Blueprint for a Safer Economy
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced last week "California has a blueprint for reducing COVID-19 in the state with revised criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities." Click here to read more. This replaces the previous State County Monitoring List. 

Under this blueprint every county in California is assigned to a tier based on its rate of new cases and test positivity rate. Data will be reviewed weekly and tiers will be updated on Tuesdays. The first weekly assessment will be released on September 8, 2020.

  • To move forward, a county must meet both the criteria for the next tier for two consecutive weeks and must also meet health equity measures.
  • At a minimum, counties must remain in a tier for at least 3 weeks before moving forward. 
  • Exception - If a county is initially assigned to Purple Tier 1 and has met the criteria for a less restrictive tier the prior week, the county only needs to meet the criteria for a less restrictive tier for one more week to move to the Red Tier 2. (For the September 8, 2020 assignment, a county does not need to remain in the Purple Tier 1 for three weeks. For all subsequent assessments, a county must remain in a tier for three weeks and meet the criteria to advance as described below.)
  • A county can only move forward one tier at a time, even if metrics qualify for a more advanced tier.
  • Health Equity Measures - the state will establish health equity measures on activities such as data collection, testing access, contact tracing, supportive isolation, and outreach that demonstrate a county's ability to address the most impacted communities within a county. Additional measures addressing health outcomes such as case rates, hospitalizations and deaths, will also be developed and tracked for improvement.

  • Moving backwards: During the weekly assessment, if a county's adjusted case rate and/or test positivity has been within a more restrictive tier for two consecutive weekly periods, the county must revert to the more restrictive tier.
  • If a county's case rate and test positivity measure fall into two different tiers, the county will be assigned to the more restrictive tier.

  • Implementation of Changes: Counties will have three days to implement any sector changes or closures unless extreme circumstances merit immediate action.

  • City Public Health Jurisdictions: For the cities of Berkeley, Long Beach, and Pasadena, which have their own local health jurisdiction, their data will be included in overall metrics, and city will be assigned the same tier as the surrounding county.

Overview of Tiers
  • Purple - Widespread Risk Level - more than 7 new daily cases per 100k; test positivity more than 8%
  • In this tier many non-essential indoor business operations are closed
  • Red - Substantial Risk Level - 4 to 7 new daily cases per 100k; test positivity between 5-8%
  • In this tier some non-essential indoor business operations are closed
  • Orange - Moderate Risk Level - 1 to 3.9 new daily cases per 100k; test positivity between 2-4.9%
  • In this tier some indoor business operations are open with modifications
  • Yellow - Minimal Risk Level - less than 1 new daily cases per 100k; test positivity less than 2%
  • In this tier most indoor business operations are open with modifications

Note - New daily cases and test positivity rates are calculated as a 7 day average with a 7 day lag. Additionally, case rate will be determined using confirmed (by PCR) cases, and will not include state and federal inmate cases. Case rates include an adjustment factor for counties that are testing above the state average. The incidence is adjusted downwards in a graduated fashion, with a maximum adjustment at twice the State average testing rate.

Sector Framework by Tier: Based on these new guidelines, businesses are encouraged to check which protocols they must implement by visiting: and scrolling to the industry-specific guidelines they must follow.

Criteria used to determine low/medium/high risk sectors
  • Ability to accommodate face covering wearing at all times (e.g. eating and drinking would require removal of face covering) 
  • Ability to physically distance between individuals from different households 
  • Ability to limit the number of people per square foot 
  • Ability to limit duration of exposure 
  • Ability to limit amount of mixing of people from differing households and communities 
  • Ability to limit amount of physical interactions of visitors/patrons 
  • Ability to optimize ventilation (e.g. indoor vs outdoor, air exchange and filtration) 
  • Ability to limit activities that are known to cause increased spread (e.g. singing, shouting, heavy breathing; loud environs will cause people to raise voice)

  • Schools may reopen for in-person instruction based on equivalent criteria to the July 17th School Re-opening Framework previously announced. That framework remains in effect except that Tier 1 is substituted for the previous County Data Monitoring List (which has equivalent criteria to Tier 1). 
  • Schools in counties within Tier 1 are not permitted to reopen for in-person instruction, with an exception for waivers granted by local health departments for TK-6 grades. Schools that are not authorized to reopen, including TK-6 schools that have not received a waiver, may provide structured, in-person supervision and services to students under the Guidance for Small Cohorts/Groups of Children and Youth.
  • Schools are eligible for reopening fully for in-person instruction following California School Sector Specific Guidelines once the county is off Tier 1 for 14 days, which is similar to being off the County Data Monitoring List for at least 14 days.

Counties by Tier
  • Purple - Widespread Risk Level
  • All other counties not listed below
  • Red - Substantial Risk Level
  • Calaveras, El Dorado, Lake, Lassen, Napa, Nevada, San Diego, San Francisco, Sierra
  • Orange - Moderate Risk Level
  • Del Norte, Humboldt, Mariposa, Mono, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Trinity
  • Yellow - Minimal Risk Level
  • Alpine, Modoc, Tuolumne

Stay Healthy. Stay Safe.
Rebecca Husted
Daly City / Colma Chamber President
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate,
J.F. Finnegan Realtors
September 6 2020