COVID Reopening: Santa Clara County Indoor Dining, Gyms Open For 1st Time Since December After Shift To Red Tier

Santa Clara County, the Bay Area's largest, entered the state's less-restrictive Red Tier on Wednesday, allowing indoor dining, exercising in gyms and fitness studios and watching movies in theaters to resume.

COVID Reopening: Santa Clara County Indoor Dining, Gyms Open For 1st Time Since December After Shift To Red Tier

MOUNTAIN VIEW (KPIX 5) – Santa Clara County, the Bay Area’s largest, entered the state’s less-restrictive Red Tier on Wednesday, allowing indoor dining, exercising in gyms and fitness studios and watching movies in theaters to resume.

“We miss our customers,” said Hasan Yildiz, owner and chef of La Fontaine in Mountain View. “We miss those days, we miss parties and or meetings.”

Indoor dining, which hasn’t been allowed since December, is now restricted to 25% capacity. Gyms and fitness studios are allowed to resume indoors at 10% capacity.

Theaters are once allowed to reopen for the first time in nearly a year at 10% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. Museums, zoos and aquariums can now also welcome people indoors at 25% capacity.

Diners at La Fontaine restaurant in Mountain View on the first day of reopened indoor dining in Santa Clara County, March 3, 2021. (CBS)

Luckily for Yildiz, Castro Street in Mountain View where La Fontaine is located, has been shut down for several months to make space for outdoor dining.

But the back and forth of opening and closing, Yildiz said, has hurt business.

“It’s very sad,” said long-time La Fontaine customer Lesley Hawks. “A lot of businesses are hurting, and I hope people realize now is the time to come out and support your local businesses, especially the restaurants.”

She and her husband, Eric, decided to dine indoors at La Fontaine. Eric said he hopes the restaurant returns back to its pre-pandemic days.

“The restaurant was packed with people,” he said.

Maximum Fencing Club in Mountain View also welcomed back clients the first day it was allowed to open doors.

“Great, I’m so tired of fresh air,” said Kristina Petrova. “Everyone heard about it immediately, and like showed up.”

The partial lifting of restrictions in Santa Clara County comes as it sees a decline in once-record breaking COVID cases, and as vaccinations ramp up.

On Thursday afternoon, 103-year-old Emil Hopner received his second dose at Levi’s Stadium, which is serving as a mass vaccination site.

“I feel good,” said Hopner. “I’m so happy I got protection.”

On Friday, Yildiz and his staff will get their very first dose themselves.

“We hope to get back to regular soon,” Yildiz said.

Source : CBS San Francisco More