California took a step back towards ‘normalcy’ today—kinda. Starting today, Jan. 25, California Gov. Gary Newsom lifted the statewide stay-at-home order which limited restaurants to take-out and delivery services only, closed hair salons and barbershops, and left retailers open at only 20% capacity since Dec. 3rd.
Now California restaurants can re-allow indoor dining as the state moves back to a county-by-county tiered system which will allow businesses to reopen depending on the level of COVID-19 spread in their area, according to CNBC News.
As the state begins to reopen as of today, nearly every county will likely land in the most restrictive purple tier, allowing for outdoor dining and limited indoor salon services, Forbes reports.
“California is slowly starting to emerge from the most dangerous surge of this pandemic yet, which is the light at the end of the tunnel we’ve been hoping for,” California’s Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly said in a statement. “Seven weeks ago, our hospitals and front-line medical workers were stretched to their limits, but Californians heard the urgent message to stay home when possible and our surge after the December holidays did not overwhelm the health care system to the degree we had feared.”
Although this is the first time that California has been free of a stay-at-home order since early December, state officials warn that citizens still need to be careful. With ICU capacity increasing now, there still remains room for them to fill back up as the pandemic continues to rage on, despite a break in the number of people infected with the respiratory disease. In other words: it’s looking good for California right now, and the state ought to do all in its power to ride the wave as long as it can towards health and safety—but it’s not out of the woods just yet.