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Posted on: October 7, 2020

Oct. 7, 2020 - County Moves to Less Restrictive ‘Yellow’ Tier

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Many local businesses and organizations can now expand services and increase occupancy and capacity limits after the California Department of Public Health moved Humboldt County into the least restrictive “yellow” tier under the state’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy.”

Humboldt is the largest of the seven California counties to have achieved yellow tier status. 

Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich said this improvement is a result of county residents practicing COVID-19 safety measures and the work of Public Health and Emergency Operations Center response staff. “Living through and navigating this global pandemic has required herculean efforts from our entire community,” she said. “We could not have gotten here if not for this community’s commitment to the health and safety of our friends and neighbors.”

Tier assignments are based on a county’s COVID-19 case count and positivity rate. Local case and positivity rates are 2.0 and 1.5 respectively.

Humboldt was the only county to meet the state’s Health Equity Metric, which is intended to ensure that no population group is disproportionally impacted by COVID-19. Meeting this metric allowed the county to move into yellow even though its case rate remains in the orange tier. Dr. Frankovich called this “great news” for the community but warned that it is important for everyone to be aware that an increase in case rate for two weeks will move the county back into a more restrictive tier. “If we want to stay in yellow, we all have to adhere to the safety measures that have helped get us here,” she said.

Specific changes to operations under the yellow tier include the following:

  • Shopping Centers — Common areas may open. Maintain reduced capacity in food courts.
  • Museums, Zoos and Aquariums — No capacity limit.
  • Places of Worship — Increased to 50% maximum capacity.
  • Movie Theatres — Increased to 50% maximum capacity.
  • Hotels and Lodging — Spa facilities may open. Fitness centers increased to 50% capacity.
  • Gyms and Fitness Centers — Saunas, spas and steam rooms may open at 50% capacity.
  • Restaurants — Increased to 50% maximum capacity.
  • Wineries — Increased to 50% maximum capacity or 200 people indoors, whichever is fewer.
  • Bars, Breweries and Distilleries (where no meal is provided) — May operate indoors with modifications and 50% maximum capacity.
  • Family Entertainment Centers — Increased to 50% maximum capacity. May operate activities that are naturally distanced and enjoyed by a single household unit such as bowling, climbing walls and escape rooms. 
    • Ice and roller skating rinks, bounce houses and ball pits are not allowed currently as the state has not yet released guidance for Indoor Recreation.
  • Cardrooms, Satellite Wagering — Increased to 50% maximum capacity.

Bars, breweries and distilleries are urged to use caution when resuming indoor operations. Local data places the county right on the edge of the yellow tier. If the county moved back to orange, the state would require these businesses to move outdoors again.

“It’s taken all of us working together to achieve this success, but it wouldn’t take much to move us backward,” Dr. Frankovich said. “Let’s all remain committed to protecting our community’s health and economy by following commonsense safety measures like physical distancing, wearing facial coverings and avoiding gathering with those who live outside of your household unit.” 

For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit or Local information is available at or during business hours by contacting or calling 707-441-5000.

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OCT07 Yellow Tier (PDF)

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