On August 28th, Governor Newsom announced new reopening plans for California in hopes of preventing another COVID-19 surge. The plan incorporates information learned over the past six months in addition to new scientific discoveries to create a system for reducing the transmission of COVID-19. It involves a four-tiered color system that ranks counties based on the number of virus cases and infection rates. Purple means that COVID-19 is widespread in the county, Red means substantial infections, Orange means moderate infections, and Yellow means minimal infections. The color provided will indicate how sectors can operate. Governor Newsom said the new system is “simple, stringent, and slow.” Business owners can check the status of their county or industry on the State’s new website: https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/

In conjunction with the announcement, the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) issued a new statewide order explaining the basis for the four-tiered system. The order explains that counties may reopen specified sectors according to their tier. However, a county that moves to a tier permitting further reopening “must pause for 21 days,” or a different period identified by the CDPH before reopening additional industries. Conversely, counties must also close sectors based upon their tier. Counties will also be permitted to implement or maintain more restrictive measures if the Local Health Officer determines it is warranted.

Jackson Lewis will continue to monitor developments about state and local guidance for businesses pertaining to COVID-19. If you have questions about complying with state and local health orders pertaining to your business, contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.