Ventura County will be the first in the tri-county region to reach the orange tier of California’s COVID-19 reopening system on April 7, while both Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties have failed to progress past the more restrictive red tier.
Orange is the second least restrictive tier and means the spread of COVID is “moderate,” while counties in the red tier still have “substantial” spread. The color-coded system appears on the way out in another couple of months, as Gov. Gavin Newsom said in an April 6 news conference that if the state continues on its path of reducing transmission and vaccinating heavily, almost all COVID-related restrictions in every county would be dropped on June 15.
For Ventura County, the orange tier means offices are allowed to welcome workers back to indoor office work at limited capacity, though telework is still encouraged. Outdoor live events can have a maximum of 33% their regular capacity, with 25% occupancy per suite and primarily in-seat concessions. The event’s capacity goes up to 67% if all guests are tested or if they can show proof of full vaccination.
Card rooms are allowed to reopen again under the orange tier, with a maximum 25% capacity, and outdoor gatherings can have as many as 50 people. Wineries, breweries and distilleries lose the 90-minute time limit for visitors that’s been in force under the purple and red tiers, and they no longer have to require reservations or have limited hours. Bars are able to open outdoors for the first time under the orange tier, and family entertainment centers can have 25% capacity indoors, going up to half capacity if guests are tested or can show proof of full vaccination.