Ventura County moved into the second tier of California’s COVID-19 reopening process on Oct. 6, putting all three Central Coast counties in that category.
Under the rules for red counties, Ventura County gyms, personal care services, museums, zoos, places of worship, movie theaters and restaurants will be able to reopen indoor operations in a limited capacity. Places which were already allowed limited indoor operations, like retail locations and shopping centers, are now allowed to have up to half of their capacity.
Those businesses are now open with restrictions all over the Tri-Counties. San Luis Obispo County moved into the red tier on Sept. 22, and Santa Barbara County followed on Sept. 29.
Counties move into different tiers in the state’s color-coded system when they meet state benchmarks for new cases per capita, percentage of tests that are positive, and other measures. Purple is the most restrictive tier, meaning the virus is the most widespread and the most severe closures of businesses and gathering spots are in place. Red is the second most restrictive.
The county of Ventura also relaxed a few local restrictions when it moved into the red. Restaurants in Ventura County no longer have a 90-minute seating limit, and customers getting skin care treatments no longer have to wear a mask during facial treatments. The person administering the treatments, however, must still wear one. The local health order requiring personal care and massage services to limit services to half an hour has also been lifted.
“The credit belongs to our residents, who have made lots of sacrifices and worked hard to improve our community transmission metrics,” Rigoberto Vargas, the county’s public health director, said in a news release. “That same hard work must continue moving forward so that we don’t revert back to the purple tier and instead continue making progress towards the next tier, orange, so that additional businesses can reopen.”