reopening the bay area

Marin, Solano Counties Moved to Less Restrictive Reopening Tiers

Indoor dining in the North Bay.
NBC Bay Area

Three more counties in the greater Bay Area moved into less restrictive tiers of the state's pandemic reopening system Tuesday, just over two weeks before most capacity limits will be lifted statewide.

Marin and Monterey counties moved into the yellow tier, joining San Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties in the least restrictive tier.

Like the other four counties, the tier change, which will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, will enable Marin and Monterey to expand indoor capacities for businesses like restaurants and gyms and outdoor capacities for businesses like theme parks and large event venues.

Bars in both counties will also be allowed to reopen indoors at 25 percent capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer, without a requirement to serve meals with alcohol.

Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis noted in a statement that the vast majority of the county's active cases are among unvaccinated residents.

"Our community has earned the freedom to open more safely," he said. "We have our local residents to thank for following the science and best evidence at every stage of this pandemic, including choosing to be vaccinated."

Solano County also moved out of the red tier, the last Bay Area county to do so since the state's stay-at-home order was lifted in late January.

Solano County by going to the orange tier will be allowed to increase indoor capacity from 25 percent to 50 percent for sectors like places of worship, movie theaters and restaurants, while gyms and fitness centers will be allowed to raise capacity from 10 percent to 25 percent.

Capacity caps can be raised even higher if all attendees, customers or participants are fully vaccinated.

In addition, business sectors such as family entertainment centers, cardrooms, offices and wineries will be allowed to resume indoor operations after being limited to operating outdoors or being closed altogether in the more restrictive red and purple tiers.

"We are seeing a substantial decrease in the spread of COVID-19 in our community, therefore enabling us to move down to the next tier and expanding capacity for our businesses," Solano County Health Officer Dr. Bela Matyas said in a statement. "While we are nearing the end of the pandemic, we continue to encourage our community members to get vaccinated to protect themselves from severe illness and death."

Check out the chart below to see what's allowed in the various tiers.

All but four of the state's 58 counties are in the orange and yellow tiers as the state prepares to lift the tier system on June 15.

In addition, more than 70 percent of California residents have now received at least one vaccine dose, according to state vaccination data.

Full information on the capacities at which businesses can operate in each tier can be found at https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy.

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