Contra Costa businesses hope county moves out of most restrictive tier

Bay Area

LAFAYETTE, Calif. (KRON) – On Tuesday, the state health department will announce which counties are moving from the most restrictive purple tier to the red tier and Contra Costa County business owners hope they’re on that list.

The county currently remains in the most restrictive purple tier. 

Tier assignments come from the state and are based on metrics including COVID-19 case rates. 

Contra Costa County is inching closer to the red tier but by the state’s metrics not there quite yet.

The state has said they’re looking into making adjustments to allow for counties to move forward with reopenings once things get better in terms of vaccinations.

As some Bay Area counties have already moved to the red tier, some Contra Costa County businesses are feeling left out.

Five Bay Area counties are already ahead of the others when it comes to reopening.

Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin and Napa counties have all loosened restrictions in the red tier but counties like Contra Costa continue to wait.

“It’s really hard to not be open right now like the other counties are open right now,” Parry Tong said.

Restaurants like Postino in Lafayette have to continue seating customers outside under the purple tier. 

Unlike in the red tier where diners can sit inside up to 25%.

Other indoor activities include movie theaters, museums, and gyms. Owner Parry Tong believes the reopenings should be uniform across the Bay Area.

“I think it’s fair for them to open us up right now. If other counties are opened up, what’s keeping our clientele from going to San Francisco for dinner to eat inside?” Tong said. 

One reason Contra Costa has stayed in the purple tier is because of new COVID-19 cases per day per 100,000 people. 

As of Monday it sits at just over 8. 

The county will be able to move ahead once it dips to 7 or fewer new infections..

The owner of Amarin Thai Cuisine says they would like to reopen for indoor dining.

“I think it’s gonna be better, way better if we can do inside for 25% because we are ready for 25% to open,” the owner said.

She also understands it might be better to be patient.

“It’s not good if we still have a high number for COVID so I think it’s good they’re not allowing us to reopen right now. Just wait first,” she said.

The state says they’re planning on modifying the metric for reopening to 10 new cases or fewer once vaccines are deployed to the hardest-hit communities. 

A majority of the state’s 58 counties remain in the purple tier.

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