Hope for local restaurants as some state restrictions lifted: ‘We’re managing loss a little bit better’

Coronavirus
April 05 2021 05:30 pm

FRESNO, California (KGPE) – There’s a glimmer of hope toward California reopening for business. On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom lifted the stay-at-home order for most of the state, including in the San Joaquin Valley region.

Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer says the COVID-19 positivity rate is at 18% and there is still a long way to go – Fresno needs to get to 7% for indoor operations to resume.

“We’re going in the right direction; we’re starting to see businesses open again which means people are going to be able to get back to work,” said Dyer.

With the stay-at-home order lifted, outdoor dining at restaurants, barbers, and hair and nail salons can reopen (with modifications).

“I know I’ve been on the phone with a number of restaurant owners today who are excited about the fact that they’re going to open up outdoor dining, although we certainly don’t have conducive weather for that right now,” said Dyer.

With around 35% of restaurants closing their doors due to the pandemic, the president of the local California Restaurant Association Chuck Van Fleet says they are happy to finally bring employees back, but outdoor dining only is not sustainable.

“We have to get to indoor dining at 50% at some point in order for us to survive, this just means we’re managing loss a little bit better,” Van Fleet said.

While ICU capacity is projected to be at 22.3% by Feb. 21, Mayor Dyer warns that can change.

“It can change if people stop socially distancing, it can change if people make the decision not to wear a mask, especially when indoors.”

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