• State Framework for Re-Opening

  • The State of California announced its Blueprint for a Safer Economya new COVID-19 risk and reopening framework that replaces the State’s previous County Monitoring List framework. Under this blueprint every county in California has been assigned to one of four tiers based on its rate of new cases and test positivity rate. Counties must show consistent success in stemming the transmission of the virus before allowing businesses greater flexibility to reopen and group activities to resume.
    Santa Clara County is in the “purple” or “widespread” tier (Tier 1), along with most counties across the state. This tier status will be effective on Monday, August 31. The first weekly assessment will be released on September 8. Data will be reviewed weekly and tiers will be updated on Tuesdays.
    Given the restrictions currently in place in Santa Clara, this new classification should not cause any additional orders for business closures at this time. However, health orders remain in place including restrictions on capacity allowed. Click her for details by sector.


  • What Do These Tiers Mean?

    • Purple (Tier 1) - Widespread Risk Level - Many nonessential indoor business operations must be closed; have more than 7 new daily cases per 100k; test positivity more than 8%
    • Red (Tier 2) - Substantial Risk Level - Some nonessential indoor business operations remain closed; 4 to 7 new daily cases per 100k; test positivity between 5-8%
    • Orange (Tier 3) - Moderate Risk Level - Some indoor business operations can open with modifications; 1 to 3.9 new daily cases per 100k; test positivity between 2-4.9%
    • Yellow (Tier 4) - Minimal Risk Level - Most indoor business operations can open with modifications; less than 1 new daily cases per 100k; test positivity less than 2%
    How to Move Between Tiers
    To move forward
    • A county must meet both the criteria for the next tier for two consecutive weeks and must also meet health equity measures.
    • At a minimum, counties must remain in a tier for at least 3 weeks before moving forward. 
    • A county can only move forward one tier at a time, even if metrics qualify for a more advanced tier.
    • The state will establish health equity measures on activities such as data collection, testing access, contact tracing, supportive isolation, and outreach that demonstrate a county's ability to address the most impacted communities within a county. Additional measures addressing health outcomes such as case rates, hospitalizations and deaths, will also be developed and tracked for improvement.
    • Exception: If a county (such as Santa Clara) is initially assigned to Tier 1 and has met the criteria for a less restrictive tier the prior week, it only needs to meet the criteria for one more week to move to the Tier 2. (For the September 8 assignment, a county does not need to remain in Tier 1 for three weeks. For all subsequent assessments, a county must remain in a tier for three weeks and meet the criteria to advance)
    Moving backwards
    • During the weekly assessment, if a county's adjusted case rate and/or test positivity has been within a more restrictive tier for two consecutive weekly periods, the county must revert to the more restrictive tier.
    • If a county's case rate and test positivity measure fall into two different tiers, the county will be assigned to the more restrictive tier.
    Implementation of Changes
    • Counties will have three days to implement any sector changes or closures unless extreme circumstances merit immediate action.
    Criteria For Determining Risk Levels
    • Ability to accommodate face covering wearing at all times (e.g. eating and drinking would require removal of face covering) 
    • Ability to physically distance between individuals from different households 
    • Ability to limit the number of people per square foot 
    • Ability to limit duration of exposure 
    • Ability to limit amount of mixing of people from differing households and communities 
    • Ability to limit amount of physical interactions of visitors/patrons 
    • Ability to optimize ventilation (e.g. indoor vs outdoor, air exchange and filtration) 
    • Ability to limit activities that are known to cause increased spread (e.g. singing, shouting, heavy breathing; loud environs will cause people to raise voice)
    To learn more about these tiers as well as the impact of this new framework on the reopening of in-person instruction at schools, see here