San Mateo County has moved from the “purple” tier to the “red” tier according to the state’s new COVID-19 guidelines for reopening the economy, which is excellent news for retailers who have suffered great losses during this pandemic. Malls, movie theaters, indoor dining and nail salons among many others may now resume business with some modifications.
We’ve increased testing and have seen case rates decline but it doesn’t mean this pandemic is over. We must still practice social distancing, avoid large crowds and most importantly continue to wear our masks if we want to move to the “orange” tier to open up the economy more.
Moving to Red allows:
Restaurants indoors (max 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
All retail indoors (max 50% capacity)
Shopping centers, swap meets indoors (max 50% capacity, closed common areas)
Museums, zoos and aquariums (max 25% capacity)
Places of worship (max 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
Movie theaters in doors (max 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
Gyms and fitness centers indoors (max 10% capacity)
The county’s health officer, Dr. Scott Morrow, has said repeatedly he does not believe the virus is spreading largely because of restaurants, gyms or nail salons. He, instead, has pointed out private gatherings as a likely contributor to the surge in cases. The spread of the infection, he says, is often related to fairly small gatherings of family and friends.
COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon, this has become clear as cases continue to climb. So far, 10,069 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in San Mateo County and 150 people have died. This is why it is imperative to continue to follow the four pillars of reopening which is to wear our masks in high-risk settings, wash our hands, maintain physical distancing and perhaps most importantly, avoid large gatherings. I proposed to County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee that we add a fifth pillar – testing.
David Canepa serves on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors representing Brisbane.