State Announces New Guidelines on Reopening

Governor Gavin Newsom announced new guidelines for the reopening of businesses using a multi-tier color-coded system.  (Courtesy of CA Governor facebook)

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.”

Michael graduated from Fresno State in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in print journalism. During his time at the university, he served as sports and managing editor for The Collegian, Fresno State’s student-run newspaper. In addition to the Clovis Roundup, Michael has written for The Fresno Bee, the Kingsburg Recorder and Selma Enterprise. He has a passion for sports and can be found on the sidelines at local games, bringing the citizens of Clovis the athletics news they deserve.