SONORA (CBS13) – An uptick in COVID-19 cases could prompt a major setback for Tuolumne County. The county could move from the moderate orange tier to the most restrictive purple tier this week.

Considering it’s a smaller county, more than 21 cases each week for two weeks would qualify it to move back to the red tier.  But the county actually had more than 42 cases just last week, which could prompt an even bigger step back.

Sonora Brewing Company is bracing for yet another hit to business. Owner Thomas Silva has already adjusted by limiting indoor dining and moving tables outside. Now he’s getting ready to possibly get rid of indoor dining altogether.

“It’s huge. It’s detrimental. We have to come up with ways to just try to stay open. This is terrible. The first shutdown we were hemorrhaging,” he said.

Silva said he talked with the city administrator this weekend who warned him to prepare for more restrictions. The Tuolumne County Department of Public Health posted the same warning on its Facebook page, blaming an uptick in cases over the past two weeks and saying a tier change will be announced Monday.

It’s an area that relies on visitors and tourism that’s now preparing for business to hit a bump. Silva said he’s doing his best to roll with the punches.

“It’s hard but you’ve got to stay positive. At the end of the day you’ve got to stay positive, regardless of the situation,” Silva said.

He plans to petition city leaders to have Bradford Street closed off. He said the side street could help add space for outdoor tables and heaters and ultimately help keep businesses open.

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By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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