March 9, 2021

Neetu Balram|
Public Information Manager
Alameda County Public Health Department
[email protected]

Alameda County Is a Red Tier County Permitted activities and restrictions are aligned with the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy

ALAMEDA COUNTY, CA – Today the State announced that Alameda County has met the metrics for the Red Tier for two weeks, and effective tomorrow, March 10, activities and businesses permitted in the Red Tier per the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy may resume operation.

With an adjusted daily new case rate per 100,000 residents of 4.8, a testing positivity rate of 1.8 percent, and a health equity quartile positivity rate of 2.6 percent, the state of the pandemic has improved greatly in Alameda County since the peak of the winter surge in early January.

“Alameda County’s case rate is on the decline and vaccinations of vulnerable residents and our frontline workers are progressing but the COVID-19 pandemic is not over,” said Dr. Nicholas Moss, Alameda County Health Officer. “As more activities and businesses open indoors and more people from different households mix, the risk of becoming infected increases. The majority of Alameda County residents have not been vaccinated, so we must continue to take precautions to keep each other safe.”

Businesses and activities permitted to open under the State’s Red Tier must continue to comply with the State’s Industry Guidance: Additional workplace resources can be found here and resources for Alameda County workers are available here

Businesses and activities permitted to open indoors, with capacity restrictions and modifications:

• Restaurants: 25 percent maximum capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer

• Retail: 50 percent maximum capacity and food courts permitted with indoor dining restrictions

• Grocery stores: full capacity while following retail industry guidance

• Movie Theaters: 25 percent maximum capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer

• Museums, Zoos and Aquariums: 25 percent maximum capacity

• Gyms, fitness centers and studios (including at hotels): 10 percent maximum capacity and climbing walls are permitted

Schools: Under the State’s updated school guidance, TK-12 schools that intend to open and all schools that are already open must complete and publicly post their COVID-19 Safety Plan (CSP). The CSP consists of two components: 1) the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Plan (CPP) and 2) the COVID-19 School Guidance Checklist. If a school or district is ready, grades TK-12 are permitted to reopen in the Red Tier and may do so once their CSP has been posted publicly on the school or school district’s website for at least 5 days prior to providing in person instruction.

Gatherings: Small and time-limited private gatherings among no more than three household are now permitted indoors under State guidance, but outdoors is still strongly encouraged. Masks and physical distancing are still required for these gatherings, and anyone who is experiencing symptoms must not attend. Per state guidance, singing, shouting, chanting, cheering, or exercising are strongly discouraged and not permitted indoors. Those at high risk of severe illness are strongly encouraged not to attend. Large gatherings are still prohibited.

Activities eligible to start on April 1:

• Outdoor sports and live performances with fans/attendees: In the Red Tier, capacity will be limited to 20 percent and advanced reservations only. Concession sales will be primarily in-seat (no concourse sales). Attendance will be limited to in-state visitors.

• Amusement parks: In the Red Tier, capacity will be limited to 15 percent and online ticket purchases only. Small groups with a maximum of 10 people or 3 household groups may attend together, but with no intergroup mixing. Indoor dining will not be permitted. Attendance will be limited to in-state visitors.

The tier thresholds in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy will be adjusted as vaccinations among California’s hardest-hit communities increase per a new equity metric.

On March 4, 2021, the State updated their Blueprint for a Safer Economy to include a California Vaccine Equity Metric to reflect statewide vaccination efforts and to recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has not affected all communities equally. Forty percent of COVID-19 cases and deaths occur in the State’s lowest Healthy Places Index quartile (Vaccine Equity Quartile).

The initial goal of the Vaccine Equity Metric is to deliver a minimum of 2 million doses to the hardest-hit quarter of the state as measured by the Healthy Places Index. The state has currently delivered 1.6 million doses to this quarter of the state.

Once the 2 million doses goal is reached, the State will update the Blueprint for a Safer Economy to allow for a slightly higher case rates in each tier, with the overall effect of allowing counties to move through the color tiers at a faster but still measured and safe pace. The Blueprint will be updated again when 4 million doses have been administered in the Vaccine Equity Quartile.

To achieve this goal, the State is targeting 40 percent of vaccine doses for the hardest-hit communities in the Vaccine Equity Quartile, which includes three zip codes in Oakland: 94601, 94603 and 94621. While only three of our priority zip codes fall into the statewide Vaccine Equity Quartile, our local efforts will continue to focus on the larger number of zip codes identified in West Oakland, East Oakland, Fruitvale, Ashland/Cherryland, and South Hayward.

“Alameda County supports every effort to ensure our communities that have been disproportionally impacted by COVID-19, where we observe higher case and mortality rates, are first in line for vaccine,” said Dr. Kathleen Clanon, Alameda County Health Care Services Agency Medical Director and Clinical Lead for Vaccination Planning. “The State’s strategy aligns with local work to open community vaccination Points of Dispensing (PODs) that serve people who live or work in parts of the County that historically have had poor health outcomes due to non-health related factors, like poverty.”