San Diego In Red Zone of California's New COVID-19 Classification System

Governor Gavin Newsom announced California's new system of determining how counties can operate during the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday. The "watch list" system has been replaced by a four-tier, color coded classification system.

The governor also confirmed that a $300 per week enhance unemployment bonus will begin for current recipients somewhere between September 6-10, and announced the launch of a new dynamic website for the state that is easier to navigate and provides dynamic updates based on your zip code.

The example above was done to show how the new system would work for museums, zoos, and aquariums.

Tier 1 = Widespread (purple):

  • Counties with more than 7 daily new cases per 100,000 residents or higher than 8% positivity rate
  • Most non-essential indoor business operations are closed

Tier 2 = Substantial (red):

  • 4 to 7 daily new cases per 100,000 residents or 5-8% positivity
  • Some non-essential indoor businesses closed

Tier 3 = Moderate (orange):

  • 1 to 3.9 daily new cases per 100,000 or 2-4.9% positivity
  • Some indoor business operations open with modifications

Tier 4 = Minimal (yellow):

  • Less than 1 daily new case per 100,000 or less than 2% positivity
  • Most indoor business operations open with modifications

NOTE: Schools in counties that are designated "purple" will not be allowed to open.

Governor Newsom said, "We're going to be more stubborn this time and have a mandatory wait time between moves," said Newsom. "We didn't do that last time and that is a significant distinction from what we learned in the past."

To advance from one category to the next, counties must:

  • Withstand a 21-day mandatory wait time between moves
  • Meet metrics for the next tier for two straight weeks - by keeping their case rate and test positivity rate low
  • Move to only one tier at a time
  • Be assessed weekly

The new system will wall counties to move on and off a category depending on their case rate and test positivity rate.

Website Launch: "California has a new blueprint for reducing COVID-19 in the state with revised criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities." Starting on Monday, August 31 you will be able to visit the state's new website and find the status of activities in your county by simply entering your zip code. The status will update dynamically - so it will always reflect the most current information.

Unemployment Boost: Governor Newsom confirmed that an additional $300 will be paid to Californians who are collecting unemployment starting somewhere between September 6 - 10, 2020.

Photo Credit: Bigstock and the State of California.