Coronavirus Stage 2 reopening: 22 counties in California given green light to reopen schools, restaurants and malls

SAN FRANCISCO -- The state of California released new guidelines Tuesday to lay the groundwork for reopening dine-in restaurants, shopping malls and office buildings as part of Phase 2 of reopening the economy. But not all counties are allowed to charge full speed ahead.

REOPENING CALIFORNIA: Gov. Newsom details rules for businesses opening in California

Some sectors are allowed to reopen (with modifications) everywhere in the state, as long as the county gives the green light. Those sectors include retail (for curbside pickup), manufacturing, logistics, childcare facilities, offices where people can't telework, car washes, pet groomers, landscapers and outdoor museums.

However, if a county wants to open schools, dine-in restaurants or shopping malls, they have to go through an attestation process, in which they certify the spread of COVID-19 is under control locally.

So far, 22 of California's 58 counties have been approved by the state to reopen those three areas: Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lassen, Mariposa, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Benito, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Tuolumne and Yuba counties.

In order to be approved for further reopening, counties must prove to the state they meet the following criteria:

  • No more than one new COVID-19 case per 10,000 residents in the past 14 days

  • No COVID-19 deaths in the past 14 days

  • Essential workers must have access to PPE

  • A minimum of 1.5 tests per 100,000 residents being conducted daily

  • At least 15 contact tracers per 100,000 residents

  • Ability to temporarily house 15% of the county's homeless population

  • Hospitals are equipped to handle a 35% surge at minimum

  • Nursing facilities have a two-week supply of PPE

  • Continue to monitor metrics to potentially re-enact restrictions

Regardless of where they open in the state, restaurants, shopping centers and schools will have to follow strict guidelines to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

Higher risk businesses, where the spread of COVID-19 is more likely, are not allowed to open anywhere in the state. That includes salons, barbershops, gyms and entertainment venues.

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