The State of California today moved a number of counties into more restrictive tiers in response to the fastest increase in cases and hospitalizations seen since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Humboldt County has been reassigned to the “red” or substantial tier.
The state will require various business sectors to reduce capacity or modify operations, while still following COVID-19 safety measures, including facial covering requirements, physical distancing and sanitation procedures. These requirements are expected to take effect within the next 24 hours.
This move by the state reflects where the county’s data is today, with a case rate of 4.8 and a positivity rate of 2.0%. Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich said at the current pace, there is concern that the county will move into the more restrictive purple tier soon. “Since the state first implemented the Blueprint framework, they’ve signaled that they could move faster if conditions warranted. Our recent data shows why that makes sense because this virus is moving faster than we have ever seen, and rapid response can help to slow the upward trajectory.”
“We need to reduce interactions between people who don’t already live together, and we need to do it now. Travel to visit family and friends as well as bringing out-of-town guests into our homes is driving about half of our cases,” Dr. Frankovich said, adding that gatherings occurring indoors between multiple households is contributing “enormously” to case counts.
Some of the state’s requirements under the red tier include:
- Bars, Breweries and Distilleries – Closed.
- Wineries – Open outdoors only.
- Family Entertainment Centers – Open outdoors only.
- Retail – Open indoors at maximum 50% capacity.
- Shopping Centers, Malls, Swap Meets - Open indoors at maximum 50% capacity; Close common areas; Reduce food court capacity to 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
- Museums, Zoos and Aquariums – Open indoors at maximum 25% capacity.
- Places of Worship – Open indoors at maximum 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
- Movie Theaters - Open indoors at maximum 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
- Hotels and Lodging – Close indoor pools, hot tubs and spa facilities; Fitness centers reduced to maximum 10% capacity.
- Gyms and Fitness Centers - Open indoors at maximum 10% capacity; Close indoor pools, saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs.
- Restaurants - Open indoors at maximum 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
“We simply need to stop traveling and stop gathering, especially indoors. It isn’t safe, and it is impacting our schools and our business communities,” Dr. Frankovich said. “The upcoming holidays need to be single household celebrations if we want to get through this pandemic with fewer hospitalizations and fewer lives lost.”
To view COVID-19 safety modifications by industry sector, visit covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance. For a complete list of requirements in the red or substantial tier, go to cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/COVID-19/Dimmer-Framework-September_2020.pdf.
For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or during business hours by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 707-441-5000.
Humboldt County COVID-19 Data Dashboard: humboldtgov.org/dashboard,
Follow us on Facebook: @HumCoCOVID19,
Twitter: @HumCoCOVID19, and
Humboldt Health Alert: humboldtgov.org/HumboldtHealthAlert