators plan on delaying their outdoor service for a while longer.

"We need to train people, we need to get ready," said Gabriel. "Getting a restaurant back up and running, especially for dine in, or outside dining service takes a bit of extra work.”

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