New tiered system emphasizes slower reopening approach

New tiered system emphasizes slower reopening approach

As Orange County is still unable to move out of the red tier and into the orange tier, it’s unclear when the region can ultimately progress into the final, least restrictive yellow tier, and what that would mean for local companies.

In California’s coronavirus monitoring program, the final tier requires less than 1 average daily cases per 100,000 residents and a positive testing rate of less than 2%.

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Orange County currently has a case rate of 4.6 and positive testing rate of 3.5%, keeping it in the red tier for the fifth consecutive week. A majority of the state’s counties lie in the red tier among the four total tiers, with 24 counties in the red tier, 16 in the purple, most restrictive tier, and 18 in the orange and yellow tiers.

Just seven counties in the state have progressed into the yellow tier, which allows for nearly all businesses to reopen indoor operations at increased—though not full—capacity, with social distancing and face covering rules still in place.

Restaurants, bars, movie theaters and gyms, for example, can operate indoors with modifications and at 50% capacity in the yellow tier.