California's Tier Map Explained as Purple Counties Face Month-Long Curfew

California has issued a month-long curfew that will affect more than 90 percent of the state's population. The state is working with a tiered system based on the amount of spread within its counties, with purple counties facing the most severe restrictions.

From November 21, non-essential activities will have to stop between 10 p.m. PST to 5 a.m. PST in counties in the purple tier. The order will remain in effect until 5 a.m. on December 21, though it could be revised or extended.

This means that all gatherings with members of other households and other activities outside of the residence have to stop.

The order does not apply to activities relating to the operation, maintenance, or usage of critical infrastructure, to activities required by law. Additionally, the order does not apply to people experiencing homelessness.

People from the same household can still leave their homes between these times as long as they do not engage in any interaction or gather with anyone from outside of their household.

Gavin Newsom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during election night event on November 6, 2018, in Los Angeles, California. Newsom announced news of a month-long curfew for California's "purple counties" and said: "Together—we can flatten the curve again." Getty/Kevork Djansezian

Erica S. Pan, Acting State Public Health Officer of the California Department of Public Health, explained the reasoning behind this curfew in a news release and said: "This Limited Stay at Home Order will reduce opportunities for disease transmission with the goal of decreasing the number of hours individuals are in the community and mixing with individuals outside of their household.

"Every intervention to decrease mixing of households is critical during this unparalleled increase in case rate rise of about 50 percent during the first week in November.

"In particular, activities conducted during 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. are often non-essential and more likely related to social activities and gatherings that have a higher likelihood of leading to reduced inhibition and reduced likelihood to adhere to COVID-19 preventive measures (e.g., wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distance)."

Data from November 18 shows that California has had 1,059,267 cases and 18,466 deaths related to COVID-19.

California Purple Counties
Californians living in "purple counties" will face a month-long curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. California Gov

California Purple Counties

The following counties are "purple counties" meaning the risk level is "widespread," with more than seven new daily cases per 100,000 people, or a positivity rate of eight percent or more, (based on a 7-day average of all COVID-19 tests performed that are positive).

In purple counties, many non-essential indoor business operations are closed, and their residents will face a month-long curfew.

  • Alameda
  • Butte
  • Contra Costa
  • El Dorado
  • Fresno
  • Glenn
  • Imperial
  • Kern
  • Kings
  • Los Angeles
  • Madera
  • Mendocino
  • Merced
  • Monterey
  • Napa
  • Nevada
  • Orange
  • Placer
  • Riverside
  • Sacramento
  • San Benito
  • San Bernardino
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • San Joaquin
  • San Luis Obispo
  • Santa Barbara
  • Santa Clara
  • Santa Cruz
  • Shasta
  • Siskiyou
  • Solano
  • Sonoma
  • Stanislaus
  • Sutter
  • Tehama
  • Trinity
  • Tulare
  • Tuolumne
  • Ventura
  • Yolo
  • Yuba

California Red Counties

The following counties are "red counties" which means that there is a substantial risk, with between four and seven new daily cases and a positivity rate of five to eight percent.

In red counties, some non-essential indoor business operations are closed.

  • Amador
  • Colusa
  • Del Norte
  • Humboldt
  • Lake
  • Marin
  • Modoc
  • Mono
  • Plumas
  • San Mateo

California Orange Counties

The following counties are "orange counties" which means there is a moderate risk, with between one and 3.9 new daily cases and a positivity rate between two and 4.9 percent.

  • Calaveras
  • Inyo
  • Lassen
  • Sierra

California Yellow Counties

The following counties are "yellow counties" which means there is a minimal risk, with less than one new daily case and a positivity rate of less than two percent.

  • Alpine
  • Mariposa

California Gov. Gavin Newsom shared the news on Twitter and said: "Together—we can flatten the curve again."

Due to the rise in #COVID19 cases, CA is issuing a limited Stay at Home Order.

Non-essential work and gatherings must stop from 10pm-5am in counties in the purple tier.

This will take effect at 10pm on Saturday and remain for 1 month.

Together--we can flatten the curve again.

— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) November 19, 2020