COVID-19: Contra Costa County moves into the orange tier


Blueprint for a Safer Economy

Contra Costa County recently advanced to the orange tier. The requirements to get this label are listed above

Sneha Cheenath and Daniela Wise-Rojas

On Oct. 27, California moved Contra Costa County to the orange tier from the red tier, moving the county from a “substantial” COVID risk spread to a “moderate” risk spread.

According to the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, the quota for orange tier is 1.0 to 3.9 new cases per 100 thousand people. Contra Costa Health Services, in a recent press release, stated the county has 4.1 new cases per 100 thousand people, but is classified as a “high-testing county”, and therefore has modified requirements. It will stay in the orange tier for two weeks, at which point the state will reevaluate it. 

For schools to reopen, the state mandates that counties are in the red tier for two weeks. Contra Costa County went into the red tier on Sept. 29, upgraded from the purple tier, under which schools cannot open. Moving to the orange tier means that the county’s risk is significantly lower than the tier requirement to open schools. 

From here, there are two possible outcomes, either being moved to the less restrictive yellow tier, or back into the more restrictive red tier, dependent on if Contra Costa meets the qualifying metrics of each respective tier for two consecutive weeks.  

A number of businesses will be allowed to open with added restrictions and/or modified capacities, including worship services, “naturally distanced activities” like bowling or escape rooms and outdoor musical performances. 

Additionally, “Contra Costa recommends that workers in jobs that bring them in frequent contact with the public, including all essential workers, consider a COVID-19 test every 30 days.” Symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing may indicate a COVID infection. 

To schedule a fast and free test in Contra Costa County, call 1-844-421-0804 or visit to schedule online.

To get more information, you can go to the county’s press releases. Subscribe to the City of San Ramon’s newsletter or check the COVID-19 page of their website for updates.