Marin, Mendocino counties move up tiers in California coronavirus business reopening

Marin Health and Human Services on Tuesday said the state has officially advanced Marin County to the orange tier, a move county officials had been anticipating based on steady and decreasing COVID-19 transmission rates.

As a result, retail establishments and indoor malls can now operate at full capacity. Restaurants can expand indoor-dining capacity from 25% to 50%; gyms can operate at 25% capacity; and movie theaters and places of worship can open at 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer. Nonessential businesses also can open, as can libraries.

Marin, Mendocino and five other counties moved between tiers Tuesday, according to the Sacramento Bee. Glenn and Mendocino counties moved from purple, the most-restrictive tier, to the red tier. Santa Cruz, Contra Costa and San Mateo moved with Marin from red to orange. Calaveras County joined San Francisco in the least-restrictive yellow tier, moving up from orange.

As of Oct. 27, Marin County had an adjusted daily case rate of 2.6. Its test positivity rate was 1.4%, and its health equity metric was 2.4%.

Orange is the second highest of California’s four tiers for greater reopening from coronavirus pandemic restrictions. This tier puts the county in “moderate” transmission status.

Napa County already moved into the orange tier.

Mendocino County on Tuesday joined Solano and Lake counties are currently in the red tier, the third highest level toward reopening. It signifies “substantial” risk of transmission. Retail, shopping centers can reopen at half-capacity, up from 25%. Restaurant indoor dining and movie theaters can open at the lesser of 25% capacity or 100 people. Gyms are limited to 10%.

Sonoma County remains in the lowest tier, purple, for “widespread” transmission.

Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County’s public health officer, said while moving to the orange tier is good news, it’s equally as important to remain diligent.

“This progress is a sign of what we can do. But it’s way too early to let up,” Willis said. “Just last week, Marin reached 100 COVID-19 deaths. Our collective actions over the next few weeks will decide if we can retain this level of reopening.”

Willis also noted sacrifices have been made, and urged the county’s people to continue on that path as colder weather looms.

“It’s important to rethink the traditions to gather during the holidays, especially as flu season arrives,” Willis said.

Marin County was initially placed into the purple tier — the most restrictive status, when California on Aug. 31 rolled out its Blueprint for a Safer Economy. On Sept. 15, the state placed it in the red tier, a move that was anticipated to happen earlier. On Sept. 4, the county, in consultation with the California Department of Public Health, announced plans to move to the red tier, according to the county’s website. But on Sept. 7, CDPH notified the county its status would not change.

The county appealed and on Sept. 15 won after state data was reanalyzed. It was moved into the red tier the same day.

Each of the state’s 58 counties must remain in their current colored tier for at least three weeks before moving forward. Every county is required to spend at least 21 days in any tier before advancing to a less restrictive one.

Show Comment