Gov. Newsom announced major changes to how businesses in California can begin to reopen in a sweeping set of guidelines released by the state Friday.
Instead of a watch list that tracked COVID-19 trends, California is moving toward a four-tier, color-coded classification system based on a county’s case rates and test positivity, which will determine what industries will be allowed to reopen.
The four tiers are:
- Widespread (purple, counties that have more than 7 daily new cases per 100,000 residents; or over 8 percent positivity rate): Most non-essential businesses remain closed.
- Substantial (red, 4 to 7 new daily cases per 100,000 residents; or 5-8 percent positivity rate): Some non-essential indoor businesses closed.
- Moderate (orange, 1 to 3.9 daily cases per 100,000 residents; or 2-4.9 percent positivity rate): Some indoor business operations allowed to reopen with modifications.
- Minimal (yellow, fewer than one daily new case per 100,000 residents or less than 2 percent positivity): most indoor business operations allowed to reopen with modifications.
According to the state’s website, counties such as Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Merced and Madera can operate hair salons and barbershops indoors with modifications while indoor shopping malls operate at 25 percent capacity with modifications as well.
School counties within the purple category will not be allowed to reopen, which includes Fresno.
Counties will only be allowed to move on the list one tier at a time once they meet new criteria, and there will be a 21-day waiting period between moves.
If a county metrics worsens for 14 consecutive days, a more restrictive tier will be applied.
“We’re going to be more stubborn this time and have a mandatory wait time between moves,” Newsom said. “We didn’t do that last time and that is a significant distinction from what we have learned in the past.”