Update - September 30, 2020 
More Businesses and Services Can Reopen in Contra Costa 
State Moves County into the Red Tier 
Thanks to our progress in the fight against COVID-19, indoor restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, massage parlors and places of worship may now open in Contra Costa with restrictions.

These changes are possible because the county's rates of COVID-19 and other virus metrics are improving, moving us down from the strictest purple tier to the less-restrictive red tier, in the state's four-tier color-coded reopening blueprint. 

The blueprint, which applies to counties, links reopening to virus data. 
The state has moved Contra to Costa to the red tier which means further reopening with restrictions, including:
  • Places of worship, restaurants, movie theaters and museums can be operated indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is less.
  • Gyms can reopen indoors at 10% capacity.
  • All personal care services, including massage, can move indoors
  • Indoor shopping malls can operate at 50% maximum occupancy (instead of 25%). Food courts can also open following the state's guidelines for restaurants.
  • Indoor retail stores can now operate at 50% capacity (instead of 25%).
  • Outdoor playgrounds can now reopen with some restrictions.
  • While libraries can operate indoors at 50% maximum occupancy, County libraries are choosing only to offer front-door service for the rest of 2020.
  • Higher education institutions can resume indoor lectures and student gatherings at 25% occupancy or 100 people, whichever is less. Some courses conducted in certain indoor settings, like labs and studio arts, may be open at regular capacity. Institutions should conduct student activities virtually when possible.
Face-coverings and social distance are still required in these settings. 

Elementary and secondary schools can reopen for in-person instruction on October 13 if the county remains in the red tier for two more weeks. The decision to open is up to each school district, and modifications are required. Currently, elementary schools can apply for a waiver from the health officer to reopen.
In order to move into the more permissive red tier, the county had to see average case rates drop below 7 per 100,000 people and testing positivity rates dip below 8%. For the past two weeks, Contra Costa has met those benchmarks. As of Tuesday, the case rate was 6.7 per 100,000 people and the testing positivity rate was 3.7%.
Health officials caution that COVID-19 is still circulating in the community and our continued success depends on maintaining preventative steps 
including wearing face coverings in public, practicing social distance, washing hands frequently and staying home if sick. 
In addition, essential workers and people with lots of close contacts outside of their own household are urged to get tested for COVID-19 at least monthly.
Businesses and other organizations should review their applicable industry guidance for reopening safely from the state. 

This is welcome news, and we all deserve credit for working so hard to prevent the spread of the virus. Let's keep going and aim for healthier communities.
Thanks for your efforts,

John Gioia
Supervisor, District One 
Contra Costa County 
11780 San Pablo Avenue, Suite D 
El Cerrito, CA  94530 
510-231-8686 Phone