The State of California Reduces Mendocino County COVID-19 Tier from Purple to Red

Mendocino County has been moved from the “Purple Tier” to the “Red Tier” as designated by the State of California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The “Red Tier” is reached when there are 4-7 daily new cases per 100,000 residents and 5-8% positive tests and characterizes the presence of COVID-19 in an area as “significant.”

According to 5th District Mendocino County Supervisor Ted Williams, the County’s current COVID-19 data indicates there is currently “6.9 new cases per 100,000 and a positivity rate of 2.9%.”

The  state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy provides the following guidelines for business sectors in a “Red Tier” county:

  • Hair salons: open indoors with modifications
  • Retail: open indoors at 50% capacity
  • Malls: open indoors at 50% capacity and limited food courts
  • Nail salons: open indoors with modificationsElectrolysis: open indoors with modifications
  • Personal care services (body waxing, etc.): open indoor with modifications
  • Tattooing and piercing: open indoors with modifications
  • Museums, zoos and aquariums: open indoors at 25% capacity
  • Places of worship: open indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer
  • Movie theaters: open indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer
  • Hotels: open with modifications, plus fitness centers can open at 10% capacity
  • Gyms: open indoors at 10% capacity
  • Restaurants: open indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer
  • Wineries: outdoor only]
  • Bars and breweries: closed
  • Family entertainment centers: outdoor only, like mini golf, batting cages and go-kart racing
  • Cardrooms: outdoor only
  • Non-essential offices: remote work only
  • Professional sports: no live audiences
  • Schools: can reopen for in-person instruction after two weeks out of the purple tier
  • Theme parks: must stay closed

In a letter to the community last week, Ukiah Unified School District Superintendent Debra Kubin provided the following information about how Mendocino County’s largest school district will approach reopening: 

Our goal is to transition to an in-person model as soon as the health conditions allow it. The California Department of Public Health and our local Public Health Officer guide our decisions. In August of 2020, Governor Newsom unveiled the Blueprint for a Safer Economy (, which assigns counties to four different tiers based on disease transmission and positive test rates. Mendocino county is in the most restrictive Widespread (purple) tier.

The state guidelines are now clear about what needs to happen in order to reopen to in-person learning and how counties can get there by moving through the different tiers. School districts within counties assigned to the purple tier cannot resume any in-person learning, except for small specialized groups, until they move into the Substantial (red) tier for two consecutive weeks. Purple tier counties move to the red tier when there are seven or fewer average new daily cases per 100,000 residents, and average positive test rates are 8% or less for two consecutive weeks. Schools may reopen for in-person instruction once their county has been in the red tier for at least two weeks.

For our Ukiah Unified schools, this means we are a minimum of 28 days away from any in-person model once our county-wide data supports a movement to the red tier: 7 or fewer positive COVID cases in the 7-day average. Mendocino county will need to have two weeks below the threshold numbers to move to the red tier, and then another two weeks of maintaining those numbers before we are allowed to start an in-person learning model.

Supervisor William said he hopes that with the transition to the “Red Tier”, Mendocino County residents will “maintain personal responsibility so that we don’t see a resulting surge.”

Categories: COVID-19

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