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Why 2 SF Bay Space counties are shifting to crimson tier forward of schedule

The entire San Francisco Bay Area will be on the red row of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan starting Sunday.

The California Department of Health announced Friday that with 2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses successfully rolled out in the most vulnerable areas, the state has reached a new benchmark for slowing the spread of the virus, deviating 13 counties from the most restrictive level to the milder level on March 14th so new shops and activities can reopen, including indoor dining. These counties include Contra Costa Counties and Sonoma in the Bay Area and outside of the Amador, Colusa, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Mono, Orange, Placer, San Benito, San Bernardino, Siskiyou, and Tuolumne counties. The seven other counties in the Bay Area have already made the red line.

This news may surprise some as the state usually updates animal assignments on Tuesdays.

The state plans to carry out a second stage update on Tuesday next week. Based on data projections, 13 more boroughs can change from purple to red, including Kings, Lake, Monterey, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara and Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Ventura, and Yuba.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced on March 4 that the state would provide 40% of the state’s vaccine supply to the hardest-hit communities and set up an equity metric to increase vaccinations in those communities. The state announced Friday that the metric had been met, so it updated the county grade levels ahead of the typical Tuesday announcement.

“California is doubling its mission to make justice a top priority as we continue to get COVID-19 cans into the arms of all Californians as safely and quickly as possible,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, said in a statement. “It is right to focus on the people hardest hit by this pandemic and make sure we have the greatest impact on reducing transmission, protecting our health systems and saving lives.”

It has been more than a month since Governor Gavin Newsom lifted the regional stay-at-home ordinance on Jan. 25 and counties fell behind within the color-coded reopening frame.

The state system sorts counties into four levels – “purple” (widespread), “red” (significant), “orange” (moderate) or “yellow” (minimal) – which measure and determine the spread of COVID-19, what types of COVID-19 companies and activities may be opened.

Here is an overview of what the state allows to reopen in the red level:

– Indoor restaurants (max. 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is lower)
-All indoor retail stores (max. 50% capacity)
– Shopping centers, exchange meets indoors (max. 50% capacity, closed common rooms, food courts with reduced capacity)
-Personal Care Services – hairdressing and nail salons, barber shops (open with modifications)
-Museums, zoos and aquariums (max 25% capacity)
– Worship places (max 25% capacity)
– Indoor movie theater (max. 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is lower)
-Gyms and fitness center indoors (max. 10% capacity)
-Family entertainment centers (kart racing, mini golf, batting cages) outdoors only with modifications

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