The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced today that Riverside County will move back to the state’s Purple Tier. Purple is the most restrictive tier and requires several types of businesses and places of worship to move outside. These places will have 72 hours to change operations to outside only.
The return to the Purple Tier will adversely impact small businesses like restaurants and gyms which were able to provide indoor services in the Red Tier after having business operations restricted for several months throughout the course of the pandemic.
The return to Purple Tier requires bars and breweries where no meal is provided, amusement parks, and live audience sports to close. Nail and hair salons, outdoor playgrounds and recreational facilities, personal care services, and hotels and lodging may remain open with modifications.
Retail and shopping malls may remain open but must limit capacity to 25 percent. Restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, zoos and museums, places of worship, and gyms and fitness centers must change operations to outside only.
Schools that have already opened for in-person instruction may continue to do so. Schools and school districts that have not already opened for in-person instruction will need to obtain a waiver, approved by the Riverside County Public Health Officer and CDPH. For a complete list of all schools that have applied for, or received approval for, a waiver, visit www.rivcoph.org/schoolwaiver.
The state’s decision to move Riverside County back to the Purple Tier ends the week-long adjudication process that Riverside County requested with the state last week. Riverside County will need to remain in the Purple Tier for at least three weeks and meet the Red Tier metrics for two of those weeks before returning to the Red Tier.
Riverside County’s metrics include a 5.2 positivity rate and 9.1 case rate. While the positivity rate is within the Red Tier range, the case rate – cases per 100,000 people – is within the Purple Tier. Riverside County’s case rate is also worsened by the state’s upwards adjustment for not reaching the statewide median of PCR swab tests.
More Riverside County residents are getting tested for the virus at approximately 195 people a day per 100,00 residents, up from 139 in early September. The statewide testing median is 239 people a day per 100,000 residents.
Other actions the County of Riverside is taking to address the rising number of cases in the community include a coordinated mobile testing strategy to bring pop up testing sites closer to the community to improve access within specific workplaces and areas. In addition, the county is increasing outreach efforts and partnerships with community-based and faith-based organizations that serve hard-to-reach communities.
Health officials encourage all residents to take a PCR swab test to contain the disease and help reach the Red Tier metrics. Anyone, with or without symptoms or health insurance, can take a free PCR swab test from a county or state-run site. To make an appointment, visit gettested.ruhealth.org or call 800-945-6171. Other testing options can be found online at https://covid19.ca.gov/get-tested.
For more information on which businesses are affected, visit www.covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy. For more information on safe business reopening guidance and other business resources, visit www.rivcobizhelp.org.
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