Summary
As of Oct. 14, authorities in California eased gathering restrictions and some county level restrictions due to a decrease in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity. Under the new gathering restrictions, residents from up to three different households may socialize outdoors; however, there is no limit to the number of people allowed per household. Protective face coverings must be worn and social distancing and proper sanitary measures must be followed.

Officials in California also eased COVID-19-related restrictions in 10 of the state's 58 counties due to a decrease in disease activity. No counties saw a tightening of restrictions. Alameda, Colusa, Kern, Kings, Placer, San Benito, Santa Clara, Sierra, Stanislaus, and Sutter counties all saw drops in COVID-19 activity, with no counties experiencing increases.

California is continuing to use its four-tier color-coded system for tracking COVID-19 and applying restrictions based on local infection rates. The classification system ranges from the minimal-risk or "yellow" level, denoting low COVID-19 activity and minimal restrictions, to the high-risk or "purple" level, which denotes high levels of COVID-19 activity and the tightest restrictions. Counties must spend at least 21 days in one level before moving to a less restrictive one.

Across the state, some businesses, such as concert venues, convention centers, live theaters, theme parks, and nightclubs, remain closed. Events such as music festivals remain banned. At the minimal or yellow risk level, most businesses can operate. Bars, gyms, fitness centers, indoor playgrounds, family entertainment centers, movie theaters, and indoor dine-in services at restaurants can open at 50-percent capacity. As of Oct. 14, Sierra county has joined Alpine, Humboldt, Mariposa, Modoc, Plumas, Siskiyou, and Trinity counties in the minimal risk level.

At the moderate or orange risk level, movie theaters, museums, places of worship, and indoor services at restaurants can open at 50-percent capacity. Gyms, indoor playgrounds, and family entertainment centers can open at 25-percent capacity. Alameda, Placer, and Santa Clara counties have moved into the moderate risk level as of Oct. 14, joining Amador, Calaveras, Del Norte, El Dorado, Inyo, Lassen, Mono, Nevada, San Francisco, and Tuolumne.

At the substantial or red risk level, movie theaters, places of worship, museums, zoos, and indoor services at restaurants may open at 25-percent capacity. Cultural ceremonies are permitted at 25-percent capacity. Stores and shopping malls may resume operations at 50-percent capacity. As of Oct. 14, Colusa, Kern, Kings, San Benito, Stanislaus, and Sutter counties have moved to the substantial risk level, joining Butte, Contra Costa, Fresno, Lake, Marin, Merced, Napa, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Solano, Ventura, Yolo, and Yuba counties.

At the widespread or purple risk level, some personal care businesses, such as tattoo parlors, must remain closed, while numerous others, including family entertainment centers, movie theaters, gyms and fitness centers, places of worship, zoos, dine-in services at restaurants, and some personal care businesses such as nail salons, can only open outdoors. Retail stores, shopping malls, and libraries can open at 25-percent capacity. As of Oct. 14, Glenn, Imperial, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, Monterey, San Bernardino, Sonoma, Tehama, and Tulare counties are at the widespread or purple level.

All businesses must comply with certain requirements aimed at preventing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, such as enhancing sanitation procedures, closing off areas where people might gather, and observing social distancing standards, among other things. Additionally, the use of protective face coverings is mandatory while in indoor facilities, in line to obtain services, or riding public transportation, as well as when in public and social distancing is not possible.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Advice
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

 

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