CALIFORNIA COVID PLAN B « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Source: California All; Blueprint for a Safer Economy
Updated September 4, 2020

“Blueprint for a Safer Economy” For a Tiered Return to the Workplace

A month into California’s first attempt at loosening commercial restrictions (the “Pandemic Resilience  Roadmap”), a July 13, 2020 public health order required all counties to again close indoor operations for dine-in restaurants, movie theaters, and like establishments.  See, One Big Scrappy Family, California’s Coronavirus Response Statewide and Local (August 7, 2020).

Based on greater experience, Sacramento is now embarked on its second major round of statewide business pandemic recovery guidelines, California’s Plan for Reducing COVID-19 and Adjusting Permitted Sector Activities to Keep Californians Healthy and Safe, or the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” for short.

The Blueprint, effective August 31, refines the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) four pandemic stages (ranging from maximum shutdown to full cancelation of the state’s “stay-at-home” order)  to four tiers of risk transmission, with a county-by-county assessment conducted weekly:

  • Tier 1; Widespread risk (purple);
  • Tier 2; Substantial (red);
  • Tier 3; Moderate (orange); and
  • Tier 4; Minimal (yellow).

Tier 4 is not colored green because some restrictions remain at that level.

An accompanying chart outlines the degree of restriction for each business type at each tier.  For instance, companies that fall within the so-called “critical infrastructure” (medical, grocery, transport, etc.) remain open with modifications no matter what “tier” a county is in.  Places of worship, movie theaters, and restaurants must comply with identical indoor and capacity restrictions, lessening to maximum 50% capacity in Tier 4. Professional sports must proceed without live audiences no matter the tier.

Assessment is week-to-week, measured by a county’s case rate, percentage of positive tests and many other metrics (statistics).  The CDPH is posting each county’s current status at the beginning of each week.  Reflecting a greater caution than California’s June reopening initiative, a county will remain in a tier for at least three weeks before it may advance to the next and may only move one tier at a time.

City and other local health jurisdictions may continue to maintain more restrictive health measures in their discretion.

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Tim Bowles

September 4, 2020