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Santa Cruz County moves to orange tier

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KION

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KION) More industries can reopen now that Santa Cruz County is officially in the orange tier.

Restaurants, movie theaters and places of worship can increase operations from 25 percent capacity to a maximum 50 percent capacity. Retail stores can resume operations at full capacity.

Amusement parks, bowling alleys and live-audience outdoor events can also open in the orange tier with some modifications.

This ease in restrictions comes as a welcomed change for Santa Cruz restaurants KION spoke with. Manager Johann Espinoza of El Palomar said this has been a difficult year for restaurants after the back and forth of opening and closing under pandemic restrictions, but he’s hopeful this will help operations.

"For us as an industry, we’ve definitely struggled through the ups and downs of being open, closing, all that’s come with it, so it’s very nice to see things starting to go in the right direction,” Espinoza said.

Wednesday afternoon, Downtown Santa Cruz was buzzing with visitors out enjoying a day of shopping and eating in the sun.

Infectious Diseases Doctor Sunita Singh with Dominican Hospital tells us while hospitalizations, deaths, cases are in s better place than they were a few months ago, we still have a long way to go.

“We do know, just by the nature of how contagious this virus is, we still have to remain vigilant, quite a bit. And as you may have seen, we are seeing a surge in cases in Europe due to the variants as well as the rest of the world and we have seen a rise in cases, just in the past week, here in the United States,” Singh said.

This move to the orange tier brings good news for the iconic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. They plan to reopen rides Thursday.

To search what other businesses are open in your county, click the following link: https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/.

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Elisha Machado

Elisha Machado is a weekend anchor and multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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