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Sunday, Jul 21, 2024

State Issues New Rules for Business Reopening Based on County Safety

Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled statewide guidelines Friday that will allow businesses to reopen based on the severity of the coronavirus pandemic in their county. The rules are based on a four-tiered, color-coded system. Also, the plan includes specific guidance tailored to each industry for how to reopen safely and in compliance with the state’s rules. The tiers are: purple, for counties with more than 7 daily new cases per 100,000 residents or a positivity rate above 8 percent; red, for counties with 4 to 7 daily new cases per 100,000 residents or a positive rate between 5 and 8 percent; orange, for counties with 1 to 3 daily new cases per 100,000 residents or a positivity rate of 2 to 5 percent; and yellow, for counties with less than a daily new case per 100,000 residents or a positivity rate of below 2 percent. Most counties, including Los Angeles and Ventura, will begin in the most severe purple tier. In purple counties, most nonessential indoor business operations must remain closed. The restrictions relax as counties move into the lower tiers. Counties must spend at least 21 days in a tier before moving to the next. If a county fails to meet health specifications for 14 consecutive days, it will be moved back to the previous tier. Counties are still free to impose stricter regulations than those outlined in the state’s plan. In purple counties, restaurants must keep dining rooms shuttered but can serve dine-in customers outdoors. Retailers and shopping malls can open at 25 percent capacity. Newly allowed to open in purple counties are indoor hair salons and barbershops. Schools will not be allowed to open for in-person classes in purple counties. Prohibited in all tiers are tattoo and piercing parlors and large-scale events of all kinds. In a news conference Friday, Newsom acknowledged the new plan is more gradual than his first attempt to restart the state’s economy in May, calling the new tiered system, “stubborn … stringent … and slow.” “One thing we’ve learned from the previous reopening experience … is making sure that we really hold strongly to these buffers in terms of criteria and data,” he said.

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