County improves to red tier, allowing restaurants, gyms to reopen indoors

Contra Costa County moving to red tier on Sunday
Photo by Kaique Rocha from Pexels

Contra Costa County will move from the purple tier to the red tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy starting Sunday, March 14. That means restaurants and museums can reopen indoor operations at 25 percent capacity, gyms and fitness centers can reopen indoors at 10 percent capacity, and retail stores, shopping malls and grocery stores can increase their maximum capacities.

The red tier also allows for small private indoor gatherings that follow state health guidelines; allows colleges and other high education institutions to reopen indoor lectures, and allows elementary and secondary schools to reopen for in-person learning without submitting a safety plan to Contra Costa Health Services, according to the County.

The loosening of restrictions follows a drop in the case rate in the county from nearly 50 daily cases per 100,000 population in early January, to an adjusted per-capita case rate of 6.7 today.

In addition, over 250,000 county residents, about one quarter of the population, have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. On Monday, the groups eligible to receive vaccines will expand to include public transit workers, people in congregate living situations and people who have health conditions that put them at high risk of serious illness from a COVID-19 infection.

“It is encouraging to see our data moving in the right direction, and it’s a testament to the hard work Contra Costa residents have put in to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County’s health officer. “But it is important that we make healthy choices to keep up our momentum. This pandemic is not over yet.”

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