Phase 3 California: Only 1 CA county is not allowed to reopen restaurants, salons and malls

ByAlix Martichoux KGO logo
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
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SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- UPDATE: July 15, 11:00 a.m.: Alameda County received permission to move into Phase 3 of reopening from the state, leaving only one county - Imperial County - behind. Since achieving variance, Alameda County is now allowing the Oakland Zoo to reopen for outdoor activities and for outdoor dining to resume. See the full story below.

Exactly what's open and what's not in California really depends on which county you find yourself in. While dine-in restaurant service has been up and running for more than a month in Butte and El Dorado counties, curbside retail pick-up just at the end of May in Santa Clara County.

Why the staggered response? It's because Gov. Gavin Newsom is allowing for local variance when it comes to how quickly (or slowly) counties want to reopen their economies.

RELATED: When will California enter Phase 4 of reopening? Don't hold your breath, experts warn

Some sectors are allowed to reopen (with modifications) everywhere in the state, as long as the county gives the green light. Those sectors include retail (for curbside pickup), manufacturing, logistics, childcare facilities, offices where people can't telework, car washes, pet groomers, landscapers and outdoor museums.

However, if a county wants to open gyms, bars, hair salons, barbershops, schools, dine-in restaurants, movie theaters shopping malls or professional sporting events, they have to go through an attestation process, in which they certify the spread of COVID-19 is under control locally.

WATCH LIST: Counties where COVID-19 is getting worse

As of Wednesday, all but one of California's 58 counties have completed that process. The only county not allowed to move into Stage 3 is Imperial County.

(Note: We've been updating this story as more counties achieve attestation.)

Alameda County is the most recent to receive attestation.

MORE: Santa Clara County hair salons, nail salons and gyms will soon be allowed to reopen under new health order

Los Angeles County, which has nearly half of all the state's confirmed COVID-19 cases, filed for attestation.

Imperial County, on California's southern border with Mexico, saw a spike in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations in late May, and is therefore being held back from further reopening.

RELATED: New rules released for churches, mosques and synagogues to resume in-person worship

In order to be approved for further reopening, counties have to prove to the state they meet the following criteria:

  • Stable or decreasing hospitalization rate OR no more than 20 people hospitalized in the county for the last 14 days
  • No more than 25 individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 per 100,000 residents over past 14 days
  • Test positivity rate of less than 8%
  • Essential workers must have access to PPE
  • A minimum capacity of 1.5 tests per 1,000 residents daily
  • At least 15 contact tracers per 100,000 residents
  • Ability to temporarily house 15% of the county's homeless population
  • Hospitals are equipped to handle a 35% surge at minimum
  • Nursing facilities have a two-week supply of PPE
  • Continue to monitor metrics to potentially re-enact restrictions

Regardless of where they open in the state, restaurants, shopping centers and schools will have to follow strict guidelines to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

PHASE 3: Gov. Newsom teases next stage of reopening California businesses is closer than we thought

Higher risk businesses, where the spread of COVID-19 is more likely, are not allowed to open anywhere in the state. That includes concert venues and live audience sports.

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