OC business owners rejoice after county reaches orange tier status

Business owners and customers rejoiced Tuesday as Orange County is entering the less-restrictive orange tier.

"I'm smiling underneath my mask," said Frank Cozza, Mama Cozza's restaurant owner. "We're a small restaurant already but now, that gives me a couple extra tables and people being able to come without having to wait so long."

The news of the county easing its COVID-19 restriction provided much-awaited relief for Cozza. His business is a family-run Italian restaurant in Anaheim, featured a decade ago on the popular show Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and is famous for his grandmother's special sauce.

With the increased indoor capacity, Cozza can go back to making 15 gallons of Mama sauce a day.

RELATED: LA, Orange County businesses cleared for more reopenings; criteria met to move into Orange Tier

Former Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley was sworn in Friday as an Orange County Supervisor. She is among those relieved to see the county enter a less-restrictive tier.

"I don’t know how much longer our residents can endure not being able to socialize and enjoy others, sharing a meal, this is a really important part of life in Orange County," Foley said.

While it's a slow, but promising return to normalcy, county leaders are pleading with the public to remain vigilant a little longer until everyone can get fully vaccinated.

"We’re reaching that level of herd immunity in the future. Hospitalizations are down and we should be able to continue progressing through the orange tier and hopefully getting to the yellow tier sometime in the future. We’re really looking forward to it but it’s a great milestone hitting the orange tier today," said Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett.

Hope is finally here for Orange County businesses and residents.

"Be safe out there. Be smart and please enjoy life," Cozza said.

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