California to Allow Indoor Events, Gatherings As Cases Near Record Low

Friday, April 02, 2021

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(Patch) 

In a major about-face from the state's strict and stringent reopening plan, California officials on April 2 announced that the state will allow indoor concerts, theater performances, and gatherings starting April 15.

The announcement comes as officials said the state's coronavirus test positivity rate nears a record low, according to the California Department of Public Health.

To attend indoor gatherings, Californians will have to get tested for coronavirus or show proof of full vaccination, the state said. Guidance on indoor events and gatherings will also vary by the level of restrictions in each county's tier assignment. It remains to be seen just how the state or individual venues will enforce the new guidelines.

"As we continue to expand vaccine distribution, California is poised for a safe and equitable recovery," said Dee Dee Myers, Senior Advisor to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

As of Friday, the state had administered more than 18,862,091 vaccine shots. Nearly 6.9 million Californians are fully vaccinated and there are just shy of 40 million residents in the state.

The updates include guidance on private events or meetings such as receptions or conferences, and indoor seated live events and performances, the state said.

The state's tiered, color-coded reopening blueprint will dictate how many people can attend an indoor event, but guests will be asked to wear a mask. Within the state's most restrictive, purple tier, indoor concerts and events will not be allowed.

The new guidance will also California's long-shuttered, large capacity venues to reopen, but with restrictions.

The state gave the green light for indoor concerts and other live performances to resume — but they will be restricted to Californians only, much like the state's guidance on theme parks.

And these familiar pastimes may look a lot different than they did before the pandemic upended life in California. Events will be modified to help guests maintain a safe distance from each other and tickets must be bought in advance. There will also be designated areas for eating and drinking.

"Today's update to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy is a result of the progress we are making both in vaccinations and in controlling the spread of COVID-19," said Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state's Health and Human Services secretary. "By following public health guidelines such as wearing masks and getting vaccinated when eligible, we can resume additional activities as we take steps to reduce risk."

Here is the state's latest guidance on indoor and outdoor gatherings in each tier:

Purple Tier

  • Indoor gatherings are not allowed. Activities are only allowed outdoors and capacity is limited to 25 people. If all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination, capacity increases to up to 100 people.

Red Tier

  • Indoor events and gatherings are allowed if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination; capacity is limited to 100 people. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 people, and capacity increases to 200 if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
  • Venues with a capacity of up to 1,500 people will be limited to 10 percent or 100 people, and capacity will rise to 25 percent if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
  • Venues with a capacity above 1,501 will require testing or proof of vaccination, and capacity is limited to 20 percent.

Orange Tier

  • Indoor events and gatherings are allowed if all guests are tested or show full proof of vaccination; capacity is limited to 150 people. outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people, and capacity increases to 300 if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
  • Venues with a capacity of up to 1,500 people will be limited 15 percent or 200 people, and capacity will rise to 35 percent if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
  • Venues with a capacity above 1,501 will be limited to 10 percent or 2,000 people, and capacity increases to 35 percent if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination.

Yellow Tier

  • Indoor events and gatherings are allowed if all guests are tested or show full proof of vaccination; capacity is limited to 200 people. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 200 people, and capacity increases to 400 if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
  • Venues with a capacity of up to 1,500 people will be limited to 25 percent or 300 people, and capacity will rise to 50 percent if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
  • Venues with a capacity above 1,501 will limit guests to 10 percent or 2,000 people and capacity rises to 50 percent if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination.

On April 2, Gov. Gavin Newsom continued to urge residents to get a vaccine as the eligibility pool expanded to those over 50 this week. Newsom himself became eligible this week and received the Johnson & Johnson shot Thursday.

"If you are 50 or older, please take the time, prepare for a vaccine," he said at a news conference in San Diego. "We're not going to get herd immunity, we're not going to get back that symbol to normalcy unless we get more people vaccinated."

All Californians 16 and older will become eligible for a shot on April 15.

The governor announced that the state would receive around 2.4 million vaccine doses next week, including 572,700 Johnson & Johnson single shots. Facing a major supply crisis, this will be the state's largest shipment yet as weekly allotments of vaccine have hovered around 1.8 million or less.

"The only constraint is your willingness to get a vaccine, and that manufactured supply," Newsom said.

He also warned Californians not to drop their guard as Easter weekend approaches.

"This disease is not taking spring break off ... this disease is as deadly as it's ever been," Newsom said. "The only reason that we're at 1.8 percent positivity, among the lowest in America, is because of the hard work each and every one of you have done."

Category: COVID-19, California