California has a blueprint for reducing COVID-19 in the state with revised criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities. Note: More restrictive regulations issued by Alameda County take precedence.

Find the status of activities in your county, effective Aug. 31

County risk level

Many non-essential indoor business operations are closed

New cases

More than 7

daily new cases (per 100k)

positive tests

More than 8%

positive tests

Some non-essential indoor business operations are closed

4 – 7

daily new cases (per 100k)

5 – 8%

positive tests

Some indoor business operations are open with modifications

1 – 3.9

daily new cases (per 100k)

2 – 4.9%

positive tests

Most indoor business operations are open with modifications

Less than 1

daily new cases (per 100k)

Less than 2%

positive tests

Learn more about the tiers.

Understand your county’s status

Every county in California is assigned to a tier based on its rate of new cases and positivity. At a minimum, counties must remain in a tier for at least 3 weeks before moving forward. Data is reviewed weekly and tiers are updated on Tuesdays. To move forward, a county must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks. If a county’s metrics worsen for two consecutive weeks, it will be assigned a more restrictive tier. Public health officials are constantly monitoring data and can step in if necessary.

Why can some activities and businesses open while others have to stay closed?

Activities and businesses that have a lower risk of spreading COVID-19 are allowed to open sooner. Higher-risk activities or businesses aren’t allowed until later tiers. An activity or business’s tier depends on whether it can:

  • Accommodate mask wearing at all times (for example, eating and drinking requires removing masks)
  • Allow physical distance between individuals from different households
  • Limit the number of people per square foot
  • Limit time that an individual is at the business or activity
  • Limit time of exposure
  • Limit mixing of people from different households
  • Limit amount of physical interactions of visitors/patrons
  • Increase airflow (such as operating outdoors or opening windows and doors)
  • Limit activities that are known to increase virus spread (like singing, shouting and heavy breathing)

With this blueprint, what businesses are allowed to open immediately statewide that were previously closed?

As of August 31, 2020, counties in the Widespread (purple) tier may open some businesses and activities with modifications, including all retail, shopping centers at maximum 25% capacity, and hair salons and barbershops indoors.

What happened to the County Monitoring List?

The Blueprint for a Safer Economy replaces the County Data Monitoring List for determining what business can and cannot open.

So why change? We learned a lot over the first several months of the pandemic about COVID-19 and how it spreads. For example, we know how much safer outdoor activities are than indoor ones and that it’s critical everyone wears a mask to limit the spread of the disease. This blueprint incorporates what we’ve learned.

The Blueprint for a Safer Economy is the next evolution of our response. We’ve revised the criteria and the time between changing tiers. We’ve made it easy for counties to see how changes affect the disease’s trajectory and for businesses and customers to plan ahead. And we’ve given Californians one place to look up whether a business or activity is allowed near them.

What happens if my county’s case rate and positivity measures fall into two different tiers?

If a county’s case rate and positivity rate fall into different tiers, the county remains in the stricter tier.

Can my school open under this blueprint?

Schools in the Widespread (purple) tier aren’t permitted to reopen for in-person instruction, unless they receive a waiver from their local health department for TK-6 grades.

Schools can reopen for in-person instruction once their county has been in the Substantial (red) tier for at least two weeks. Schools must follow these guidelines when they reopen or if they have to close again.

What can I do to help my county reach a lower tier?

  • Wear a mask in public.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Keep at least six feet of physical distance when in public.
  • Limit mixing with people you don’t live with.