Some Alameda County businesses resumed indoor operations on Friday

Multiple business sectors in Alameda County were allowed to reopen indoor operations Friday, 10 days after the county moved into a less-restrictive tier of the state’s coronavirus reopening plan.

Family entertainment centers like bowling alleys and climbing gyms, restaurants, religious facilities, movie theaters, wedding and funeral facilities and indoor gyms are all allowed to resume indoor operations at 25 percent of their capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.

In addition, indoor retail shops and malls can expand operations to 50 percent of their capacity and outdoor non-contact fitness classes of up to 20 people, including the instructor, can resume.

Alameda County moved into Tier 3, or the orange tier, of the state’s four-tiered pandemic reopening plan on Oct. 13, but county public health officials said at the time they would wait to permit the reopenings allowed by the tier change until they could be sure the county’s rates of new cases and hospitalizations were stable.

The county’s Public Health Department had initially said it was preparing to allow the businesses that reopened or expanded their capacities Friday to do so during the week of Oct. 26. “

We are glad to see improving case rates and decreasing test positivity, including among our communities of color, but we caution residents that cases can rise very quickly, as we saw during the summer surge,” Dr. Nicholas Moss, the county’s interim health officer, said in an Oct. 13 statement.

Moss said this week that while the county was slowly loosening its rules on which businesses that are allowed to resume indoor operations, doing so will only be feasible going forward if residents continue to follow local and state health guidelines. That includes wearing a mask or other face covering, keeping at least six feet of distance from others whenever possible and frequently washing one’s hands.

“Outdoor activities with fewer people are safer. It is increasingly less safe if more people are in attendance, if the activities are indoors, or if people are frequently removing their face coverings,” Moss said in a statement Wednesday.

The full list of businesses that have reopened in Alameda County as well as their capacity limits can be found at covid-19.acgov.org/reopening.page?.

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