Governor Newsom Announces California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy
This afternoon, Governor Newsom announced new guidelines for California’s response to COVID-19, called the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. These guidelines replace the County Data Monitoring List for determining what businesses can and cannot open.
The Blueprint for a Safer Economy is based on a 4-tier system, seen in the image below. Each county will fall into one of four colored tiers – Purple (Widespread), Red (Substantial), Orange (Moderate) and Yellow (Minimal) – based on how prevalent COVID-19 is in each county and the extent of community spread. That color will indicate how sectors can operate. For example, in the Purple (Widespread) tier where the disease is widespread, restaurants can only operate outdoors. But once a county has achieved a lower level of disease transmission and moved into the Red (Substantial) tier, restaurants can operate with 25 percent capacity indoors or 100 patrons, whichever is fewer.
Data is reviewed weekly and tiers are updated on Tuesdays. Counties can only move one tier at a time and must remain in their tier for at least three weeks before moving forward. They must also meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks before progressing. Conversely, if a county’s metrics worsen for two consecutive weeks, it will be assigned to a more restrictive tier. Public health officials will be constantly monitoring data and can step in if deemed necessary, such as a spike in ICU and/or hospitalization rates. The first weekly assessment will be on September 8th.
Current county count per tier:
1. Widespread – 38 Counties
2. Substantial – 9 Counties
3. Moderate – 8 counties
4. Minimal – 3 counties
Initial step applied on August 28, 2020:
Each county is assigned to a tier based on an adjusted case rate and test positivity from the prior two reporting periods. If a county’s case rate and test positivity measure fall into two different tiers, the county will be assigned the more restrictive tier. This tier status will be effective on Monday, August 31, 2020.
If a county is initially assigned to Purple Tier 1 and has met the criteria for a less restrictive tier the prior week, the county only needs to meet the criteria for a less restrictive tier for one more week to move to the Red Tier 2. (For the September 8, 2020 assignment, a county does not need to remain in the Purple Tier 1 for three weeks. For all subsequent assessments, a county must remain in a tier for three weeks and meet the criteria to advance as described above.)