SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — The California Department of Public Health updated the state’s COVID-19 tier map Tuesday, showing that both Marin and San Mateo counties had moved into the less restrictive red tier.
Other California counties that progressed from the purple tier into the red Tuesday were Humboldt, Shasta and Yolo counties. Trinity County moved from the moderate orange tier to the more restrictive red tier.READ MORE: 6 Arrested After 2 Sideshows In Vallejo
Sierra and Alpine counties are currently the only counties in the state that have moved into the orange tier.
While San Francisco was anticipated to possibly be one of the counties to move from the purple to red tier, it remained one of the 47 counties still in the most restrictive purple tier.
San Mateo County health officials confirmed that as of 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, the county would be moving into the red tier.
The move allows for reduced restrictions for a number of businesses, with restaurants being allowed to resume indoor dining with modifications and gyms opening for indoors operation with modifications. Retail and shopping centers can also increase capacity to 50%.
“This is great news for our small businesses and our entire community,” said San Mateo County Board of Supervisors President David J. Canepa. “And this move is a direct result of all of us taking personal responsibility for our actions. If we wear our damn masks, keep our distance and follow common-sense health and safety protocols, we can get back to doing what we all love to do.”
According to San Mateo County officials, the county progressed to the red tier due to two metrics calculated by the state: The case rate has fallen to 5.6 percent and the health equity quartile positivity rate to 3.7 percent. The health equity quartile measures rates of infection with the virus in the county’s most disadvantaged communities based on the California Health Places Index.
On a day with nice weather like Tuesday, the patio is nice, but the people who run Milagros Kitchen in Redwood City are thrilled to be heading back inside.READ MORE: Plan For Urban Village At San Jose's New BART Station Raises Concerns With Local Businesses
“Yeah, we are really super excited that we are moving into the red tier in San Mateo County,” said Milagros Kitchen general manager Sean Parker. “It gives our employees more hours, more opportunity. Hopefully we don’t have any setbacks.”
The owner of Kasa Indian Eatery did not have quite the same enthusiasm.
“Not just yet. I’d say I’m cautiously optimistic,” said Kasa owner Anamika Khanna. “There has been a lot of back and forth as to what tier we’re in. Most importantly it’s a concern for our staff. We are not looking for additional exposure until we feel comfortable.”
What would make both restaurants more comfortable is more protection for their staff, by way of vaccine.
“I think that would help,” Khanna said. “We are just getting emails now about San Mateo County opening up for vaccinations.”
“We are trying to coordinate it with all of our employees to help them facilitate getting vaccinated,” Parker said. “Everything is looking positive now, when it was really dark about a month ago.”
The Marin County Department of Health and Human Services said the move to the red tier was due to “a low percentage of positive tests among residents of low-income communities.”
“We’ve focused on our hardest-hit communities, and it seems to be
paying off,” said Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis. “It’s
especially encouraging to see this progress as we move toward vaccinating essential workers. Adding the protection of the vaccine will help seal this progress for the whole community.”
Marin County entering the red tier also means any school in the county that has not yet reopened to some form of in-person instruction will be eligible to make that transition beginning Monday, March 1.
Once eligible, the reopening pace and scope of a school is at the discretion of school officials. So far, nearly 90% of Marin schools have already reopened to some form of onsite classroom learning.MORE NEWS: Passenger Jet Narrowly Missed Truckee Homes When It Crashed
Wilson Walker contributed to this story.