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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Sacramento-area restaurants suddenly found out Tuesday they can reopen their patios and welcome back staff members and guests.

Gov. Gavin Newsom officially announced the Greater Sacramento region’s stay-at-home order has been lifted, allowing for Sacramento County to move back into the state’s purple tier of reopening.

“At first you’re going, wait a minute is this true or not?” said Ryan Rose, the president of Zocalo restaurants. “But after about the 20th text, you knew that it was something that was coming our way. And we started working right away to make sure that we can make that possible starting tomorrow.”

He said the covered outdoor seating area at 18th Street and Capitol Avenue will be welcoming customers at 3 p.m. Wednesday — keeping safety the top priority.

Emergency room physician Dr. Nick Sawyer of UC Davis Health said while it’s great that people will have more options outside the home, there are some things they should still keep in mind when venturing out.

“Lifting the stay-at-home order doesn’t mean a return to normal life,” Dr. Sawyer said. “There’s still a pandemic going on and everybody has to be aware that this is a highly transmissible virus.”

He said he sees the harsh reality every day in the emergency room.

“We have seen people who come in at the very last minute and they look like they’re drowning. They’re gasping for air,” he explained.

And he was not just talking about elderly people or those with pre-existing conditions.

“But we have seen young, otherwise healthy people come in who are very, very ill,” Dr. Sawyer said. “And in fact, we’ve actually seen people die from coronavirus who were otherwise healthy and had no other medical problems. It’s really tragic.”

Sawyer echoed the recommendations health care experts and workers have been telling people for months: wear face coverings, wash your hands and maintain social distancing.

“To ensure that we continue to flatten the curve so that, ultimately, we can continue on with the vaccinations and get to a point where we get through this,” he said.

Back at Zocalo, Rose said the restaurant is committed to all of those guidelines.

“It’s great to be able to come out of this and do that again starting tomorrow,” Rose told FOX40.