ALAMEDA COUNTY (CBS SF) – Indoor dining, worship services and movie theaters are among the activities allowed to reopen in Alameda County on Friday with restrictions.

The county, which is in the Orange Tier in the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan, announced the plans Wednesday, citing stability in coronavirus case rates, testing positivity rates and hospitalizations.

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The following activities can begin Friday:
• Indoor family entertainment centers that have activities that are “naturally socially distanced” such as bowling alleys and climbing walls, at up to 25% capacity
• Indoor dining up to 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is less
• Indoor worship services up to 25% or 100 people, whichever is less
• Indoor movie theaters up to 25% capacity or 100 people per screen, whichever is less.

Alameda County is also allowing for the expansion of certain activities, including indoor retail and malls, which can expand capacity up to 50%. Limited food courts will also be permitted.

Indoor gyms and fitness centers can increase capacity to 25%, but pools will remain closed. Meanwhile, outdoor non-contact fitness classes can expand to 20 people, including the instructor.

Wedding and funeral services in Alameda County can also expand to 25% of venue capacity or 100 people, whichever is less.

The county also announced Wednesday it would align with the state’s guidance on gatherings allowing for no more than 20 people from three households, replacing the county’s previous “Social Bubble” guidance. Gatherings should occur outdoors, face coverings are required outside eating or drinking and people must remain six feet apart from those outside of their household.

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County health officials said gatherings can also include singing or playing of musical instruments, but the singer or musician must belong to one of the three households.

“It’s important for every resident to consider the potential risk of getting or spreading COVID-19 and how they can participate in these newly opened activities safely,” County Interim Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss said in a statement. “Outdoor activities with fewer people are safer. It is increasingly less safe if more people are in attendance, if the activities are indoors, or if people are frequently removing their face coverings.”

While the county has been in the less restrictive Orange Tier since last week, Alameda County said they would reopen at what they described as “a more measured pace.”

“With flu season nearly here, we must be vigilant and not move so quickly as to initiate a surge in cases that could result in hospitalizations and deaths,” health officials said.

Previously, the county said the above activities wouldn’t reopen until the week of October 26th.

Other Bay Area counties in the Orange Tier include Santa Clara and Napa counties. San Francisco is the only county in the Bay Area that has reached the Yellow Tier, which has the fewest COVID-19 restrictions.

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