Movie theaters, museums, places of worship, gyms and fitness centers can open indoor services with limited capacity as of Tuesday, Sept. 22, according to a county public health news release.
These businesses are able to open with modifications because the county moved from the purple tier, which is the most restrictive tier, to the red tier of California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy assigns every county to a tier. There are four tiers based on the county’s COVID-19 test positivity rates and case rates. Ranked from highest risk to lowest risk, the tiers are purple, red, orange and yellow.
“While we celebrate this small success, we must stay vigilant,” County Public Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said in the news release. “Our progress depends on each person in SLO County. We need everyone to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”
To stay in the red tier, the county has to maintain the red tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks. The criteria includes having only four to seven daily new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people and a five to eight percent test positivity rate.
Without social distancing and wearing masks, the county could potentially move back into the purple tier, county spokesperson Michelle Shoresman said.
“We are really teetering on that edge right now of being at or below the threshold to meet the red tier requirements,” Shoresman said. “It wouldn’t take much.”
To prevent the county from moving back to the purple tier, Shoresman asked Cal Poly students to stay home and avoid large gatherings with people outside of their households.
Stephanie Zappelli contributed reporting to this story.