One Bay Area county stands out from the rest during this record surge in COVID-19 cases: Marin County is the only one that has avoided moving into the most restrictive purple tier, and in doing so does not have curfews.
This means businesses are operating with fewer restrictions and some schools are moving ahead with reopening plans Monday morning.
Diners at Mill Valley’s De Angelo’s enjoyed a mild Sunday evening downtown, as others perused nearby shops and enjoyed live music on the plaza – a glimmer of normalcy during this latest COVID surge.
A manager at De Angelo’s said business owners, employees and customers have done their best to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“Everybody is trying to respect the six-feet apart rule and the masking and everything else,” said the manager, Alberto Aparicio.
It’s a big reason Marin County has been able to avoid slipping back to the most restrictive Purple Tier, and Aparicio said the restaurant is hoping to expand soon.
“We’re trying to open other areas of the restaurant so we can have another section open for sales, and we’re making things happen in the alleyway,” he said. “That’s going to be our next step moving forward.”
Others are hopeful but not as optimistic about what the future holds after the holidays.
“Realistically, it seems like pretty soon we will be heading into Purple,” said Stephanie Schaffer, a Mill Valley Middle School parent.
Schaffer is one of a number of parents who are also concerned that their school district is moving ahead too quickly with plans to reopen all elementary schools and Mill Valley Middle School Monday morning.
“I’m extremely worried,” Schaffer said. “I think this is the worst time that we could have started.”
But another parent, who is also a teen counselor in Marin County said the pandemic and school closures have caused an increase in mental health issues with students who miss the social connections with their peers.
“Increased anxiety, depression, substance abuse and other maladaptive behaviors,” said counselor Gary Federoff.
The Marin County high school district is scheduled to reopen schools in January.