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Berkeley, Alameda County Issue New Health Order Reopening Outdoor Dining, Religious Services

ALAMEDA (CBS SF) -- The city of Berkeley and Alameda County health officials on Thursday announced a new order that allows for the reopening of outdoor restaurant dining  and limited religious and cultural services.

Starting Friday, June 19, the new order will additionally reopen outdoor museums, indoor and outdoor retail including malls and outdoor fitness classes. A summary of the orders and a full list of permissible businesses and activities are available at the Alameda County Public Health Department website. The city of Berkeley issued a parallel health order that also goes into effect June 19.

Stabilization of COVID-19 hospitalization numbers over the past two weeks in Alameda County, increased daily testing and the drop of overall positivity rates to an average of 3.5 percent are allowing for the reduced restrictions.

"Further relaxation of the shelter-in-place orders is possible thanks to efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 by Alameda County's residents and continued expansion of our case and contact investigation resources," said Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Erica Pan. "With an increasing number of opportunities for consumers and workers to interact with each other, it's more important than ever to wear a face covering whenever you leave home, maintain at least 6 feet of distance from people outside of your household, practice good hand hygiene, and stay home if you have any symptoms of COVID-19."

For outdoor dining at restaurants, seating arrangements are limited to six people per table, all from same household or social bubble with tables situated six feet apart. Entertainment events are still not allowed.

Permitted indoor and outdoor retail stores and spaces including malls are allowed to reopen, though stores must limit capacity to 50 percent of normal maximum capacity or the number of people who can maintain a distance of 6 feet from each other at all times, whichever is lower.

Religious and cultural ceremonies are limited to fewer than 100 people or 25 percent of the building or area capacity, whichever is lower.

The orders will also allow groups of 12 to take part in outdoor non-contact fitness classes and non-contact athletic training for college sports teams. A previous order allowed children to have both a household bubble as well as a bubble for extracurricular activities, such as sports.

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