Alameda County moves into yellow tier of reopening framework

Infographic about what the yellow tier means for COVID-19 restrictions
Connor Lin/Senior Staff

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As California approaches its June 15 reopening date, Alameda County moved to the yellow tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy effective Wednesday.

Most businesses in the county can resume indoor operations with some level of modifications, according to the state’s COVID-19 website. Restaurants may open up to 50% capacity indoors with no testing or vaccine verification, and schools may reopen fully for in-person instruction.

Businesses must comply with their industry-specific guidance through June 14, 2021, while California continues to follow the Blueprint for a Safer Economy framework,” the website reads.

Following its yellow-tier designation, the California Department of Public Health, or CDPH, adds that social gatherings with no defined guest lists and no testing or vaccination requirements will also be allowed given adherence to certain guidelines, according to its website.

Outdoor gatherings will be restricted to a maximum of 100 attendees, while indoor gatherings, though strongly discouraged, will be allowed at either 50 guests or up to 50% capacity, whichever is lower. Yellow-tier guidelines also prohibit the consumption of food or drink in indoor gatherings, except when following guidance standards, according to the CDPH website. 

“The increasing number of residents who are fully vaccinated is directly reducing case rates and helping Alameda County to move into the Yellow Tier ahead of the June 15 transition,” said Dr. Nicholas Moss, Alameda County health officer, in an Alameda County press release.

The county currently has a 0.7% testing positivity rate and an adjusted daily new case rate per 100,000 residents of 1.5, the press release adds. 

Only 53% of county residents, however, are fully vaccinated, Moss added in the press release.

“Our community and region’s use of these tools created a path for us through treacherous times and into this safer place,” said Berkeley Health Officer Dr. Lisa Hernandez in a Berkeley press release. “Help share the word that safe, free, and effective vaccinations are available to all. Use face coverings, distance and other tools when appropriate.

The county will host two community updates June 15 and June 21 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for residents and employers, respectively. The talks will aim to clarify new COVID-19 guidance and the Beyond the Blueprint framework, the Alameda County press release adds.

Until June 15, the county will continue to follow the masking guidelines outlined by CDPH, according to the Berkeley press release. Under these guidelines, all people are required to wear masks outside of their homes regardless of vaccination status, the CDPH website adds.

“If you are unvaccinated continue to wear a mask outdoors any time physical distancing can’t be maintained,” the Alameda County press release reads. “Keep it simple: if you don’t know the vaccination status of those around you, wear a mask.”

Contact Aditya Katewa and Samantha Lim at [email protected].