Marin County is eyeing a move into the yellow tier this week and could become the first Bay Area County to do so.
The county has fewer than two COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people and a positivity rate below 2%.
Moving into the least restrictive yellow tier allows the county to reopen bars at 25% capacity, gyms at up to 50% capacity and live events with assigned seating up to 67% capacity.
Indoor dining at restaurants remains at 50% capacity.
While Marin county may be the first in the Bay Area to enter the yellow tier, some business owners said they plan to welcome people back inside slowly.
“I think I may consider yellow my new favorite color,” said Joubert Caston of Sausalito Fitness Club.
State guidelines say a county must meet requirements for a less restrictive tier for two weeks before advancing.
“To get to the yellow tier it's the rule of twos. Fewer than 2% test positivity rate but the trick is to get to under two cases per 100,000,” said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong of UCSF.
He said staying there could be a challenge as case rates must remain low as more people are allowed to gather.
“If people increase just slightly the community rate it may mean putting the restrictions back very quickly,” he said.
Caston says while he's hopeful Marin County will take an important step Wednesday, he's not planning to fill half the gym.
“We still are gonna do appointments only to do crowd control,” he said.
People who say they are ready to work out inside say it's a relief to live in a county where it feels like there is an end to COVID-19 in sight.
San Francisco and San Mateo counties are close to moving into the yellow tier, with May 4 the earliest date they are eligible to do so.