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Business restrictions loosened in Nevada County

Rebecca O’Neil
Staff Writer

Nevada County announced Tuesday that the region ascended from the Red “Substantial” Tier to the Orange “Moderate” Tier, meaning certain business restrictions imposed because of COVID-19 will be loosened.

In Nevada County, where there are one to three new cases daily, restaurants are now permitted to open indoor dining up to 50% capacity.

Movie theaters may open up to 50% capacity or 200 people — “whichever is fewer,” a press release states.

Gyms, fitness centers and family entertainment centers, which were previously limited to outdoor access only, can open their indoor space up to 25% capacity.

According to the release, places of worship may now open indoors up to 50% capacity.

Bars and breweries can open outdoors only with modifications and without food.

Wineries can open their doors up to 25% capacity or 100 people.

Linda Clough, tasting room manager for Lucchesi Vineyards & Winery, said she is looking forward to increasing capacity in the restaurant and welcoming people back to her tasting room.

“I think it’s important to open up cautiously,” Clough said. “We’ve got to be smart about it and wear our masks, because it’s going to be really hard to do business outside come winter.”

Clough said she appreciates the development and hopes the progression continues.

“I think it’s a good thing,” Clough said. “It’s important for survival of businesses downtown.”

County Executive Officer Alison Lehman acknowledged the tension between a concerted response to the global pandemic and her community members’ need to provide for their families.

“Moving to the orange tier today is proof that we can support both our local economy and our community’s health and safety, even during a global pandemic,” Lehman said. “I’m proud to be a member of this community and grateful to everyone for staying the course so we can safely increase the capacity in our businesses.”

Grass Valley Brewery Taphouse Manager Kelsey Anderson said entering the moderate tier feels rewarding, and makes the atmosphere at work feel a bit more “normal.”

“We’re really excited, all of these different transitions feel momentous, just opening up to 25% capacity improved business,” Anderson said. “We’re following all the guidelines and mandates pretty strictly, so every time there’s progress it feels really good.”

Anderson said the brewery provides a space to convene with loved ones, so prioritizing customers’ wellbeing is top priority, especially as they increase capacity.

“People want a safe place,” Anderson said. “The government says we’re safe, so now we can provide a safe place where people can come and enjoy delicious food, great beer and connect with friends and family.”

According to http://www.covid19.ca.gov, the state’s tiered framework is meant to offer a “blueprint for a safer economy.”

Rebecca O’Neil is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at roneil@theunion.com.


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