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California Politics

California Implements Slower Re-Opening Plan Without Possibility for Full Re-Opening

Governor Gavin Newsom introduced a new re-opening plan for the state of California on Friday, but this plan doesn’t include allowance for a full re-opening for any county.

The color-coded, four-tiered plan shifts the entire state from focusing on COVID hospitalizations to daily new cases and positivity rates.

Counties are assigned their color (yellow, orange, red, or purple) based on case rates and positivity rates. Yellow is the least restrictive, and purple is the most restrictive.

The most restrictive tier (purple) is assigned if the county has more than 7 new cases on a daily basis per 100,000 people (and anything higher than an 8% positivity rate). The least restrictive (yellow) can only be obtained when new cases decrease to less than 1 per day per 100,000 (and a less than 2% positivity rate).

The least restrictive tier still comes with restrictions, and there is no green tier in the new plan to return things to normal. According to Governor Newsom, “We don’t believe that there is a green light, which says go back to the way things were or back to the pre-pandemic mindset.”

James Gallagher, a Republican Assemblyman from Yuba City told CBS 13 Sacramento, “It’s not much of a reopening plan, it’s actually more of a re-closure plan that the governor announced today.”

Gallagher is advocating for an immediate re-opening of all businesses with safety measures and social distancing in place. The emphasis, he believes, should be placed on large social gatherings, rather than small business owners.

“To arbitrarily close down only certain sectors of the economy and primarily burden small businesses – that doesn’t seem to be the right approach and its very detrimental to them,” he said.

Most of California’s counties are in the purple zone, with exceptions in the northern and eastern parts of the state.

Once assigned, counties must remain in their tier for three weeks. In order to advance to the next tier, the county must meet the criteria for the next tier for two weeks. Counties cannot jump tiers, but must move progressively from one tier to the next, even if they qualify for a higher tier.

This new plan goes into effect on August 31st.

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