San Mateo County moved to the less-restrictive red tier of California’s COVID-19 tier assignments on Tuesday, meaning additional businesses can open.
The county maintained a case rate of less than 7 percent for the last two weeks, allowing the move out of the most restrictive purple or “widespread” risk tier to the red or “substantial” risk tier indicating a lower risk of COVID-19 transmission.
This means restaurants, shopping centers, museums, places of worship, movie theaters and gyms can open indoors with limited capacity.
People can visit https://covid-19.ca.gov/safer-economy/ and type in “San Mateo County” for specific industry guidelines.
“Hallelujah, we are out of the purple and into the red,” San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa said in a statement. “Now we can eat indoors again, go see a movie and get some exercise at the gym.”
“What each and every one of us can do is to commit to patronizing our local businesses,” said Warren Slocum, president of the county’s Board of Supervisors. “Let’s be safe, be healthy and help ensure our small businesses are with us today and tomorrow and the future.”
Some businesses like bars, breweries, nightclubs and saunas must remain closed. Schools must continue distance learning and may not reopen fully for in-person instruction until the county has been in the red tier for two weeks.
Counties are assigned a tier based on test positivity and case rate.
San Mateo County has an adjusted case rate of 6.6 new cases per day per 100,000 people, and a 4.5 percent testing positivity rate for the week ending Sept. 12. Both numbers are based on a seven-day average with a seven-day lag. The county must continue to have an adjusted case rate below 7 percent and a testing positivity rate below 8 percent to remain in the red tier.
“We’ve increased testing and have seen case rates decline but it doesn’t mean this pandemic is over,” Canepa said. “We must still practice social distancing, avoid large crowds and most importantly continue to wear our masks.”
Social distancing, face coverings and limited gatherings are still enforced under the county’s health order.