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Some Yuba, Sutter County Restaurants Band Together, Reopen Indoors Despite State Guidelines

MARYSVILLE (CBS13) — Some businesses aren't waiting for the state to reopen. Restaurants in Yuba and Sutter counties are banding together to reopen indoor operations now.

The owner of Casa Carlos in Marysville, Ron Carlos, says the last straw for him was the bad air quality due to wildfires across the region. He says it was safer to have customers eat inside, so he decided to open at 25% capacity.

"My perspective was I have 40 households that rely on this restaurant," Carlos said.

Among the list of restaurants operating indoors are Silver Dollar Saloon and Lumberjacks.

Carlos says it wasn't a quick decision for him to reopen indoors.

"When the fires started you couldn't sit outside that was the trigger," he explained.

"You don't want to be out in that. You don't want to breathe in it, I mean you are getting advisories that stay indoors for your safety and then we are being told that you are going to have to work outside, you know, because that's all we've got," said Ashley Littlejohn, who works at Casa Carlos.

READ: Yuba County Leaders Want More People To Get Tested For Virus 'Even If Symptoms Are Mild'

Bad air is just one of several reasons to bring customers back inside. The biggest reason for most businesses is the financial struggle the shutdown has caused for months.

With several restaurants joining forces by allowing indoor dining on their own terms, CBS13 wanted to know how Yuba and Sutter counties plan to handle the defiance.

"Education has always been our key, as we've said since the beginning this is a marathon, not a sprint," said Rachel Rosenbaum with Yuba County.

Right now, Yuba and Sutter counties are in the state's purple tier, which doesn't allow indoor dining.  Carlos says his business is operating under the state's red tier guidelines anticipating his county will be moved up and officially allow dine-in soon.

"We took a chance here because I felt like this area is pretty close to going to the next tier," he said.

A spokesperson for the counties said there are outreach teams dedicated to educating businesses.

Carlos says this decision was about getting back to work. He understands the risks and says his customers do to.

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