Local News

Orange County Move to Yellow Tier Allows More Openings

Effective May 19, California’s Department of Public Health has allowed Orange County to move into the Yellow Tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

OC secured the change in status by maintaining Yellow, or “Minimal” level metrics in three categories for a week. The County’s Adjusted Case Rate is now just 1.5 per 100,000 residents. For the first time, OC’s Test Positivity Rate of .9% is equal to its Health Equity Quartile Positivity Rate, also .9%. The latter measurement is a critical one, developed to assess the County’s effectiveness at providing first testing, and then vaccinations, to underserved communities.

Neighboring Los Angeles County has been operating in the Yellow Tier since May 6.

Progressing to the Yellow Tier allows most businesses to serve a greater number of customers—some indoors for the first time since the last round of pandemic restrictions were implemented last year. For example, bars that do not serve food may now open with a maximum capacity of 25% or 100 patrons, whichever number is lower. Bars that do serve food are subject to restaurant rules, which may now operate with up to 50% capacity indoors without limiting patrons to 200.

Under CDPH rules, outdoor social gatherings may accommodate up to 100 people, a maximum of 50% capacity in indoor gatherings where capacity limits exist (up to 50 people), and a maximum of 200 people for private events, with mitigation measures, including full testing and proof of vaccination for all guests. The CDPH still “strongly discourage(s)” indoor gatherings.

Indoor-seated live performances are still limited to in-state patrons with advanced tickets, with significant limitations on audience capacity depending on the size of the venue.

The full chart of allowable activities under each tier can be found HERE.

Most allowable businesses practices, including amusement park activities, remain unchanged, with increases to the percentage of patrons allowed inside at one time. Many businesses are now free of capacity restrictions, but still must observe modifications.

Movie theaters, once restricted to no more than 200 patrons, may now allow up to half of their seats to be filled. Amusement parks, however, are restricted to 35% capacity.

Gyms, fitness centers, etc., may now operate with up to half capacity, and saunas and steam rooms may reopen.

Offices may continue to open with modifications, with telework is still encouraged.

Houses of worship remain unchanged, with 50% capacity allowed.

Museums, aquariums, and zoos may remain open, with modifications, but capacity limits have been lifted.

All retail, personal care services, hair salons and barbershops, outdoor playgrounds, may remain open with modifications.

Many restaurants have survived the pandemic by offering meals for pickup and expanding service to outdoor seating areas.

California’s mask mandate remains unchanged at this time, although Gov. Newsom has indicted that it may be lifted in mid-June. Fullerton’s limited mask mandate remains in effect, as well, and would presumably need to be lifted if the State no longer requires face coverings.

The following City facilities are open to the public:

• Fullerton Maintenance Yard

• Fullerton Pooch Park

• Fullerton Golf Course

• Fullerton Tennis Center

• Hillcrest Stairs

• Lions Field

• Fullerton Police Department

• Fullerton Public Library

• All City Athletic Fields

• Downtown Fullerton Market – Thursdays (Modified market now open, Live Entertainment & Beer Garden to open mid-summer)

• Spray grounds at Adlena, Valencia and Lemon parks beginning Memorial Day Weekend

The following City facilities are open via appointment only:

• Fullerton City Hall – with the exception of the utility services cashier counter which is open to the public.

• Fullerton Community Center

• Richman Neighborhood Center

• Janet Evans Swim Complex at Independence Park

• Indoor Pool at Fullerton Community Center

• Hillcrest Recreation Center

• Chapman Recreation Building

• Garnet Neighborhood Center

The following City facilities are closed to the public:

• Fullerton Airport Administration Building

• Fullerton Museum Center

• Maple Neighborhood Center

• Izaak Walton Cabin

• Red Cross Building

• Gilbert Neighborhood Center

• Orangethorpe Recreation Building

• Independence Park – Gymnasium and Racquetball Courts.

The City has postponed all public events as recommended by State health officials, until further notice.

Although some facilities are closed, essential City services will continue running either online, by drop-off, pick-up, phone or email. Below is a list of services that will continue to be available to the public:

• Emergency Services: Call 911 for emergencies

• Fullerton Police Department: (714) 738-6800. The Police Department front counter is open. To report a crime please call (714) 738-6716.