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COVID-19: San Mateo cookout returns after regional stay-at-home order

By Pamela Cruz. Peninsula 360 Press [P360P].

After the State of California lifted the statewide "Regional Stay Home Order" this morning, cookouts and personal services can resume with the necessary modifications in San Mateo.

Thus, with certain restrictions lifted, the county returns to Level 1 purple in the state's four-tiered color-coded system to reduce and tighten restrictions.

"This is encouraging news, but we must warn the public that COVID-19 is still widespread across the country, as nearly 420,000 Americans have died from the virus in less than a year.

This is a huge sigh of relief for our struggling small businesses, but we still have a long way to go before life returns to normal. Science and data tell us that wearing our masks stops the spread. So I'll repeat one more time, wear your damn facemask!"

David J. Canepa, Chair of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors

Notably, the state lifted the order after the Bay Area's four-week intensive care unit (ICU) capacity projections are above 15 percent, the threshold that allows regions to get out of the order, the county said in a statement.

So the limited home stay order, which limits nonessential activities between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., expires when the regional home stay order ends.

In that regard, San Mateo County specified that it follows all applicable California COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines and is fully aligned with the State Plan for a Safer Economy.

Therefore, as of today, outdoor restaurants can reopen as long as they respect the modifications - take-out and open delivery with modifications - while outdoor gatherings are now allowed, as long as no more than three households gather.

Similarly, they may open outdoor places of worship only with modifications, movie theaters, gyms and fitness centers, museums, zoos and outdoor aquariums.

Hairdressers, barbershops and grooming services may open as long as they meet the appropriate modifications for Level 1 purple.

All retailers, except independent grocery stores and shopping centers, will be allowed to open with a maximum capacity of 25 percent.

However, common areas as well as food courts will remain closed, and offices for non-essential workers will remain remote.

Playgrounds and recreational facilities are also reopening, as long as they are outdoors and with certain modifications.

While there are positive signs that the virus is spreading at a slower rate across the state, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, so it remains critical that Californians continue to wear masks outside, keeping at least six feet away from others. 

Also wash hands frequently and avoid gatherings and mixing with other households.

As of Sunday, January 24, 2021, the San Mateo County Health Department reported 34,294 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 340 deaths.

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