County health officials were taken by surprise two weeks ago, when the state moved Humboldt County into a less restrictive COVID tier. For those two weeks, we were the only county in California to be both in a sub-purple tier and not affected by a regional stay-at-home order. We were the only county in California allowing indoor restaurant dining.
Locals at the time warned that we weren’t likely to stay in the red zone long, given our rising case rates, and this afternoon that came to be: The state’s Public Health Department has reassigned us to the most restrictive — purple — tier. The old restrictions that were in place a couple of weeks ago will be reinstituted at 11:59 p.m. tomorrow.
Press release from the Humboldt County Joint Information Center:
The California Department of Public Health today announced that Humboldt County will be reassigned to the “Purple” or widespread tier, tightening COVID-19 safety measures as the local case and positivity rates continue to rise.
Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Ian Hoffman said the adjusted case rate of 25.2 and positivity rate of 6.5% are well above meeting the criteria for the purple tier. “This move by the state reflects what we had been seeing over the past month with the virus worsening locally,” he said.
These measures are intended to decrease movement in the community in an effort to limit contacts between people who would not normally see each other. Under the purple tier, some industry sectors will have to modify or discontinue business operations. In addition to sector changes, gatherings will be allowed outdoors only and should be limited to three households while also maintaining distance and wearing facial coverings at all times.
Changes under the purple tier include:
- Bars, Breweries and Distilleries – Closed.
- Wineries – Open outdoors only.
- Family Entertainment Centers – Open outdoors only.
- Retail – Open indoors at maximum 25% capacity.
- Shopping Centers, Malls, Swap Meets - Open indoors at maximum 25% capacity; Close common areas; Close food courts.
- Museums, Zoos and Aquariums – Open outdoors only.
- Places of Worship – Open outdoors only.
- Movie Theaters – Open outdoors only.
- Hotels and Lodging – Close indoor pools, hot tubs, spa facilities and fitness centers.
- Gyms and Fitness Centers – Open outdoors only.
- Restaurants – Open outdoors only.
Dr. Hoffman said of the move to purple tier, “This pandemic has hit us all hard, especially families with school-age children, our seniors and the business community. Moving back to the purple tier, while expected, will surely have impacts on everyone. I’d encourage everyone to reach out to their loved ones to safely offer support and to remember local businesses the next time you’re shopping. We can get through this pandemic by supporting each other.”
Changes under the purple tier take effect Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. For a full list of changes, go to https://tinyurl.com/statetierchanges.
For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or during business hours by contacting email@example.com or calling 707-441-5000.