Contra Costa County moved out of the state's most restrictive coronavirus reopening tier Tuesday, allowing some businesses like gyms and restaurants to resume operating indoors with limited capacities.
Contra Costa was one of the last remaining counties in the greater Bay Area remaining in the in the Widespread tier, also frequently denoted as Tier 1 or the purple tier, due to an elevated rate of new cases.
"The credit really belongs to the residents of Contra Costa, who have adapted to the new normal and modified their lifestyles to reduce the spread of COVID in the county," said county Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano.
To move out of the Widespread tier, which replaced the state's coronavirus monitoring list, a county must for two consecutive weeks have fewer than seven new cases per day per 100,000 residents and a test positivity rate below 8%.
Counties that move a tier must then stay in that tier for at least three weeks before they can move to the next, less restrictive tier.
By moving to Tier 2, the Substantial or red tier, Contra Costa County will be allowed to resume indoor operations at retail stores, indoor malls, personal care services like skin care and nail services, museums, places of worship, movie theaters, gyms and restaurants with modified capacities.
In addition, K-12 schools will be allowed to resume indoor classes once the county has been in Tier 2 for at least 14 days.
County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey said schools and school districts will have leeway to resume in-person classes if they choose to do so when the county is eligible to do so on Oct. 13.
"Making progress on the COVID-19 metrics is a positive development," she said. "However, we also know that each community is being affected by this pandemic in different ways."
For more information about COVID-19 in Contra Costa County, visit cchealth.org/coronavirus.