Butte County moves down to ‘moderate’ COVID-19 risk level, bars to open


Kimberly Morales

Butte County was updated to a “moderate” risk level in California’s blueprint for a safer economy.

Butte County has moved out from a “substantial” COVID-19 risk level to a “moderate” level under California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy guidelines. The county will now have the capacity to open bars, breweries and distilleries while institutions such as restaurants, movie theaters, fitness centers and more are permitted to increase the capacity of indoor activity.

Moderate county risk level is noted to consist of a case rate of 1 – 3.9 daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents with a 5 – 8% positivity rate. The current Butte County COVID-19 case rate is 3.5 cases per 100,000 residents with a 1.8% test positivity rate, according to Butte County Public Health in a press release.

Businesses that were formerly allowed to open indoor activity at reduced capacity may now continue to be open indoors with an increased capacity of up to 50% for some establishments. Wineries, family entertainment centers and fitness centers are among a list of businesses that may only operate at 25% capacity and live audience sports are only permitting 20% capacity, according to the state’s blueprint.

“Keep in mind that activities allowed under the Orange Tier are not necessarily safe,” according to a Butte County Public Health Department Facebook announcement. “Certain activities, such as dining indoors and gathering, are still high risk. Continue to wear a face covering, keep your distance from anyone outside your household, wash your hands often and get tested if you have been exposed or have symptoms.”

Previously, Butte County rose from the state’s most-restrictive COVID-19 risk level on Sept. 29. Following the continuance of meeting the substantial risk level for two consecutive weeks, schools in Butte County were permitted to open for in-person instruction under compliance of the State COVID-19 Guidance for Schools and School Based Programs.

Institutions that are not permitted to reopen under the moderate risk tier include:

  • Concert Venues
  •  Festivals
  •  Live Theater
  •  Nightclubs
  •  Saunas & Steam Rooms
  •  Theme Parks

Kimberly Morales can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @kimberlymnews.