Orange, Ventura counties among 30 in California to rollback reopenings

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The counties of Orange and Ventura are among 30 in California that are moving back to the most restrictive tier in the state’s reopening plan, after the number of new daily coronavirus cases doubled in the last 10 days, officials said.

“California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet — faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic or even this summer,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday. “The spread of COVID-19, if left unchecked, could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes.”

The state’s color-coded, four-tiered system, called “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” sets the criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on business reopenings and activities. Newsom said Monday that 30 counties will be going backward, with 41 of the state’s 58 counties now in the most-restrictive purple tier. 

What’s open and what’s not

In alignment with the purple tier, the following sectors are permitted for outdoor operations only until further notice: restaurants; places of worship; gyms and fitness centers; cardrooms; satellite wagering; family entertainment centers (such as bowling alleys, miniature golf, batting cages, kart racing, and arcades); movie theaters; museums, zoos, aquariums; playgrounds and recreational facilities; and wineries.

Bars, pubs, brewpubs and breweries may operate outdoors if they are offering sit-down, outdoor meals.

The following sectors are open for indoor operations: all retail (maximum 25% capacity); critical infrastructure; hair salons and barbershops; libraries (maximum 25% capacity); nail salons and electrolysis operations; personal care services (such as body waxing, estheticians, tattoo, massage); professional sports (without live audiences); shopping centers (maximum 25% capacity).

Both indoor and outdoor operations must maintain mitigation measures, including social distancing, face coverings and sanitization.

Orange County

After moving to the second least restrictive red tier on Sept. 8, Orange County said its rollbacks would go into effect immediately. Impacted industries were granted 24 hours to comply with the new order and to make necessary modifications, officials announced Monday afternoon.

Under state guidelines, schools are permitted to reopen for in-person instruction once their county has been in the red tier for two consecutive weeks. As O.C. moves back to the purple tier, K-12 schools that have not reopened for in-person instruction yet will have to remain online, according to the county.

But K-12 schools that had fully reopened prior to Monday for in-person instruction are not required to close, county officials said.

As of Monday, the county had reported 65,605 cases of COVID-19 and 1,526 deaths.

For questions related to COVID-19, contact the Orange County COVID-19 Hotline at 833-426-6411 or visit http://www.ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus.

Ventura County

In Ventura County, businesses that are impacted by the change are required to make their operational modifications by midnight Tuesday.

“Our average number of tests per day per 100,000 population was in the 200s and has increased to 400 this past week,” said Mike Powers, county executive officer. “Because our case rate was at 12 the week ending November 7th, even with the large adjustment factor, we were not able to get under the required metric of 7 or less.”

In alignment with state health rules, schools that have reopened for in-person instruction, either under a waiver or while Ventura County was in the red tier, are permitted to continue to conduct in-person instruction, officials said.

Schools that have not reopened must wait until they are eligible again, either by acquiring a waiver from Ventura County Public Health (grades TK-6 only) or by waiting until the county returns to red tier for at least two weeks.

Detected cases of the coronavirus in Ventura County climbed to 16,462 Monday, with 173 people who have succumbed to the illness.

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