State Hits ‘Emergency Brake’ on Reopenings. Here’s What It Means.
Forty-one out of fifty-eight California counties have been pushed back into the state’s most restrictive (purple) tier following a rapid rise in coronavirus cases. The affected counties comprise 94% of California’s population.
Daily cases in the Golden State have doubled in the past 10 days, increasing in a way that is “simply without precedent in California’s pandemic history,” the Governor said Monday. Hospitalizations rose 48% over the past two weeks.
Counties that are in the purple tier — which now include all counties in Southern California — must close indoor gyms, indoor restaurants/wineries, and indoor places of worship. Retail establishments will be limited to 25% capacity.
As a result of the setback, California's school reopenings have also been halted. Schools that had already reopened will not be forced to close by the state. But many districts that were planning to resume live classes must now wait until they can move back into a less restrictive tier — and stay there for two weeks. Elementary schools can still apply for waivers and small amounts of special needs students can still gather for instruction.
In addition to the indoor restrictions, the state has strengthened its mask-wearing rules. Face coverings are now required anywhere outside the home. A statewide curfew is also under consideration.