ALAMEDA (CBS SF) – It’s Tuesday, a touching day, as counties are rising into the COVID-19 reopening Red Tier. Across Alameda County, business owners were preparing to reopen indoor operations once the county was raised to the new level.
In the past two weeks, Alameda County has been upgraded from Purple to Red Tier within state guidelines.
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New COVID cases are at 6.3 per 100,000 inhabitants, which is below the state mandate for the transfer of 7 cases. The positive rate has fallen to 2.4 percent, well below the state mandate of 8 percent.
In the Red Tier districts, indoor dining rooms and cinemas may be reopened with a capacity of 25% or up to 100 people, whichever is lower. Gyms, dance and yoga studios can be used up to 10%. Museums, zoos and aquariums can open indoor activities with a capacity of 25%.
Preparatory sports can also finally begin and schools can reopen under state restrictions.
“We’re finally going to get back to normal,” Kyle Conner, owner of the Alameda Theater and Cinema Grill, told KPIX 5. “It’s going to be a journey. I have to upgrade all of the staff.”
During nearly a year of pandemic theater shutdown, Conner operated a widespread weekend drive-in theater at the former Alameda Naval Air Station. He plans to finally keep the drive-in operational until May.
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When his indoor theater reopens, he faces a dilemma. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the studios have scaled back their releases and also opted for a streaming strategy.
“The second part is that there have to be movies to watch,” he said. “And right now there aren’t a lot of movies to play.”
“The sad thing is,” he continued, “I think we’ll likely lose more money if we stay around 25% capacity for the first 4 to 6 months because of the capacity.”
But there is also a mixed reaction to reopenings. Many think it is too early.
“I’m not ready to take any risks yet,” said Toni Bonde.
The feeling was the same for Claire Bonde.
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“Once everyone has taken off their masks and we’re in a closed room, I’m not ready,” said Bonde. “More people need to be vaccinated before this is okay with me.”