News Flash

Menlo Park COVID-19 Pandemic News

Posted on: March 16, 2021

3/16/2021 – Restrictions ease as San Mateo county moves to Orange Tier

The state of California announced that effective at 12:01 a.m., Wednesday, March 17, 2021, San Mateo County will be in the less restrictive “orange tier” which allows the easing of certain restrictions and most indoor businesses to operate with modifications.

The shift to Orange Tier comes one year to the day of the Bay Area’s first stay-at-home order. The last time San Mateo county was in the less-restrictive Orange Tier in the state’s four-tier, color-coded reopening plan was October 2020. 

The county moved to the Orange Tier or “moderate” tier due to two metrics calculated by the state:

  1. The adjusted case rate has fallen to 2.8 per 100,000 in population. Test positivity rate, excluding prisons, is 1.1 per 100,000.
  2. The health equity quartile positivity rate is 1.9 per 100,000 in population. The health equity quartile measures rates of infection with the virus in the county’s most disadvantaged communities based on the California Healthy Places Index.

With the move to Orange Tier, the following is now allowed:

Shopping malls

  • Can open indoors with modifications
  • Closed common areas
  • Reduced capacity food courts

Places of worship

  • Can open indoors with modifications
  • Open at 50 percent capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer

Dine-in restaurants

  • Can open indoors with modifications
  • Capacity must be limited to 50 percent or 200 people, whichever is fewer

Offices (nonessential businesses)

  • Can open indoors with modifications
  • Continue to encourage working remotely

Bars/breweries (where no meal provided)

  • Can open indoors with modifications
  • Capacity must be limited to 25 percent or 100 people, whichever is less

Movie theaters

  • Can open indoors with modifications

Gyms and fitness centers, including indoor pools

  • Can open indoors with modifications
  • Capacity must be limited to 25 percent
  • Indoor pools can open
  • Indoor hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms must close
  • Climbing walls can open

Family entertainment centers

  • Can open indoors for naturally distanced activities, with modifications
  • Capacity must be limited to 25 percent
  • Bowling alleys and escape rooms allowed
  • Can open outdoors with modifications for activities like kart racing, mini golf, batting cages

Amusement parks and theme parks

Smaller parks can open with modifications

  • Capacity must be limited to 25 percent or 500 people, whichever is less
  • Outdoor attractions only can open
  • Reservations or advanced ticket sales required
  • Local attendees only (from the same county as the park’s location)
  • Additional activities will be permitted starting April 1, 2021

Hotels, lodging and short-term lodging rentals

  • Can open with modifications
  • Fitness centers can open to 25 percent capacity
  • Indoor pools can open
  • Indoor hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms must close

Museums, zoos and aquariums

  • Can open indoors with modifications
  • Indoor activities limited to 50 percent capacity

Businesses can review the state’s industry guidance for specific requirements.

Schools
California has updated the guidance and framework for reopening K-12 schools for in-person learning for the 2020-21 school year. Learn more in the K-12 schools reopening framework and guidance. Individuals interested in the potential impact on local schools should contact local school districts.

Youth and adult recreational sports
Follow state guidance for youth and recreational sports, including school-based, club and recreational programs, and adult recreational sports including limitations for competitions.

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Contact: Public Engagement Manager Clay Curtin