With San Diego County back in purple tier, some businesses reopen outdoors

Virus Outbreak California
Posted at 3:31 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 15:35:10-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — After California announced an end to its regional stay-at-home order, San Diego County returned to the purple tier of the state's color-coded reopening system.

Even in the state's most restrictive tier, several businesses have been allowed to reopen outdoor operations.

Outdoor operations allowed to resume in California's widespread tier include:

  • Restaurants: Outdoor only from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., takeout and delivery allowed 24 hours; Live entertainment allowed
  • Wineries: Outdoor only
  • Bars, breweries, distilleries that serve food: Operate as a restaurant
  • Hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, tattoo parlors: Open indoors with modifications
  • Grocery stores: Open with 50% capacity indoors
  • Retail: Open with 25% capacity indoors
  • Hotels: Open with modifications
  • Professional sports: Open without live audiences
  • Offices: Operating remotely
  • K-12 schools: Distance learning if not already open for in-person instruction
  • Amusement parks: Closed
  • Places of worship: Outdoor only
  • Gyms: Outdoor only
  • Family entertainment centers: Outdoor only
  • Youth and adult sports: Outdoor only, with low-contact sports allowed
  • Movie theaters: Outdoor only
  • Museums/zoos/aquariums: Outdoor only
  • Outdoor recreations, including camping: Outdoor only

Under the purple tier, gatherings of up to three households are allowed outdoors, with face coverings, and physical distancing.

California's regional stay-at-home order was lifted Monday, which had previously held counties to a 15% ICU bed capacity metric depending on their region. San Diego County was placed in the Southern California region, which was at 0% when the state lifted the order.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said the decision to lift the order was based on projections for ICU bed capacity, and estimated Southern California will 33.3% ICU capacity by Feb. 21. Newsom said the projection is based on current hospital capacity, transmission rates, case rates, and the proportion of COVID patients who need to be admitted to the ICU.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom: Science, not politics, dictates lifting of California stay-at-home orders

San Diego County public health officer Wilma Wooten said while the county is moving back to the purple tier, she'd like to see daily case numbers drop to where they once were before last summer or fall.

"I think it is time for businesses to be able to start having some hope and I think the move made today was a reasonable one," Wooten said. "But we cannot rest on our laurels and not continue to do the preventative strategies that are necessary to continue to stave off our increased number of cases.

"While we have come down from the 4,000 to 3,000 daily number of cases, we are still in the 1,000s ... We really don't want to see that. We want to see our numbers go back down to 200 or less. As we have vaccinations in place, we hope to see those numbers become even less."

Currently, San Diego County is only vaccinating healthcare workers that are in Phase 1A and those 65 and older in the first tier of Phase 1B. Wooten added that new strains of the coronavirus will play a factor in navigating the virus and reopenings safely.

As several businesses prepare to reopen outdoors, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said the city would continue to enforce public health guidance and cautioned residents to continue practicing public health guidelines.

"The state’s lifting of the Regional Stay at Home Order brings positive news of improving public-health conditions, but we must stay vigilant so that we can protect our healthcare system and defeat COVID-19," said Mayor Gloria in a release. "This is how our economy will fully reopen for good ... With vaccination efforts expanding, we’re making real progress, but it’s not time to let our guard down. San Diego will continue to enforce state and county public-health guidelines."