Sacramento County on Tuesday moved out of the state’s most-restrictive COVID-19 reopening tier, joining dozens of other counties that have already begun allowing restaurants to operate indoor dining, gyms to open, and movie theaters to allow patrons inside.
In Sacramento County, those changes take effect immediately, according to an updated public health order.
The announcement comes days after the state hinted that several counties could move out of the purple tier over the weekend and into Tuesday. Sacramento and eight other counties — Lake, Monterey, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, and Ventura — will officially move into the red tier.
Last week, the state said it expected Kings, San Joaquin and Yuba counties to also move into the red tier, but none of them did.
On Sunday, 13 counties — including Los Angeles, Placer, Sonoma and Tuolumne counties — also moved from purple to red. Overall, 42 counties are now in the red tier, representing 87% of the state's population.
Under the red tier, restaurants and movie theaters will be able to reopen indoors at 25% capacity, while gyms can reopen indoors at 10% capacity. Museums may also resume indoor operations at 25% capacity.
Last week California changed the threshold for counties to move out of the purple tier from seven cases per 100,000 residents to 10 cases, triggered by the state hitting a goal of delivering 2 million vaccine doses to communities hit hardest by the pandemic. The California Department of Public Health said the reopening criteria would be evaluated again once 4 million doses were delivered to the hardest-hit area.
Currently, Sacramento County is seeing about 8 people per 100,000 test positive for COVID-19 and a 3.2% test positivity rate. The county health department has reported more than 95,500 people have tested positive, and 1,551 people have died from the virus since the state of the pandemic.
This is the first time Sacramento has been out of the most-restrictive purple tier or under the state's regional stay-at-home order since Nov. 10.
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