More than half of California counties may move to more restrictive tiers, health secretary says

The changes to the state's reopening map come as coronavirus cases climb in CA

ByAlix Martichoux, Liz Kreutz KGO logo
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
More than half of CA counties in trouble, health sec says
Changes are coming to California's tier system, as more counties are expected to change colors on the state's reopening map. This comes as Gov. Gavin Newsom warned COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising in CA.

As coronavirus cases start to climb in California, 11 California counties are being told to pull back on their reopening plans.

Eleven counties are changing tiers, all of them moving in the more restrictive direction.

"We anticipate if things stay the way they are, that between this week and next week over half of California counties will have moved into a more restrictive tier," said Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. "That certainly is an indication that we're concerned."

In Northern California, Modoc, Siskiyou and Trinity counties all moved from "yellow" to a more restrictive "orange" tier. In the Bay Area and Sacramento region, Amador, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Placer and Santa Cruz counties all moved from "orange" to "red." Things are even worse in Sacramento and Stanislaus counties, which have moved into the most restrictive "purple" tier. In Southern California, the only change was in San Diego County, which is also being moved from "red" to "purple."

See how that affects each county's ability to reopen businesses here.

MAP: CA counties that can, can't reopen under new rules

App users: For a better experience, click here to view the full map in a new window

The changes come as California has seen a rise in coronavirus cases and its testing positivity rate. These early signs are particularly concerning, explained Dr. Ghaly, because they are a precursor to a rise in hospitalizations.

"We expect to see some of those cases, approximately 12% of the cases, end up being hospitalized 14 days later," said Ghaly. "So today's cases become hospitalizations two to three weeks out."

On top of that, cases are climbing just before the holiday season, when many are expected to gather with friends and family -- against public health guidance.

"The virus is not over just because we're tired of it," Ghaly warned.