California’s New COVID-19 Plan

Courtesy of California COVID-19 Website

Courtesy of California COVID-19 Website

Sarah Gooneratne, Writer

On August 28, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new system for monitoring the state’s COVID-19 cases. This new plan, called “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” is a system consisting of four levels: widespread, which is represented by a purple color; substantial, which is represented by a red color; moderate, which is represented by an orange color; and minimal, which is represented by a yellow color. 

The four levels of the new tiered reopening plan that California is using. (Courtesy California COVID-19 Website)

Currently, according to California’s COVID-19 website, Orange County is in the widespread phase. This means that there are more than 7 daily new cases per 100,000 people, and more than 8% positive tests. In this phase, many non-essential indoor business operations are to stay closed until the county reduces their COVID-19 cases and positive tests.

This is a map of the counties in California showing where they stand in the new reopening plan. (Courtesy of California COVID-19 Website)

As of August 31, Orange County has 5.6 new COVID-19 daily cases per 100,000 people. The county’s positivity rate is 5.0%.

Orange County officials are hoping to move to the substantial phase, which will require the county to have 4-7 daily new cases per 100,000 people, and 5-8% positive tests. Moving to the substantial phase will allow the county to begin to reopen school campuses again. In order to reopen schools, Orange County must stay on the substantial tier for two consecutive weeks. 

If Orange County Schools are able to reopen, students will be able to choose to either remain in 100% distance learning or to transition to on-campus instruction. 

Orange County is hoping to move to the substantial phase by September 8. If this happens, Orange County will be able to hold on-campus instruction no earlier than September 23.

For now, the county is urging residents to wear masks in public, wash their hands regularly, keep at least six feet of physical distance in public spaces, and to limit physical contact with people that don’t live in the same household.

For more information about California’s COVID-19 reopening plan, visit California’s COVID-19 website.