California Gov. Gavin Newsom showcased a new and more robust reopening strategy for the state on Friday.
The new plan is made up of four tiers and requires counties to stay in a tier for at least three weeks before they can move on to a less restrictive tier.
Tiers are ranked by the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests and the number of new cases.
California saw a resurgence of cases following the reopening of businesses that began on May 8, which prompted Newsom to later impose new measures to curb the spread of the virus.
As of Thursday, the state reported a total of 688,858 COVID-19 cases with 12,690 deaths.
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California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a revised reopening plan for the state on Friday designed to correct some of the mistakes made during California’s initial reopening attempt in May.
The new plan is made up of four tiers and requires counties to show consistent progress in stemming transmission of the coronavirus before they can advance to the next tier of reopening.
“We’re going to be more stubborn this time,” Newsom said during a news conference Friday in Sacramento. “This more stringent, but we believe more steady approach.”
Each county must at least remain in each of the tiers, which are ranked by the percentage of positive tests and the number of new cases before they can go on to the next tier.
“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,” the announcement reads.
Activities and services like restaurant dining, religious gatherings, working out in gyms, and going to movie theaters will still be limited to outdoors-only in the vast majority of counties.
The Los Angeles Times reported hair salons and barbershops will be able to reopen statewide on Monday if they follow social distancing guidelines, require employees to wear masks, and abide by other health-related mandates.
The tier system is also color-coded and is as follows:
Tier 1, widespread transmission (Purple): Counties with more than seven daily new cases per 100,000 residents or higher than 8% positivity rate. In this stage, most nonessential indoor business operations are closed.
Tier 2, substantial transmission (Red): Counties with 4 to 7 daily new cases per 100,000 residents or 5 to 8% positivity rate. In this stage, some nonessential indoor businesses are closed.
Tier 3, moderate transmission (Orange): Counties with 1 to 3.9 daily new cases per 100,000 or 2 to 4.9% positivity rate. In this stage, some indoor business operations open with modifications.
Tier 4, minimal transmission (Yellow): Counties with less than 1 daily new case per 100,000 or less than 2% positivity rate. In this stage, most indoor business operations open with modifications.
The local ABC News affiliate KFSN reported that, as of Friday, 38 counties were categorized as purple, nine as red, eight as orange, and three as yellow.
The outlet highlighted that counties would have to meet the criteria for a given tier for two consecutive weeks before transitioning to a tier that further eases restrictions.
The Times reported that the new guidelines could also impact the reopening of schools. Schools will be granted more leeway to reopen in-person learning if their counties reach less-risky tiers.
California saw a resurgence of cases following the reopening of businesses that began on May 8. As of Thursday, the state reported a total of 688,858 COVID-19 cases with 12,690 deaths.
On May 8, “low-risk” businesses like bookstores, jewelry stores, toy stores, and clothing stores were allowed to reopen as part of a statewide four-phase plan.
By July, Newsom had implemented new orders that impacted the vast majority of the state to address the resurgence of COVID-19 cases.
At the end of June, Newsom ordered bars and nightlife to close in seven counties. A few days later, he prohibited indoor activities at restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, card rooms, zoos, and museums in 19 counties.
“I want to remind you the governor talked about this ’emergency brake’ that if we see hospital numbers starting to really increase, that the ICU in a community is becoming overwhelmed … then we will work with that county to make more immediate changes and pause, and maybe even take a step back,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s Health and Human Services secretary, said Friday during a news conference highlighting the new reopening measures.
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