Some San Diego Businesses Fear the Purple Tier

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The possibility of San Diego County moving into the state's most restrictive Tier 1, or the purple tier, is nothing new to local businesses as the county has been sitting on the edge of more restrictions for weeks.

“COVID has really taken us for a wild ride,” said Sandy Tobin, owner of Dumpling Inn. 

But now, it seems inevitable that San Diego County will see new restrictions as soon as next week. New COVID-19 cases have been on the rise, leaving San Diego county on the verge of the purple tier.

Last week, county public health officials reported a 7.4 case rate. if a case rate of more than 7.0 is reported again this week, San Diego county will fall back to the purple tier.

Under the state’s purple tier, restaurants like Dumpling Inn would have to close indoor dining and move outside.

With the temps dipping and the possibility of moving to the Purple Tier, San Diego-area business owners are concerned for their wellbeing. NBC 7’s Audra Stafford has more.

“It was great when the days when warmer, nicer, the sun was out,” said Tobin. “But as we’re getting into the rainy season and cooler weather, people don't really want to dine outside.”

Right now, in Tier 2, the red tier, they’re allowed to operate inside at 25% capacity, which Sandy Tobin says is helping them get by during this weekend's cold and rainy weather.

“I don't think people want to experience 50 degrees and try to eat dumplings out in the elements,” Tobin.

Under the purple tier, gyms and places of worship will also have to move outside. 

“These are challenging moments and one of the biggest challenges is that nothing is really stable,” said Bernardo Lara. 

Lara, says the constant back and forth has affected his parishioners.

“Some people, I dare to say, walked away out of fear, the unknown, out of what's happening,” said Lara. “Others have used this moment to strengthened their faith.”

While neither Lara nor Tobin agrees with the constant changes, they say they will continue to follow the mandates, doing what they can to keep our community safe. 

Movie theaters, museums, zoos, and aquariums would also have to end indoor operations.

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