Marin County could be 1st Bay Area county to move into yellow tier

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Marin County will soon know if it can improve into the yellow tier. If their coronavirus numbers hold from where they were last week, the county will go yellow, being the first Bay Area county to do so.

Monday, ABC7 News was inside the California Gold Bar in San Rafael. The inside of a bar like this is a sight many of us haven't seen for a very long time, but a sight that might become more common to many if Marin County goes into the yellow tier on Tuesday.

"I'm very excited about going inside at this point," says owner Isaac Shumway.

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If Marin goes yellow, indoor bars like Shumway's will be able to operate at 25 percent indoor capacity, food not needed. Shumway says they opened indoors a couple days ago with food, but the demand hasn't been as high as initially planned.

"We were kind of surprised how limited people's desire to come inside was," says Shumway.

Some residents told ABC7 News they are hopeful for a move to the yellow tier.

"I think it's exciting," says Morgan Thomas.

But some are still a bit hesitant of being inside a bar.

"You know people get close to each other in a bar," says Denisha Brekke of San Rafael, who went on to say, "I'm not going to lie, there's still a little anxiety looming over."

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As California makes progress in the fight against COVID-19, discussion is growing over if - or when - it might be time to ease the state's outdoor mask mandate.

But the lack of demand to go inside is being seen in restaurants as well. A move to the yellow tier would keep them at 50 percent indoor capacity, but getting that many people inside is a challenge at Los Moles Hecho En Casa.

"People don't like to sit inside, they like to sit outside more than inside," says manager Jose Chi.

There's a hope that this will change with vaccination rates high and coronavirus cases low in Marin County.

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Shumway says they are now doing what they can to try and reassure their patrons that it is safe to come inside.

"We are putting in our H-VAC system with airflow with ultra violet lights that suck all the air up and then purify it out," says Shumway.

In addition to bars, if Marin County goes into the yellow tier, gyms would also then be able to increase their indoor capacity from 25 to 50 percent.

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