This past week, Yuba County moved into tier two of the state’s four-tier model for reopening, which allowed for most businesses to resume indoor operations with certain modifications.
In the “red tier,” retail businesses can open indoors at 50 percent max capacity; places of worship, restaurants and movie theaters can open indoors with 25 percent max capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer; and gyms can reopen at 10 percent max capacity. Bars, breweries and distilleries where no meal is provided are to remain closed.
Marysville First United Methodist Church is hoping to start gathering indoors on Oct. 25, once the church gets approval from denomination leadership, according to Pastor Glen Raley. He said the church will be able to have 50 people inside.
“We’ll be keeping count, and trusting folks to understand if we reach our temporary limit,” Raley said in an email.
For the last several months, services have been recorded and posted on YouTube and Facebook.
“When we are back, services will be live-streamed for those who cannot attend,” Raley said. “Hard copies of the message are sent to those who do not have internet.”
Raley said since the shutdown the church’s board of trustees has renovated the main sanctuary doors, painted the sanctuary, narthex, upper and lower hallways and interior stairway bannisters. New carpet has been placed on the interior stairway and the sanctuary floor was refinished.
“We’re excited to have everyone see what’s been done,” Raley said. “... It’s been a difficult time, and yet our congregation has really stepped up the prayers and care for everyone affected by the virus. Our folks have been consistently faithful in giving.”
Co-owner of the Brick Coffee House Cafe Heather Thompson said the maximum capacity for her restaurant with no restrictions is 50 people, so limiting it to 25 percent allows her to have just 15 people inside at a time.
“I am very, very thankful for 25 percent, it’s a glimpse of hope that things are getting back to normal,” Thompson said. “But 25 percent is not enough to help us stay open through the winter months.”
To stay afloat, the Brick will continue to have outdoor seating in an adjacent patio area and on the sidewalk in front of the business. Thompson said the Brick will continue to provide outdoor seating even after everything is back to normal.
“People seem to be really enjoying it,” Thompson said.
The Brick has also been pursuing catering opportunities, doing more deliveries and collaborating with the Yuba-Sutter Food Bank’s homebound meal delivery program. The Thompsons purchased and took over management of the Brick over the summer from longtime owners Don and Lavina Blaser.
“I feel like our local government and our customers have been extremely helpful in helping us stay in business and keep our doors open,” Thompson said. “I couldn’t ask for a better support system.”
Thompson is concerned about what impact the rainy months will have on people taking advantage of the Brick’s outdoor dining, but she’s choosing to remain positive. The restaurant staying in business through a pandemic gives her confidence in how the Brick and downtown Marysville will flourish when the pandemic is over.
“I’m a glass half full kind of gal,” Thompson said.
Bi-County Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu said Thursday that Sutter County has the metrics to move into the orange tier, which is the tier below the red tier. The metric needed for the orange tier is 1-3.9 daily new cases per 100,000 over a seven-day period and test positivity between 2-4.9 percent.
However, because Sutter County is in the most restrictive purple tier, it has to move into red before it can move to orange, per state guidelines.
“Counties can only move one tier at a time, and must hold in that tier for at least three weeks,” Luu said. “A county qualifies for movement one week before being moved to that tier.”
Sutter County qualified to move into the red tier on Oct. 6 and will move into the red tier on Tuesday. Sutter County’s daily new case count was higher than Yuba County’s mostly because of several small outbreaks within assisting living facilities and other healthcare related facilities, according to Luu.
The soonest Yuba County can move into the orange tier is Oct. 27 and since Sutter County is one week behind Yuba County, it could move into the orange tier on Nov. 3.
“It’s important to note that several counties this last week, unfortunately, had to take a step back into the previous, more restrictive tier,” Luu said.
To avoid that same fate, Luu said the bi-county region must remain diligent in practicing the tenets of wearing a facial covering in public and around people not in the same household, social distancing from people not in the same household, avoiding social gatherings, washing hands, staying home when sick with any symptoms and getting tested even when experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms.