COVID 2021

COVID PM: Orange still on track, others get there, a back-to-the-movies primer

Happy Tuesday, folks — here’s what we know about the day that was:

ORANGE STILL ON: State data released Tuesday confirmed Santa Cruz County is still on track to get back to the orange tier next week.
OTHERS ARE IN, BUT... San Francisco leads the charge for three other counties into the orange, but one Bay Area expert cautions that letting our guard down now could have dire consequences.
GRAB THE POPCORN: If you’re ready to return to a movie theater, the newly named Santa Cruz Cinema will have you covered Thursday night. We’ve got you covered on what to know.

Be sure to read to the bottom for an important reminder about our upcoming event. And now on to the headlines...

Still on track for Orange next week

dining
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

COVID TODAY: The weekly update to California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy Data was released Tuesday, and, as expected, Santa Cruz County met orange tier criteria for the second week in a row. This puts the county on track to reopen under orange rules on Wednesday, March 31. The move will allow increased capacity allowed in several indoor settings, including restaurants and movie theaters (more on those below). Mallory Pickett has more details here.

Your ticket to a downtown movie-going return

Workers scramble to revamp the former Regal Cinema 9
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

COVID ECONOMY: In a comeback that was celebrated around the county, the beloved Cinema 9 movie mainstay on Pacific Avenue will open its doors on Thursday evening with a new name and under new management. The city of Santa Cruz stepped in to aid the effort to save the Downtown Santa Cruz theater after Regal Cinemas announced to employees last month that it would be pulling operations here. On Thursday, the former Regal Cinema 9 will open its doors at 25% capacity to movie-goers as Santa Cruz Cinema. Tulsi Kamath & Kevin Painchaud tell us and show us more here.

ICYMI, here’s a recap of how the downtown theater was saved. (Chris Fusco)
And how the beloved Nickelodeon remains in an uncomfortable purgatory. (Wallace Baine)

Meanwhile, SF’s return to orange comes with a warning

GG Bridge view

COVID ECONOMY: The optimism expressed by San Francisco leadership on Tuesday as the city and county were among three Bay Area counties to move back into orange had one health expert concerned: Dr. John Swartzberg, a UC Berkeley infectious disease expert, expressed dismay at the officials’ optimism. “What is worrying me is that we are starting to open up quite quickly again with the storm still on the horizon,” he said in an interview after the news conference. More from the LA Times on that here.

Bars can now reopen without food in three Bay Area counties
(SF Gate)

Buying locally produced food and goods benefits you and your community in more ways than you think.

More from here & elsewhere

California isn’t seeing COVID-19 spikes like New York and Florida. Can we keep it up? (LA Times)
Hawaii packed with spring breakers from states without mask rules (SF Gate)
David’s Bridal says weddings are coming back -- now with jumpsuits and short hems (CNN)
High levels of Covid infection right now could mean problems for vaccines later, ex-CDC chief says (CNN)
AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Data Questioned By Safety Board (NPR)
The pandemic ushered in ‘a new era of medicine’: These telehealth trends are likely here to stay (USA Today)

Sign up for our Lookout education event, one week from today

File image of a student taking a standardized test
(via Pixabay)

GET YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED | School reopenings in Santa Cruz County: When it comes to education post-pandemic, parents, educators and students have endless questions. So Lookout, in partnership with Event Santa Cruz, is giving you a chance to run your questions by two top Santa Cruz County Office of Education officials: Superintendent Faris Sabbah and Director of School Safety Jennifer Buesing.

When: 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 30
Where: Zoom
Cost: FREE
Register and submit your questions ahead of time here.

See you tomorrow!

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor