As of Oct. 28, authorities in California have loosened restrictions in eight counties - Calaveras, Contra Costa, Glenn, Marin, Mendocino, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Shasta - due to a decrease in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity within these jurisdictions. 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 widespread or "purple" level, which denotes high levels of COVID-19 activity and the tightest restrictions.

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. All theme parks may operate at 25-percent capacity and sporting events at stadiums may occur at 25-percent capacity. As of Oct. 28, Calaveras county has joined Alpine, Humboldt, Mariposa, Modoc, Plumas, San Francisco, Sierra, Siskiyou, and Trinity counties at 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. Small theme parks may resume limited outdoor operations at 25-percent capacity or 500 people, whichever is less. Outdoor stadiums may host sporting events at 20-percent capacity. Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, and Santa Cruz counties have moved into the moderate risk level as of Oct. 28, joining Alameda, Amador, Butte, Del Norte, El Dorado, Inyo, Lassen, Mono, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Santa Clara, 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. 28, Glenn, Mendocino, and Shasta counties have moved to the substantial risk level, joining Colusa, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Lake, Merced, Orange, Sacramento, San Benito, San Diego, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Ventura, Yolo, and Yuba counties.

At the widespread or "purple" risk level, some personal care services may open but must follow proper hygiene and social distancing procedures, while numerous others such as tattoo parlors, must remain closed. Yet other establishments, such as family entertainment centers, movie theaters, gyms and fitness centers, places of worship, zoos, and dine-in restaurants, can only open outdoors. Retail stores, shopping malls, and libraries can open at 25-percent capacity. As of Oct. 28, no additional counties have moved into the widespread risk level; the counties at this level are Imperial, Los Angeles, Madera, Monterey, San Bernardino, Riverside, Sonoma, Tehama, and Tulare.

Across the state, some businesses, such as concert venues, convention centers, live theaters, and nightclubs, remain closed. Events such as music festivals remain banned. Residents from up to three different households may socialize outdoors and there is no limit to the number of people allowed per household.

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.

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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