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Governor Newsom Announces New Blueprint for Reopening

Fri Aug. 28th, 2020 News and Media

Today, Governor Newsom released the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” which replaces the County Data Monitoring List for determining what business can and cannot open. The Blueprint for a Safer Economy includes a color-coded chart demonstrating various tiers of COVID-19 risk by county. Every county in California is assigned to a tier based on its rate of new cases and positivity. At a minimum, counties must remain in a tier for at least 3 weeks before moving forward. Data will be reviewed weekly and tiers will be updated on Tuesdays. To move forward, a county must meet the next tier’s criteria for 2 consecutive weeks. If a county’s metrics worsen for 2 consecutive weeks, it will be assigned a more restrictive tier.


As of August 31, 2020, counties in the Widespread (purple) tier may open some businesses and activities with modifications, including all retail, shopping centers at maximum 25% capacity, and hair salons and barbershops indoors. Counties in the Widespread (purple) tier include Los Angeles County and Orange County, meaning that many non-essential indoor businesses are still closed. Examples of activities allowed and not allowed in these counties are:

  • Restaurants are allowed to open with outdoor dining;
  • Offices for non-essential businesses must continue to have personnel work remotely;
  • Bars (with no food) must remain closed;
  • Gyms and fitness centers can open outdoors;
  • Retail shops can open at 25% capacity.

Even when allowed to reopen, businesses must still make sure to follow applicable industry guidance. As you reopen your businesses, continue to be mindful of employee claims for paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, issues relating to mask orders, and potential litigation claims relating to COVID-19.

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