California Tightens COVID Restrictions
California Governor Newsom and State public health officials announced significant changes to COVID restrictions, effective November 17, 2020, as the rise in virus-related illnesses and deaths skyrockets. Specifically, California employs a color-coded tier system with the severity of the virus outbreak dictating into which tier a county falls, affecting the extent to which businesses may operate. The color coding is purple (widespread), red (substantial), orange (moderate) and yellow (minimal). As of the writing of this article, 28 counties moved back into the purple tier, 12 back into the red tier, and 2 back into the orange tier. It appears only 2 counties (Mariposa and Alpine) remain in the yellow or lowest risk tier.
Given widespread swaths of the state are now colored purple, these counties will be under the most restrictions. Seeking to address the rapidly changing situation, the State will now update its tier rating of any given location in as close to real time as possible, instead of the earlier weekly schedule. Counties are now required to implement any needed changes the day after any tier (or sector) changes are announced by the State. To this point, it does not appear any of the major counties have updated their websites, although that may come soon.