COVID-19 Reopening Guidelines For Businesses And Schools

Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom said he would release modified reopening guidelines for counties in the state of California.

Case rates and test positivity rates will be the metrics that will determine movement within the tiers which, in terms of severity run from purple to red to orange to yellow. These categories replace the state watchlist that had previously dictated whether counties could reopen or would need to close.

State director of Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly said case rates and positivity rates are the best, earliest numbers on which to base decisions before infections get too far down the road. See chart below.

There will also be an “emergency brake” condition that can be employed if a county’s hospitalization numbers become worrisome. That brake cold be employed more quickly than the mandated watch periods mentioned below, said Ghaly. Newsom then affirmed that “that emergency brake is foundational.

As for the other determinative metric, new COVID cases per 100,000, that number is supposed to be under 7 for three weeks in order for a county to reopen. L.A.’s number of cases per 100,000 over the past two weeks is far above that, at 13.1. Again, from a look at the county’s data web site, it is unclear what L.A.’s three-week number per 100,000 is. That would be the number state officials look at.

Counties may employ more stringent guidelines that the state, but they cannot move to lower-level guidelines without state approval.

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