Orange County moving closer to less restrictive red tier, which allows more businesses to reopen

Orange County is currently in the purple tier of California's COVID reopening plan.
SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Though it apparently isn't happening this week, local officials expect Orange and Los Angeles counties to soon be moving to the less-restrictive red tier in the state's program for reopening the economy.

A majority of counties across the state have been in the most-restrictive purple tier since before the winter holidays. But declining COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are providing some hope.

On Tuesday, the state announced seven counties are moving from purple to the red tier, which allows some level of additional activities such as indoor dining at restaurants, with capacity restrictions.

None of the seven counties moving from purple to red are in Southern California. These are the counties: El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Napa, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara.

There are now 40 counties in the purple tier, 16 in red and two in orange.

Currently, all of Southern California remains in the purple tier.

But Orange County appears poised to meet the required metrics to move into the next tier, giving the green light for more businesses to reopen.

The county's test positivity rate -- which is reported weekly on Tuesdays -- improved to 5.4% last week from 7.8% the previous week, and the adjusted case rate per 100,000 on a seven-day average with a seven-day lag improved from 20.7 to 11.9.

To move up to a less-restrictive tier, though, a county must stay within the required metrics for at least two weeks. To get to the red tier, the county has to have a case rate per 100,000 population of 4 to 7, a positivity rate of 5% to 8% and a Health Equity Quartile rate of 5.3% to 8%.

Los Angeles County could also move to the red tier in the next week or two if current trends continue, Mayor Eric Garcetti told Eyewitness News last week.

See the map below to find out where your county stands and keep reading to learn what can and can't open in each color-coded category.



App users: For a better experience, click here to view the full map in a new window

The red tier allows for many more businesses and organizations to reopen. For instance, retail stores could allow for half capacity instead of 25%, and museums, zoos and aquariums could reopen for indoor activities at 25% capacity, as could movie theaters, gyms and restaurants.

Below is a full breakdown on what can and can't reopen in the red tier:

  • Hair salons: open indoors with modifications
  • Retail: open indoors at 50% capacity
  • Malls: open indoors at 50% capacity and limited food courts
  • Nail salons: open indoors with modifications
  • Electrolysis: open indoors with modifications
  • Personal care services (body waxing, etc.): open indoor with modifications
  • Tattooing and piercing: open indoors with modifications
  • Museums, zoos and aquariums: open indoors at 25% capacity
  • Places of worship: open indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer
  • Movie theaters: open indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer
  • Hotels: open with modifications, plus fitness centers can open at 10% capacity
  • Gyms: open indoors at 10% capacity
  • Restaurants: open indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer
  • Wineries: outdoor only
  • Bars and breweries: closed
  • Family entertainment centers: outdoor only, like mini golf, batting cages and go-kart racing
  • Cardrooms: outdoor only
  • Non-essential offices: remote work only
  • Professional sports: no live audiences
  • Schools: can reopen for in-person instruction after two weeks out of the purple tier
  • Theme parks: must stay closed


City News Service contributed to this report
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