Sonoma, Napa and Contra Costa counties enter COVID-19 orange tier

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- Sonoma, Napa and Contra Costa counties are officially moving into the orange coronavirus reopening tier Wednesday, which means they will be able to reopen with higher capacities.

That leaves Solano County as the Bay Area's only red tier.

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In Contra Costa County, this orange tier move comes with a message - county health officials are encouraging everyone over the age of 16 to get vaccinated so we can keep heading in this direction.

The orange tier means businesses like restaurants, gyms and movie theatres along with places of worship can allow more people inside. Bars can open to customers outside -- there is no longer a meal requirement in the orange tier.

Health officials say residents should feel good about the progress they have made, but should not let down their guard, with Contra Costa Co. saying their case rates have plateaued and Sonoma saying the number of cases there have started to creep back up.

"I'm not ready to go into a movie theater to be honest with you, if its packed," said Walnut Creek resident Neal Grindheil. "I would just say use common sense and take care of your family. That's why I'm walking right now. Six in the morning, nobody is on the street."

So the feeling Wednesday is to celebrate these openings - with caution and a lot of encouragement to get vaccinated.

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