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More California counties moved on Tuesday, Oct. 6, into less-restrictive tiers of the state’s coronavirus tracking system, opening the door for more business and public sectors to reopen or expand their indoor capacities.

Counties are assigned to a tier based on metrics showing the speed and the spread of the virus and every Tuesday the state updates their status. At a minimum, counties have to remain in a tier for three weeks before they can progress on, and they have to meet the next tier’s criteria for at least two consecutive weeks before making a move. They can also backtrack if their performance on the metrics reverses course.

This week Plumas, Siskiyou and Trinity counties were moved to the lowest tier (yellow). Ventura County is the only Southern California county that improved, going from the most restrictive purple tier to red.

A list of what businesses are impacted by each tier is included below:

A look at the change in the state tier system by county for Oct. 6:

Note: The state added a new metric called health equity. For a county with a population of greater than 106,000, the county must: Ensure that the test positivity rates in its most disadvantaged neighborhoods – the Healthy Places Index census tracts are used for that – do not significantly lag behind its overall county test positivity rate. There are additional conditions listed on the state’s site.

Here is the current metrics for each county, where they are now and where they were last week.

State metrics:

How different are the tiers?

Purple is the most restrictive, especially for education. Schools in the Widespread (purple) tier aren’t permitted to reopen for in-person instruction unless they receive a waiver from local health departments for TK-6 grades.

Schools can reopen for in-person instruction once their county has been in the red tier for at least two weeks.

Source: http://www.dof.ca.gov/Forecasting/Demographics/Projections/

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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