YOLO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Yolo, Stanislaus and Nevada counties have moved into less restrictive tiers in California’s reopening plan.
Yolo County met the requirements to move into the state’s orange tier, while Stanislaus and Nevada counties will be in the red tier. Changes will take effect on Wednesday.
The move into the orange or “moderate” tier means looser restrictions on some Yolo County businesses. Restaurants must limit capacity to 50% or 200 people, whichever is fewer. Bars where meals are not served may also reopen outdoors with some modifications.
Movie theaters, which were allowed to reopen under the red tier, can also increase their capacity to 50% or 200 people.
Counties are allowed to move into the orange tier when they have between one and 3.9 new cases each day per 100,000 people and a positivity rate of no more than 4.9%.
“Moving to the orange tier for the first time represents tremendous progress in controlling the virus that causes COVID-19. We run the risk of undoing our hard-earned progress if we let down our guard now,” said Yolo County Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson. “As more business expand their indoor capacity, it is important that we continue to wear masks, remain 6 feet apart, and not gather with non-household members in order to keep our COVID-19 case rates low.”
Last week, Yolo County recorded an adjusted case rate of 3.3 and had a test positivity rate of just 0.7%.
Under California’s red or “substantial” tier, places like restaurants, museums, zoos, movie theaters and gyms can once again open indoor operations. Retailers and shopping centers can also allow more customers inside.
For Stanislaus County, this is the first time the county has been in the red tier since mid-November.
Stanislaus County public health educator Bobby Moser said it took a community effort to get to this point.
“Being assigned to the red tier means that many businesses can resume modified indoor operations, starting on Wednesday, March 24. Most notably on that list is gyms, movie theaters, restaurants, they can all open indoor operations with certain modifications and capacity limitations,” Moser told FOX40.
The shift to the red tier also means schools can open for in-person learning after months of being stuck in the purple, most restrictive tier.
But Moser warns the move to the red tier may be short-lived if people don’t continue to follow safety guidelines like wearing masks and avoiding gatherings.
“Right now, we’re actually more likely to slide back into purple than we are likely to advance to the orange tier,” Moser explained. “We really want all of our community residents to realize that we cannot relax just even for a day or two, we need to continue all those safe behaviors that keep us in the red for now and keep us inching closer towards the orange.”
Stanislaus County health officials didn’t even have a timeline for when the county could potentially make it to that next tier, only telling FOX40 the county is far from orange and just trying to stay in red at this point.