With 74 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of last Friday, Inyo County is now classified as “widespread” on California’s new criteria for opening or closing businesses. To put it bluntly, the widespread status is the worst place to be on the coronavirus scale.
The new color-coded, tiered, system replaces the original “stage” system that was complicated by the wide fluctuations in and out of those stages and the implications of that fluctuation.
[Editor Note: Purple (Widespread), Red (Substantial), Orange (Moderate) and Yellow (Minimal) – based on how prevalent COVID-19 is in each county and the extent of community spread. Inyo County is in the Purple category.]
According to the State COVID-19 website, “counties must remain in a tier for at least three weeks before moving forward. To move forward, a county must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks. Data is reviewed weekly and tiers are updated on Tuesdays.”
Here are the metrics and how deep into those metrics Inyo is now: More than seven new cases daily per 100,000 population and no higher than 8-percent positive tests. Inyo averaged 27.1 new cases with a 13.2-percent positive tests. There are currently 174 confirmed cases in Inyo County.
New restrictions and requirements go into effect today, August 31. The state website (covid.19.ca/gov/safer-econo) provides an overview. For specific businesses, the website to go to is covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/.
Just as with the previous method of evaluating a county’s opening status, individual county restrictions take precedent over state restrictions
So, here’s the basics provided by the State website:
- Many non-essential business will be closed. Again, check the industry-guidance website to see specifically what businesses are impacted.
- Some businesses and activities are approved with modifications. For instance retail, hair salons and barbershops can open with a maximum of 25-percent capacity.
- Schools cannot open for on-site education unless they get a waiver from the California Public Health Department. Schools can open when Inyo enters the substantial tier (four to seven new cases a day and a five- to eight-percent positive rate) and stays at that level for two weeks.