Lassen joins eight other California counties that were moved to a less restrictive COVID-19 tier earlier this week.
On Tuesday, Sept. 22, Lassen, El Dorado and Nevada counties moved from red (substantial) to orange (moderate), Alameda, Riverside, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo and Solano counties moved from purple (widespread) to red (substantial) and Mariposa County moved to yellow (minimal).
Counties must remain in their current tier for three weeks before moving down — assuming their numbers get better. If a county’s numbers worsen for two weeks, it will be moved to a more restrictive tier.
California Governor Gavin Newsom established the four-tier system that governs reopening last August.
Richard Egan, Lassen County’s administrative officer and public information officer for lassencares.org, the county’s COVID-19 reporting agency, said, “We are orange now rather than red, so we improved by one category.”
Egan said the most significant change is that restaurants may now operate at 50 percent capacity rather than 25 percent.
The classifications are based on the number of daily COVID-19 cases and the number of positive test results.
According to covid19.ca.gov, Lassen County has 1.4 new COVID-19 cases per day per 100,000 residents and a 2.5 percent positivity rate (based on results from the week ending Sept. 12).
According to cdph.ca.gov:
- Shopping centers may open indoors with modifications — closed common areas and reduced capacity food courts (see restaurants);
- Nail salons may open indoors with modifications;
- Personal care services may open indoors with modifications;
- Museums, zoos and aquariums may open with modifications — indoor activities at a maximum 50 percent capacity;
- Places of worship may open indoors with modifications — maximum 50 percent capacity or 200 people whichever is fewer;
- Movie theaters may reopen indoors with modifications — maximum 50 percent capacity or 200 people whichever is fewer;
- Hotels and lodging may open with modifications — fitness centers and indoor pools at 25 percent;
- Gyms and fitness centers may open indoors with modifications — saunas, spas, steam rooms at 25 percent maximum capacity;
- Restaurants may open indoors with modifications — maximum 50 percent capacity or 100 people whichever is fewer;
- Wineries may open indoors with modifications — 25 percent capacity or 100 people indoors whichever is fewer;
- Bars, breweries and distilleries (no meal provided) may open outdoors with modifications. Facilities that provide food should follow the restaurant guidelines;
- Family entertainment centers (including bowling alleys and climbing walls) may open indoors for activities with modifications — maximum 25 percent capacity;
- Cardrooms and satellite wagering may open indoors with modifications — maximum 25 percent capacity;
- Offices may open indoors with modifications — encourage telework; and,
- Professional sports may open with modifications and without live audiences.
Plan for reducing COVID-19 and adjusting permitted sector activities to keep Californians healthy and safe
This guidance outlines an updated framework for a safe progression of opening more businesses and activities in light of the pandemic. The framework for this guidance is informed by increased knowledge of disease transmission vulnerabilities and risk factors and is driven by the following goals:
1) To progress in phases based on risk levels with appropriate time between each phase in each county so impacts of any given change can be fully evaluated.
2) To aggressively reduce case transmission to as low a rate as possible across the state so the potential burden of flu and COVID-19 in the late fall and winter does not challenge our healthcare delivery system’s ability to surge with space, supplies and staff. Also, with winter weather pushing more activities indoors, low levels of transmission in the community will make large outbreaks in these riskier settings less likely.
3) To simplify the framework and lay out clear disease transmission goals for counties to work towards.
This framework lays out the measures that each county must meet, based on indicators that capture disease burden, testing and health equity. A county may be more restrictive than this framework. This framework also notes signals of concern, including impacted healthcare capacity that may lead towards a dimming intervention. This framework replaces the current County Data Monitoring metrics. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be an evolving situation and new evidence and understanding emerges, the California Department of Public Health in collaboration with other state officials, will continue to reassess metrics and thresholds.