San Mateo County announced Tuesday that some restrictions on indoor operations have been lifted after it moved into the “red” tier of the state’s pandemic regulations.
Effective immediately, restaurants, gyms, salons, movie theaters, museums, places of worship and other sectors can now open indoors under specific safety protocols. The regulations limit occupancy for each business and require face coverings and social distancing. Bars where no meals are served remain closed.
County Manager Mike Callagy wrote in a press release that he is celebrating that some businesses and residents can now get back to work.
“What this means is that you — the residents of San Mateo County — have made huge sacrifices to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” Callagy wrote.
The state’s most recent calculations for county case positivity rate and adjusted case rate were 4.5 and 6.6 percent, respectively. Those, along with relatively low metrics in the week prior, qualified the county to move to a less restrictive tier.
Moving further along in reopening may prove to be a challenge, however, as it would require a substantial reduction in case and positivity rates.
If the county is able to remain in the red tier for two consecutive weeks, it would get permission for schools to open under the county office of education’s regulations.
Free COVID-19 testing will continue this month across the county through Project Baseline. That includes testing at Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church in Half Moon Bay on Sept. 29.
In a press release, county officials encouraged residents to continue following health and safety guidelines to slow the spread of the virus.
“This remains far from over,” said County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow. “To get out of this situation depends on all of us. Our collective best course of action: No gatherings outside of immediate households, use facial coverings extensively, and social distancing.”