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COVID Reopenings: 3 Bay Area Counties Could Move To Red Tier Next Week

BURLINGAME (KPIX 5) -- Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday said California is in a very different place in regards to COVID than it was just one month ago because of residents working hard and following safety protocols like wearing masks.

The positive case numbers being reported across the state and in the Bay Area will soon lead to reduced COVID restrictions in some areas.

San Mateo is one of three Bay Area counties that could enter the red tier as early as next week.

Sapore Italiano in downtown Burlingame was bustling Wednesday evening.
Come next week, it could get even busier.

"It will be a big difference, between to go, indoor and outdoor. We can do at least very, very good business," said owner Elio D'Urzo.

In addition to San Mateo County, San Francisco and Marin counties are poised to enter the Red Tier, which means indoor dining capacity at restaurants would be raised to 25%.

Movie theaters and indoor fitness centers could also operate at limited capacity.

"It's great news that the cases are improving. I think it's partially that ...we've been really locked down in the purple tier. And then beyond that, we're way past the holidays, and beyond that, I'm beginning to hope that vaccines could be having some effect on our society in the United States," said UCSF Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Monica Gandhi.

California's positivity rate stands at 3.3%, down from 11.3% a month ago. In that time, cases have fallen from more than 42,000 to about 4,000 on Wednesday.

"As a resident, it feels great. I think it's great news for businesses, the children, and our lifestyle around here in Burlingame," said resident Robert Domenici.

San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa is cautiously optimistic that this time around, the downward trend won't be easily reversed.

"I think it's a moment of encouragement and we control our destiny. Remember, when we went back, we didn't have the vaccine, We didn't. Now we're beginning to learn more about it," Canepa said.

State health officials are likely to announce which counties are moving tiers on Tuesday.

In the meantime, Dr. Gandhi says the riskiest activity is still any large, indoor activity without masks. That type of activity should be avoided entirely.

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