‘Moving in the right direction’: Alameda County expects looser restrictions

infographic about red tier counties by Flora Huynh
Flora Huynh/Staff

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Alameda County is currently in California’s purple tier the state’s most restrictive tier — for COVID-19 spread, but if current trends continue, it is expected to enter the red tier early next week.

The purple tier indicates that COVID-19 is “widespread” in the county and many nonessential indoor businesses are closed, according to the state COVID-19 website. The red tier, which is a step lower than purple, indicates that COVID-19 is “substantial,” and with modifications, some nonessential indoor businesses may reopen.

According to Alameda County Public Health Department spokesperson Neetu Balram, Alameda County is “moving in the right direction.” When the county does transition into the red tier, Balram expects it to fall in line with California in terms of which activities are permitted or restricted.

Alameda County should be able to reopen indoor dining in restaurants at a maximum of 25% capacity, or 100 people, whichever is fewer, according to the California Department of Public Health. Higher education institutions can resume indoor lectures at less than or equal to 25% capacity, or 100 people, and schools can also fully reopen after 14 days in the red tier.

Balram noted that while small outdoor activities are safer, they still pose risks. Regardless, she urged Alameda County residents to get tested if they are exposed to someone who recently tested positive or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

“The pandemic isn’t over and we need residents, workers and businesses to continue following COVID-19 safety measures we know work,” Balram said in an email. “Wear a mask, wash your hands, and keep at least six feet of distance from anyone you don’t live with.”

Lauren Good is a higher education reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @lgooddailycal.