As Fresno County moves into red tier, health officer urges residents to be cautious: ‘We want to get this right’

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FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – Fresno County is officially in the red tier, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced on Tuesday.

This allows restaurants, places of worship and movie theaters to reopen indoors at a maximum capacity of 25% or 100 people, whichever one is fewer.

Gyms and fitness centers can reopen indoors at a maximum capacity of 10%.

Other places/businesses that can reopen indoors with restrictions include:

  • Aquariums
  • Body waxing studios
  • Cultural ceremonies
  • Dance studios
  • Electrologists
  • Estheticians
  • Higher education institutions
  • Massage therapy studios
  • Museums
  • Piercing shops
  • Skin care services
  • Tattoo parlors
  • Weddings (ceremonies only)
  • Yoga studios
  • Zoos

Details on the restrictions and modifiications these businesses need to follow can be found here.

Chuck Van Fleet, the president of the California Restaurant Association Fresno Chapter, said while the announcement came as a relief, a 25% capacity isn’t enough.

It’s really a start for us right now because at 25%, it helps for people that haven’t really had a patio, it helps all of us a little bit inside, but it still means that we’re failing. Our restaurant cannot survive on a 25% occupancy,” Van Fleet said.

A move into the red tier also allows for in-person learning to resume in schools, but they will have to wait until Oct. 13, according to the Fresno County Department of Public Health.

Dr. Rais Vohra, the county’s interim health officer, said schools should have a plan.

“It’s not a matter of if but when we’re gonna have COVID in a classroom but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to close your school if you have good measures in place,” Vohra said.

As more businesses reopen indoors, Vohra urged residents to remain cautious and not make the same mistakes after the county reopened in the summer.

“We really want to avoid that this time around. Please be cautious. We want to get this right,” he said.

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