Contra Costa Moves Into Less Restrictive Orange Tier

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY — State health officials on Tuesday gave Contra Costa County the all-clear to proceed into the orange tier, indicating the coronavirus risk level has lessened. County health officials quickly confirmed that all re-openings allowed in the orange tier will take effect immediately.

The orange tier is the second-lowest tier in the state’s four-tiered, color-coded risk system and indicates a “moderate” COVID-19 risk level.

This means that the state will allow loosened business restrictions. Here is the guidance from the state on orange tire openings:

  • Restaurants (half-capacity indoors or 200 people, whichever is fewer)

  • Worship houses (half-capacity indoors or 200 people, whichever is fewer)

  • Indoor swimming pools open

  • Gyms and fitness centers (25 percent capacity or 100 people indoors; whichever is fewer)

  • Movie theaters (half-capacity indoors)

  • Museums (half-capacity indoors)

  • Retail (full capacity indoors)

  • Bars, breweries and distilleries (outdoor operations only)

  • Wineries (25 percent capacity or 100 people indoors; whichever is fewer)

  • Amusement parks (25 percent of occupancy or 500 people, whichever is fewer)

  • Bowling alleys, escape rooms and climbing-wall gyms (at 25 percent occupancy)

  • Non-essential Offices

  • Live-audience sports (20 percent occupancy)

  • Live entertainment (no more than 50 people, if approved by the Health Officer)

Contra Costa County health officials are extremely cautious about the orange tier move. The health department said in a statement, “Contra Costa would not have qualified for the orange tier this week had it not tested more residents than the state average. California adjusts the case rates of high-testing counties downward to reflect their work controlling the virus. Without that adjustment, Contra Costa’s per-capita case rate this week would have been 4.1, which would not qualify for the orange tier.”

Because of that, the county urges everyone who comes into contact with the public to get tested once a month, even if they are not showing symptoms. If you have symptoms, get tested immediately.

In two weeks, the county is eligible for another move. It could move to the least restrictive in the state, stay the same, or it could go backwards to a more restrictive tier.

The latest statistics for Conta Costa County show that 18,817 coronavirus cases have been confirmed, and 243 deaths have been recorded. During October, there have been just nine deaths, six of which have been outside of long-term care facilities.

Here’s a breakdown of where the deaths have occurred (LTCF=long-term care facility):

As Contra Costa moves into orange guidance, the state reminds people to continue wearing masks, practice social distancing, and take precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus, especially as flu season looms.

During his noon news conference, Gov. Gavin Newsom noted that positive coronavirus tests are trending slightly upward.

State Health Officer Dr. Mark Ghaly announced that four counties moved into the orange tier this week. In addition to Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo and Santa Cruz all moved up.

This article originally appeared on the Walnut Creek Patch

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