Newsom rewrites reopening plan with color-coded system

Gov. Gavin Newsom has embraced a strategy once pioneered by the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new, color-coded process Friday for reopening California businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic that is more gradual than the state’s current rules to guard against loosening restrictions too soon.

Counties will move through the new, four-tier system based on their number of cases and percentage of positive tests. It will rely on those two metrics to determine a tier: case rates and the percentage of positive tests.


Newsom said the new system will be simple, slower and steady. It also invests more power with the state instead of the counties.

The changes come nearly two months after Newsom shut down bars, restaurants for indoor dining and a slew of other businesses following a surge in cases after the state’s first reopening attempt.

After being forced to close businesses for a second time, the state is “making sure that we really hold strongly to these buffers in terms of criteria and data, and holding that criteria and data in line for an extended period of time,” Newsom said.

“We’re going to be more stubborn this time and have a mandatory wait time between moves. We didn’t do that last time,” he added.

All San Joaquin Valley counties, among 38 California counties, sit in the highest tier – designated as a purple county – meaning it faces the greatest restrictions.

Despite the designation, hair salons and barbershops are able to reopen in the region. Nail salons, however, cannot.

Here’s more from the Associated Press.

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