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Yellow Tier is Here, California Reopening on the Horizon

Santa Clara County is now in the least-restrictive Yellow Tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

“Case rates have declined to some of their lowest levels at any point in the pandemic, and test positivity rates have hit an all-time low,” said the County. “The county’s vaccination rates are also among the very highest in the nation, as more than 75% of county residents 16 and older have received at least one dose of vaccine.”

Governor Gavin Newsom said he will keep existing mask guidance in place across the State until his planned reopening on June 15. After that, the State plans to allow fully vaccinated Californians to go without a mask in most indoor settings.

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The Association of Bay Area Health Officials, representing 12 Bay Area Health Officers and their Local Health Jurisdictions, stated that they strongly support the California Department of Public Health’s strategy to continue with current masking guidance until June 15, when the State will align with the CDC’s updated masking guidance.

“The CDC’s updated masking guidance is grounded in evidence showing that vaccines are extremely effective in protecting vaccinated people from infection, severe illness, and death, and preventing them from spreading COVID-19 to others,” said the Association in a press release. They went on to encourage residents to get vaccinated if they haven’t already.

The Pfizer vaccine was recently approved for 12-15 year olds and the County has made the Pfizer vaccine available at all of its vaccination sites.

The County also relaxed many of its remaining local rules and put a new local order in place.

In this order, telework is no longer required by the County but is still encouraged by the State in the Yellow Tier. The new order will require continued reporting of COVID-19 cases in workplaces and schools and will require employers to determine which staff are fully vaccinated in advance of changes to State masking and social distancing requirements for fully vaccinated people in the workplace. Employers have 14 days to determine the vaccination status of employees and identify safety protocols for the unvaccinated.

In the Yellow Tier, restaurants can open indoors at 50% capacity or capacity may increase to 75% if all guests show proof of negative test or full vaccination.

Amusement parks can go from 25% to 35% max capacity but are still limited to in-state visitors. Larger theme parks are held at 25% and reservations and advance tickets are required. Fairs can be open at 35% for in-state visitors only.

Waterparks can open outdoors with a maximum of 40% capacity and indoor attractions at 25% — can be 37.5% if visitors can show proof of negative test or full vaccination. Walk-up ticket sales are allowed, and visitors must give their name and phone number for contact tracing.

Aquariums, museums, and zoos can reopen indoors fully with modifications. Family entertainment centers, bowling alleys, indoor playgrounds, and movie theaters can increase capacity from 25% to 50% — or 75% with proof of negative test or full vaccination.

Gyms, fitness centers, and dance and yoga studios can increase from 25% to 50% and can open saunas, spas, and steam rooms.

Places of worship are held at 50% capacity.

Cardrooms can increase from 25% to 50% — or 75% with proof of negative test or full vaccination.

Gatherings are now allowed outdoors with a maximum capacity of 100 people. Indoors is still strongly discouraged but has a capacity of 50% or 50 people, whichever is fewer.

There is also guidance for concert venues, conferences, live theatre, and professional sports.

To check what’s open and rules, visit https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/#county-status

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