COVID-19 · Highlight · Local

Fresno, Kings and Madera Counties head into less-restrictive red tier

Fresno, Kings and Madera Counties have entered the red tier in California’s COVID-19 reopening blueprint. 

The three counties leave behind the most-restrictive purple tier and join nearly the rest of the state in a less-restrictive category. 

Merced and San Joaquin Counties are the only regions in the Central Valley to remain in the purple tier. 

Counties in the red tier are allowed to have restaurants reopen for indoor-dining at 25 percent capacity, gyms can reopen at 10 percent capacity, movie theaters can reopen at 25 percent capacity and all retail can now expand to 50 percent capacity. 

On April 1, all outdoor live events – including sports and live performances – can max out attendance at 20 percent, and amusement parks can reopen at 15 percent capacity. 

Fresno County posted an 8.2 new daily case rate per 100,000 people, as well as a 3.8 percent COVID-19 positivity rate. Both metrics place the county solidly in the red tier. 

The Fresno County Department of Public Health encouraged everyone to continue to wear masks, stay outdoors, continue social distancing and to get vaccinated. 

“Continue to keep yourself, your family, your friends and your neighbors safe,” said David Luchini, FCDPH Assistant Director. “By continuing to work together, we will advance further into lower tiers of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and open up more businesses and recreational activities.” 

To advance into the orange tier, counties will need to post a case rate under 4 and a positivity rate under 5 percent. 

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at