California has reassigned Contra Costa to the less-restrictive orange tier of its Blueprint for a Safer Economy, allowing for larger local gatherings for indoor worship services and dining, and the reopening of indoor pools, bars and bowling alleys.
But health officials caution that it is now more important than ever to follow the state health guidance for physical distancing and use of face coverings, to keep everyone safe and healthy during the holiday season and to avoid a return to the red tier.
Contra Costa’s adjusted per-capita case rate – the average daily number of new COVID-19 cases identified in the county per 100,000 population – stood at 3.7 on Tuesday, just qualifying the county to move into the orange tier.
The average daily percentage of COVID-19 tests that return positive in the county is 1.9%, with 4.9% or lower qualifying for the orange tier. That number for census tracts identified by the state’s health equity metric was 3.9% today, with 5.2% required for the orange tier.
Counties in the orange tier can allow:
- Worship services and other cultural activities indoors at 50% occupancy or 200 people, whichever is fewer;
- Indoor dining at 50% occupancy or 200 people, whichever is fewer;
- Indoor swimming pools;
- Bars and other businesses that sell alcohol without meals to open for outdoor operation;
- Family entertainment centers to open indoors for “naturally distanced” activities, such as bowling alleys, escape rooms and climbing-wall gyms, at 25% occupancy;
- Cardrooms to open indoors at 25% occupancy;
- Small amusement parks to open at 25% of occupancy or 500 people, whichever is fewer;
- Professional sports venues to open at 20% occupancy;
- Live outdoor theatrical, musical and artistic performances can open with a maximum of 50 audience members, following state health guidance and subject to local health officer approval.
The county will remain in the orange tier for at least two weeks. The state could move Contra Costa into the less-restrictive yellow tier, or the more restrictive red tier, if its metrics qualify for one of those tiers for two consecutive weeks. The state updates the official numbers every Tuesday.