Marin moves back to California’s purple tier as county implements even tougher coronavirus restrictions on businesses

Marin County on Tuesday was moved back from the red tier to the purple tier — the strictest category — in the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy framework, according to the county.

This means all six counties in the North Bay region are back in the purple tier. Lake County was moved from red to purple on Nov. 29.

Marin’s rollback was based on coronavirus data for Nov. 22–28, which showed the county’s adjusted case rate increased by 3.7 percentage points and the test positivity rate increased by 0.4 points, according to a Dec. 1 analysis by the California Department of Public Health.

Marin’s reversal was expected, as Dr. Matt Willis, the county’s public health officer, had recently warned the county’s infection rates were rising.

Still, for businesses, the move to purple status is less restrictive than the state’s regional stay-home order, which Marin County implemented on Tuesday. The regional order is more restrictive and supersedes the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, the county reported on its website.

The stay-home order for Marin County is in effect through Jan. 4, possibly longer if ICU-bed capacity falls below 15%. But once it ends, the county and its businesses will default back to the purple tier’s guidelines, according to the county.

Marin County was one of five jurisdictions that took a proactive approach and this week implemented the state’s stay-home outline, which is designed to take effect if ICU-bed capacity dips below 15%.

The county’s purple status does impact schools. Those that have not yet reopened to in-person classroom learning must apply for a waiver to reopen. Schools already reopened on-site may remain open and are unaffected by the purple status or stay-home order, according to the county.

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