In response to evidence that COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in Contra Costa, the California Department of Public Health has moved the County back into the more restrictive red tier.
Data from Contra Costa show that the average daily number of newly identified COVID-19 infections has risen steadily since the county entered the orange tier of the state's plan on October 27.
On Tuesday, the 7-day average, per-capita number of new cases (the "adjusted case rate") was 5.3 in Contra Costa, higher than permitted for counties in the orange tier for a second consecutive week. That triggered the county's shift back into the more restrictive red tier, effective Nov. 10. Other data show an alarming rise in local cases.
On Nov. 8, there were 46 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Contra Costa – the highest one-day total since September. In response, Contra Costa Health Services issued a local health order last week that restored red-tier safety restrictions for a number of businesses and activities, though the county remained in the orange tier at the time.
Those changes remain in place, including requirements for reduced occupancy during indoor worship services and for indoor dining and movie theaters, and the closure of bars that do not serve meals with alcohol. Cardrooms are required to operate outdoors only.
The state's action today adds these additional requirements, effective starting Friday, Nov. 13 in Contra Costa:
- Retail stores that operate indoors must scale back their maximum occupancy to 50% or 100 people, whichever is lower.
- Indoor shopping malls must reduce their occupancy and reduce the occupancy of food courts to 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
- Office workspaces must operate remotely.
- Higher education institutions must keep indoor lectures and student gatherings to 25% occupancy or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
- Gyms and fitness centers must scale back their indoor occupancies to 10%.
- Communal indoor pools must close.
- Indoor family entertainment centers, such as bowling alleys, must close their indoor operations. Amusement parks cannot operate.
Most live outdoor theatrical, musical or artistic performances are prohibited. The tier change does NOT affect the ability of schools to reopen for in-person instruction, following state and local health guidelines. Outdoor playgrounds may also remain open.
You can read the full press release here.