Yolo Moves to Orange Tier for the First Time

Woodland, CA – For the first time since the start of the pandemic, Yolo County is moving today into the orange tier, or Moderate tier according to the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy after meeting the orange tier’s metrics for two consecutive weeks.

The move comes as more than one-third of residents of Davis have been vaccinated giving hope that despite warnings of the start of a new surge, Yolo County can avoid a fourth wave.

The move will allow for many local businesses and activities to either expand capacity or resume operations (assuming they survived the year of shutdown).

The max occupancy percentage is based on the California Building and Fire Code that is displayed in every business and determines the maximum number of people, including staff and the public, permitted in a room at a time and able to escape safely in case of a fire.

After April 1, restrictions for outdoor live events with assigned seats will allow for a 33% max occupancy and suites can open at 25% max occupancy. There must be a weekly worker testing program and only in-state visitors are allowed. No concourse sales are allowed only in-seat concessions. If all guests are tested or show proof of their vaccination then the event may have 67% max occupancy. In addition after April 1, amusement parks will be allowed to open indoors with 25% max capacity with time restrictions. There must be a weekly worker testing program and only in-state visitors allowed.

“Moving to the orange tier for the first time represents tremendous progress in controlling the virus that causes COVID-19. We run the risk of undoing our hard-earned progress if we let down our guard now,” said Yolo County Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson. “As more business expand their indoor capacity, it is important that we continue to wear masks, remain 6 feet apart, and not gather with non-household members in order to keep our COVID-19 case rates low.”

Yolo County moved to the substantial, or red tier, on February 24. The State’s Blueprint tracks three metrics: the seven-day adjusted case rate, the seven-day testing positivity rate and the health equity metric. For the week ending March 23, Yolo County’s rate for adjusted cases was 2.7, for testing positivity was 0.5% and for health equity was 3.0%.

Yolo County must be in the orange tier for at least three weeks and meet the Minimal, or yellow, tier’s metrics for two consecutive weeks, before officially moving into the yellow tier. To move into the yellow tier, counties must meet an adjusted case rate of less than 1.0 (which will increase to 2.0 after 4 million people in Quartile 1 of the HPI are vaccinated), a testing positivity rate of less than 2% and a health equity rate of 2.2%. Counties can also move backward into more restrictive tiers if their metrics worsen for two consecutive weeks. Additionally, if a county’s case rate and positivity rate fall into two different tiers, the county remains in the stricter tier.

“Yolo County residents have a good record of compliance with COVID-19 restrictions. We are now able to move into the Orange Tier where many additional activities are permitted with far fewer restrictions,” said Chair of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors Jim Provenza. “If we continue to wear masks, avoid large gatherings, obtain vaccinations when eligible, and maintain a healthy distance from non-household members, we will be on the road to normal. Thank you, Yolo County residents for your many sacrifices for the health of our community!”

Everyone has a role to play in keeping our communities safe and healthy, including wearing a face covering, physical distancing, not gathering with others outside their household, and getting vaccinated when eligible. Even if vaccinated, residents should continue to follow public health guidance. Older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions should continue to stay at home as much as possible. Lower spread of COVID-19 means that more businesses and industries can reopen and revitalize our local economy.

Among the new allowances:

  • Amusement parks: smaller parks can open outdoors with 25% max occupancy or 500 people, whichever is fewer; there must be reservations or advanced ticket sales and only local attendees are allowed (from the same county as the park’s location)
  • Bars (where no meal is served): open outdoors with modifications
  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering: open indoors with 25% max occupancy
  • Family entertainment centers: open indoors for naturally distanced activities like bowling alleys and escape rooms; kart racing, mini golf and batting cages are outdoors only with modifications
  • Fitness centers and gyms: open indoors with 25% max occupancy; indoor pools open at 25% occupancy
  • Hotels and lodging: fitness centers can now open indoors with 25% max occupancy; indoor pools open at 25% occupancy
  • Movie theaters: open indoors with 50% max occupancy or 200 people, whichever is fewer
  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums: open indoors with 50% max occupancy
  • Offices: open indoors with modifications though telework is still encouraged
  • Outdoor live events: open at 20% capacity; reservations required with assigned seating only; regional attendees only (120 mile radius of venue).
  • Places of worship: open indoors with 50% max occupancy
  • Retail (including standalone grocers): open indoors at full capacity with modifications
  • Restaurants open indoors with 50% max occupancy or 200 people, whichever is fewer; only members of same household may share a table
  • Shopping centers (including swap meets and indoor malls): open indoors at full capacity with modifications; common areas must remain closed and food courts are at reduced capacity
  • Wineries, breweries and distilleries: open indoors with 25% max occupancy or 100 people, whichever is fewer; only members of same household may share a table
  • Youth sports: competitions between two teams are allowed in certain sports according to the State’s Youth Sports Guidance


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