Merced County moves to orange tier, Mariposa County meets metrics for yellow tier

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The County of Merced is finally breaking into the orange tier, just three weeks shy of when California Gov. Gavin Newsom plans to reopen the state.

"We've been waiting for it," says Merced County District 3 Supervisor Daron McDaniel. "Almost like we forgot about the tier system because we've been focused on June 15. This is a nice step before we get to June 15 so we can get some of these bars and indoor playgrounds open.

McDaniel says the tier change should have happened earlier, but a data dump threw off the numbers.

Click here for a full list of what can open in the orange tier.

For some businesses, this change into the new tier means the opportunity to welcome back more customers, like Grizzly Barbershop in Downtown Merced.

"Yeah, we are excited," says barber Breanna Villegas. "It has been a long time coming. Last year was really hard for everyone that was in this industry."

Merced-area restaurants will be able to increase indoor capacity to 50 percent -- welcome news at a time when temperatures are rising.

Movie theaters can open at 50 percent capacity, and gyms can now have 25 percent capacity indoors.

"I probably will keep my mask on for people," Villegas said. "You never know who's comfortable on with it or not."

Steve Simmons lives in Merced and has a financial company in Downtown Merced. This change is personal to him.

"The suffering has been too long," he said. "I just want to see people emerge from this thing. I want everyone to succeed in Downtown Merced in particular since I have roots here."

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