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Walnut Creek Magazine

California Unveils Blueprint for a Safer Economy

Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom released a modified reopening framework for schools and businesses across the state which uses color-coded tiers instead of the current county-by-county “watch list” system. Each county has one of four colors assigned to it at any given time: purple, red, orange, or yellow. Case rate and positivity rate determine what color a county gets, and when it is ready to advance to the next stage.

Despite Contra Costa County’s designation as purple on the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy indicating the risk of COVID-19 remains widespread, county health officials approved the reopening of hair salons, barbershops, and shopping malls for indoor services beginning August 31. Schools, however, other than those approved to apply for a waiver, are not eligible for in-person instruction until the county moves beyond purple for two weeks, and meets all existing guidelines.

A chart provided by the California Department of Public Health matches businesses to their color level. Offices cannot begin to allow workers back until Tier 3 (orange), and, even at Tier 4 (yellow), must encourage telework for all eligible employees. Professional sports events will continue to take place without audiences into Tier 4, while live entertainment including theaters and concert venues do not even appear on the chart.

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