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The State of California has launched a new blueprint for reducing COVID-19 with revised criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities. With this announcement, some new businesses and activities with modifications were able to reopen on August 31, including all retail, shopping centers at a maximum 25% capacity, and indoor operations for hair salons and barbershops.
Every county in California is now assigned to a tier based on its rate of new cases and positivity. At a minimum, counties must remain in a tier for at least 3 weeks before moving forward. Data is reviewed weekly and tiers are updated on Tuesdays. To move forward, a county must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks. If a county’s metrics worsen for two consecutive weeks, it will be assigned a more restrictive tier. Public health officials are constantly monitoring data and can step in if necessary.
To learn more about the status/tier of Orange County and what businesses and activities are allowed to reopen, visit covid19.ca.gov. This newly rebuilt website offers a new search tool that will allow users to quickly lookup whether a business or activity is allowed near them.
As of September 8, Orange County is in the Substantial/Red tier (more information below).
There are now four tiers, identified by color and a corresponding risk level.
Learn more about the tiers.
The Blueprint for a Safer Economy replaces the County Data Monitoring List for determining what business can and cannot open. So why change? The State has learned a lot over the first several months of the pandemic about COVID-19 and how it spreads. For example, the State now knows how much safer outdoor activities are than indoor ones and that it’s critical that everyone wears a mask to limit the spread of the disease. This blueprint incorporates what has been learned, and the Blueprint for a Safer Economy is the next evolution of the State’s response.
Schools in the Widespread (purple) tier aren’t permitted to reopen for in-person instruction unless they receive a waiver from their local health department. Schools can reopen for in-person instruction once their county has been in the Substantial (red) tier for at least two weeks. Schools must follow these guidelines when they reopen or if they have to close again.