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As Riverside County remains in orange tier 2+ weeks, valley bars look to fully reopen next month

Riverside County will remain in the orange tier of reopening for at least another two weeks, based on new reopening metrics released Tuesday.

The county's adjusted case rate is 2.8 new cases per 100,000 residents. It needs to drop below 2 for the county to move into the yellow tier.

That means certain local businesses, including bars, are anxiously awaiting a return to normal.

At The Hood Bar & Pizza in Palm Desert, owner Brad Guth said despite no advance into the yellow tier, he just feels lucky to be open at all, and is navigating the pandemic one restriction at a time.

"Every week we just do the best we can to follow the guidelines that we need to follow," Guth said. "It's been over a year that people have been restricted to masks or capacity restrictions or weren't able to come inside... I think people just want to feel life is good again."

That's why all eyes are on June 15, when the state is set to do away with nearly all coronavirus restrictions.

Guth said he is holding out on bringing back live entertainment 7 nights a week. The stage inside the bar hasn't been used in more than a year, he said.

With nearly half of Riverside County residents partially or fully vaccinated, bar customers said they're eager to put the pandemic behind them. "We have photos of our vaccination cards," Kathy Pedigo said. "I don't mind showing it; I don't think anybody should."

Now, it's just a matter of time until more restrictions are lifted.

"When June 15 hits, we will see what the guidelines are from the health department," Guth said. "We will follow those guidelines; we have followed those guidelines from day 1."

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.

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