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Siskiyou moves to least restrictive COVID-19 reopening tier - Watson's Vets Club owner 'so, so stoked'

Skye Kinkade
Mount Shasta Herald
Kris Watson sits at the empty bar at Watson's Vets Club on Sept. 7, 2020.

Siskiyou County was moved to the least restrictive of California’s four COVID-19 reopening tiers – the yellow tier – on Tuesday, along with Trinity and Humboldt.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Siskiyou County Public Health reported there were five active COVID-19 cases, and 171 confirmed total cases since April.

Each “Blueprint for a Safer Economy”  tier has a different set of rules regarding what businesses are and are not allowed to reopen, whether they can open indoor activities or outdoors only, and at what capacity they can operate.

Most notable for Siskiyou County is the ability for bars to reopen at 50% capacity.

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“We are so, so stoked,” said Kris Watson, owner of Watson’s Vets Club in Mount Shasta, which has been closed for most of the last six months. “We plan to reopen on Saturday at noon and hope we never have to close again.”

Watson said he plans to follow whatver regulations are necessary to ropen his doors.

Here’s what can open in the yellow tier:

• Hair salons: open indoors with modifications

• Retail: open indoors with modifications

• Malls: open indoors with limited food court capacity

• Personal care services (nail salons, body waxing, etc.): open indoors with modifications

• Museums, zoos and aquariums: open indoors with modifications

• Places of worship: open indoors at 50% capacity

• Movie theaters: open indoors at 50% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer

• Hotels: open with modifications, plus their indoor pools can open, spas can open, and fitness centers can open at 50% capacity

• Gyms: open indoors at 50% capacity, plus saunas, spas, steam rooms and indoor pools can open

• Restaurants: open indoors at 50% capacity

• Wineries: open indoors at 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer

• Bars and breweries: open indoors at 50% capacity

• Family entertainment centers: open indoors at 50% capacity including arcades, ice skating, roller skating, and indoor playgrounds

• Cardrooms: open indoors at 50% capacity

• Non-essential offices: encourage telework but can reopen in-person work spaces

• Professional sports: no live audiences

• Schools: can reopen for in-person instruction after two weeks out of the purple tier.

The blueprint tracks counties by the number of COVID-19 cases recorded each day and the percentage of positive cases out of the total number of tests administered, both averaged over seven days.

The most restrictive tier, purple, indicates that the virus is widespread in the county – with more than seven cases per 100,000 residents or more than 8% of tests results reported positive over seven days. Red indicates “substantial” spread of the virus, while orange indicates “moderate” spread and yellow indicates “minimal” spread of the virus in the county.

If one of the two metrics is higher than the other, the state will assign the county to the color associated with the highest rating. For example, if a county reports six cases per 100,000, but a 9% positivity rate, it will be rated purple.