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COVID: San Mateo County Adds Restrictions In Return To Red Tier, Keeps Indoor Dining Open

REDWOOD CITY (CBS SF) – Health officials in San Mateo County announced new COVID-19 rollbacks Monday, as the county was shifted back to the more restrictive Red Tier with cases rising throughout California.

The changes are effective Tuesday, November 17, according to a county statement.

Indoor dining capacity has been reduced to a maximum of 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer. The county remains one of the few places in the Bay Area to allow for indoor dining, as neighboring San Francisco closed indoor dining last week. Six other counties in the Bay Area are in the Purple Tier, the state's most restrictive which does not allow for any indoor dining.

Meanwhile, capacities for indoor museums, houses of worship and movie theatres has also been reduced to maximum 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer. Indoor gyms and fitness centers can operate at a maximum 10% capacity.

Limits are also returning for indoor retail and shopping centers, with maximum capacity at 50%.

Sectors that remain open with modifications include outdoor dining, restaurant takeout, outdoor family entertainment centers, playgrounds and indoor personal care services such as salons and barbershops.

Officials said schools that have reopened for in-person learning can continue to do so.

"What this tell us is that all of us need to redouble our efforts to follow common-sense health and safety guidelines," said county manager Mike Callagy, urging residents to continue wearing face coverings, wash hands, practice physical distancing and avoid gatherings outside of one's household.

Callagy also urged continued vigilance despite the upcoming holidays and promising developments on the vaccine front. "But this is no time to relax and let our guard down. We're asking everyone to share in the sacrifice so that in what we hope is the near future we can reopen our economy further and enjoy life as normally as possible," the county manager said.

San Mateo, along with neighboring San Francisco, were moved back into the Red Tier on Monday as Gov. Gavin Newsom said they were pulling the "emergency brake" over the rising number of coronavirus infections. Newsom announced that 41 out of the state's 58 counties are under Purple Tier restrictions, covering 94% of the population.

Officials said San Mateo was shifted back from the Orange Tier to the Red Tier after the adjusted COVID-19 case has risen to 5.7 daily new cases per 100,000 people, up from 2.2. The county has recorded 585 positive COVID-19 cases since November 9, officials said Monday.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, 12,565 cases and 168 deaths have been reported in San Mateo County.

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