Four risk-based tiers to monitor COVID-19 announced by the State of California

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new measures for monitoring the spread of COVID-19 on Friday, Aug. 28 according to a press release from the City of Long Beach.

Color-coded tiers will be used, ranging from purple, which signifies widespread, to yellow, which signifies minimal. Long Beach and Los Angeles are in the purple category. Restrictions for the purple category are similar to being placed on the monitoring list in the former system, according to the press release.

“As I’ve said from day one, our re-opening will be guided by the data,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “The statewide framework released by the Governor today makes it clear we are making progress.”

The tiered system is based on two metrics: the number of new cases per day, per 100,000 residents and positivity rate, the press release stated.

Each tier is categorized as follows:

● Purple (widespread) – more than seven daily new cases (per 100k); positivity rate greater than 8%

● Red (substantial) – four to seven daily new cases (per 100k); 5% to 8% positivity rate

● Orange (moderate) – one to 3.9 daily new cases (per 100k); 2% to 4.9% positivity rate

● Yellow (minimal) – less than one daily new case (per 100k); less than 2% positivity rate

“The calculations for positivity rates and case rates are being revised, per the State,” the press release said. “These revisions may lead to a discrepancy in past data and it should not be compared with previous numbers.”

The revised indicators will appear on the City’s COVID-19 dashboard starting today.

Positivity rates and case rates will be evaluated and updated every Tuesday, according to the press release. Optimal numbers need to be maintained by the county for three weeks to move up a tier. If a county’s data places them in two different colors, the stricter rules apply.

Reopening phases will be dictated by the new tiers. For more details on what is allowed to be open and what is closed under the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, you can visit

Although the State is outlining, broadly, what is permitted under each tier, details on what can be open and protocols come at the direction of the City Health Officer, the press release stated. The openings of new sectors or changes to current business operations should only happen after the issuance of revised Health Orders from the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services.


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