'We are right on that cusp': Marin Co. could move into yellow tier as early as Tuesday

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Marin County could soon be moving into the yellow tier, which is the least restrictive COVID-19 reopening metric. On Tuesday they will get a definitive answer from the state.

For the past year Meshell Mifsud, owner of Tamalpais Crossfit has been carrying the heavy weights of being a business owner as coronavirus cases surged. Her CrossFit gym once packed with members sat empty.

"We lost 40% of our business, which was huge," said Mifsud.

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Her gym is open at 25% capacity now and the news of moving into the yellow tier, she says, will be a game changer. It means they'll open at 50% capacity indoors.

"My hope is that it just makes the public feel more comfortable about getting back out and getting back to fitness and getting their mental and physical health back," said Mifsud.

Even after moving into the yellow tier, gyms like Tamalpais CrossFit will continue to offer the outdoor option, but they say that moving into the next tier also gives them an opportunity to expand into indoor classes.

"We have indoor 10 by 10 squares for people to work safely," said Mifsud.

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Last week, Marin County was on the verge of moving into the yellow tier, but a slight increase in the county's case rate set them back. Today's numbers: 111 COVID cases in the past 14 days. Supervisor Damon Connolly is optimistic.

"We have to show a case rate of less than 2 per 100,000 population over a given time," said Supervisor Connolly and added, "We are right on that cusp and we are cautiously optimistic as we head into Tuesday with more definitive news."

Under the yellow tier, bars that don't offer food will be able to open indoors at 25% capacity.

Other sports bars like the Flatiron in San Rafael, which have a food menu, will expand capacity to 50% indoors.

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"We spent a year on borrowed money and now most restaurateurs have basically reopened in debt and we are all trying to get back to 0 to make money," said Alex Stricker, owner of The Flatiron.

Before the pandemic, The Flatiron use to be open seven days a week. Now it's four. Alex Stricker is hopeful this tier change will bring his staff back and increase business.

"These tier changes are just a step in the right direction," said Stricker.

Marin County has the highest vaccination rate of any county in the state. More than 172,000 Marin County residents have been vaccinated with at least one dose -- A key factor as COVID cases go down, influencing a tier change.

"It will allow for more openings, more kinds of activities. At the same time the message is clear, and I think our community gets it -- Let's not let our guards down," said Supervisor Connolly.


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