California launches color-coded coronavirus plan, some business allowed to reopen

A new color-coded, tiered system in California for coronavirus cases will allow some businesses like hair salon, barbershops and malls to reopen.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California launched a new reopening system on Monday to track when counties will be able to reopen business and schools.

“COVID-19 will be with us for a long time and we need to adapt,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said during a Friday press conference. 

The new ranking system is a four-tiered approach. Counties will be color-coded as either purple, red, orange or yellow depending on two criteria: COVID-19 daily case count per 100,000 people and positivity rate.

The purple tier represents widespread coronavirus infection (more than 7 daily new cases per 100,000 people and a more than 8% positivity rate). Red represents substantial infection (4-7 daily new cases per 100,000 people and a 5-8% positivity rate). Orange represents moderate infection (1-3.9 daily new cases per 100,000 people and a 2-4.9% positivity rate). Yellow represents minimal infection (less than 1 daily new case per 100,000 people and a less than 2% positivity rate).

Gov. Newsom calls this new process “simple,” as it does not rely on dozens of variances for counties to consider. The new system also allows for businesses long shuttered due to the coronavirus, such as hair salons and barbershops, to reopen with modifications even if they are in the purple tier. 

However, in terms of advancing through the tiers, Gov. Newsom says that process will take longer, as there will be a 21-day mandatory waiting period before a county can be considered for the next tier. 

“We’re going to be more stubborn this time and have a mandatory wait time between tiers,” Gov. Newsom said. 

Counties can only move one tier at a time and must meet metrics for the next tier for two straight weeks before being considered to advance. 

A resource has been added to the state’s COVID-19 website that allows you to see what businesses are open in your county, and where your county lands in the new tiered system. Sacramento County, for example, currently sits in the purple tier, but according to the website, the county could allow some businesses like hair salons and barbershops to reopen with modifications.

WATCH MORE: California Governor Gavin Newsom rolls out new coronavirus tiers | August 28, 2020

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