Butte County moves out of state's most restrictive COVID-19 tier

Butte County has moved out of the state's most restricting COVID-19 tier and is now in the red or "substantial" category, according to the state's website.

Posted: Sep 29, 2020 11:49 AM
Updated: Sep 29, 2020 3:21 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - Butte County has moved out of the state's most restricting COVID-19 tier and is now in the red or "substantial" category, according to the state's website.

Butte County Public Health said this change is effective immediately for some business sectors. Moving into red/tier 2 does not allow for the immediate reopening of schools. However, if Butte County remains in tier 2 for two weeks, schools may choose to open for in-person instruction, the first possible date to reopen would be Oct. 13.

In the red category, several types of businesses will be able to operate indoors with modifications from the state. Places like retail, shopping centers, personal care services, museums, zoos, places of worship, movie theaters, fitness centers, and more will be allowed to reopen with different levels of capacity. To view activities allowed in the red tier, view the PDF below.

California's new reopening color-coded system uses coronavirus case rates and the percentage of positive tests to determine a county's tier. The data required for Tier 2, also known as the red tier, includes a case rate of less than 4 to 7 cases per 100,000 residents with a test positivity rate of five to eight percent or less. 

Butte County currently has a COVID-19 case rate of 5 cases per 100,000 residents with a 2.6% test positivity rate.

Under the new guidelines, counties must remain in a tier for at least three weeks. Counties then have to meet the next tier's requirements for two consecutive weeks before they can move into the next tier.

If, however, a county's data worsens for two weeks, that county will be moved into a more restrictive tier, according to the California Department of Public Health.

“While this is an exciting move for Butte County, by reopening more business and allowing for increased indoor operations, we also open ourselves to more COVID-19 exposure,” stated Dr. Robert Bernstein, Butte County Health Officer. “This is not the time to let your guard down. The only defense we have against COVID-19 is by utilizing non-pharmaceutical interventions – cover your mouth and nose when in public places, wash your hands, maintain six feet of distance from others, stay home if you are sick and please do not attend gatherings of any size as defined by the State.”

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