Mariposa County moves into 'orange' tier amid rise in COVID-19 cases

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Grovehouse employees are ringing up their last few batches of brews.

Roselyn Pyle, the owner of The Craft Beer and Wine Shop, says they made the difficult decision to temporarily close after Mariposa County moved back to the state's orange tier, and COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

"I'm also an ICU nurse in Merced, I see what COVID is doing to these communities," she said. "Just trying to be safe. As COVID cases rise, we don't want to be part of that."

For the county, the new tier means some slight capacity changes while bars will have to operate outdoors.

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State officials announced the county's move on Tuesday.

The county's reported at least 25 new cases in the past couple of weeks.

Mariposa County Health Officer Dr. Eric Sergienko says despite the travel advisory, they're still getting visitors from all over the state coming to town, leading to community transmission.

He also says they're also seeing a lot of travelers headed to Yosemite National Park, now that there's no longer a reservation system.
"We are still monitoring our wastewater," he said. "We've seen an increase in viral particles and we are getting visitors that are infected."

Sergienko says while they're not necessarily seeing a surge yet, he still worries there won't be enough hospital beds available at nearby facilities if hospitalizations increase.

Meanwhile, residents are showing their support, before the doors close once again.

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Pyle says they're now going to be serving their beers from a new window as they shift online and welcome customers again soon.

Sergiencko is urging people to stay home for the holidays this year.

He says if you do plan to gather in the county, to get tested before coming and self-isolating once you get home.
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