SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom says the state on Friday met its threshold of administering 2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in low-income, hard- hit communities, triggering a change in the state's "Blueprint for a Safer Economy" that will advance Southern California into the "red" tier of that matrix and clear a path for more businesses to reopen.
Now that the equity metric has been met the previously announced update to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy goes into effect.
Under the new threshold reassessments, 13 counties will move from the Purple tier to the less restrictive Red tier effective on Sunday, March 14: Amador, Colusa, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Mono, Orange, Placer, San Benito, San Bernardino, Siskiyou, Sonoma and Tuolumne.
According to the California Department of Health, there are 13 more counties that are expected to move to the less restrictive Red tier on Tuesday, March 16, based on current data and projections, including San Diego.
The 13 counties expected to move on Tuesday, March 16 are San Diego, Sacramento, Kings, Lake, Monterey, Riverside, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Ventura and Yuba.
The governor said on Wednesday that California has reached 10 million vaccine doses which no other state in the country has done. The state has been using a four-tier color-coded system to guide schools and businesses when they can re-open.
Prior to meeting the 2,000,000 goal, a county could move from the most restrictive purple tier to the red tier when it passes several metrics, including seven or fewer daily new infections per 100,000 residents.
According to the California Department of Public Health's website, now that the state has distributed two million vaccine doses to the most vulnerable areas of the state, the state will modify the metric to 10 new cases or fewer per 100,000 residents.
Modifications to the Blueprint will primarily include two approaches: (1) shifting the tier threshold to higher case rates per 100K population per day based on meeting vaccination thresholds within Vaccine Equity Quartile communities and; (2) changing certain sector specific guidance and issuing new sector guidance to incorporate learnings from the last year about how the virus spreads.
Statewide Vaccine Equity Metric Goal #1:
Purple (Widespread) tier will shift from greater than 7 cases per 100,000 to greater than 10 cases per 100,000; and the Red (Substantial) tier will be widened to 4-10 cases per 100,000 when:
- 2 million doses have been administered to persons living in the Vaccine Equity Quartile. (assessed statewide).
Orange (Moderate) and Yellow (Minimal) tier ranges will remain the same.
Statewide Vaccine Equity Metric Goal #2:
Purple (Widespread) tier threshold will remain at greater than 10 cases per 100,000, Red (Substantial) tier case rate range will narrow to 6-10 cases per 100,000; and the Orange (Moderate) tier case rate range will shift to 2-5.9 cases per 100,0000. The Yellow (Minimal) tier case rate range will shift to less than 2 cases per 100,000 when:
- 4 million doses have been administered to persons living in the Vaccine Equity Quartile (assessed statewide).
Below is a breakdown of what can open when a county is in the red tier.
RED TIER RESTRICTIONS
- Hair salons: open indoors with modifications
- Retail: open indoors at 50% capacity
- Malls: open indoors at 50% capacity and limited food courts
- Nail salons: open indoors with modifications
- Electrolysis: open indoors with modifications
- Personal care services (body waxing, etc.): open indoor with modifications
- Tattooing and piercing: open indoors with modifications
- Museums, zoos and aquariums: open indoors at 25% capacity
- Places of worship: open indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer
- Movie theaters: open indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer
- Hotels: open with modifications, plus fitness centers can open at 10% capacity
- Gyms: open indoors at 10% capacity
- Restaurants: open indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer
- Wineries and Breweries: outdoor only
- Bars: closed
- Family entertainment centers: outdoor only, like mini golf, batting cages and go-kart racing
- Cardrooms: outdoor only
- Non-essential offices: remote work only
- Professional sports: outdoor only at 20% capacity starting April 1
- Schools: can reopen for in-person instruction after five days out of the purple tier
- Theme parks: can reopen at 15% capacity starting April 1
- Live performances: outdoor only at 20% capacity starting April 1
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