SACRAMENTO, Calif. - With the official start of summer just over a month away, Orange County has qualified for California's least-restrictive yellow tier, which will increase capacity at theme parks such as Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm.
County officials said the change will take effect May 19, allowing most businesses in the county to increase their operational capacity.
Capacity at theme parks will increase to 35%, compared to the 25% that was allowed under the orange tier.
Under a Travel Advisory implemented by the California Department of Health, all California theme parks strictly remain open to in-state guests.
In order to qualify for the yellow tier, Orange County needed to report less than 2 daily new cases per 100,000 residents and less than a 2% test positivity rate for the entire county.
According to the weekly state data released every Tuesday, the average for the county's daily case rate per 100,000 people improved from 1.8 last week to 1.5. The overall test positivity rate improved from 1% to 0.9%. The county's health equity positivity rate was also at 0.9%.
While coronavirus case numbers have improved in the Southern California county, local health officials are concerned about the drastic decline in residents getting their COVID-19 vaccine.
In addition, nearby Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties have yet to meet the threshold to quality for the yellow tier, but they are close.
(California Department of Public Health )
California Gov. Gavin Newsom also said the state is on track to fully reopen its economy on June 15, which will rid the current color-coded tier system. California is also waiting until June 15 to adopt the CDC's most recent guidelines allowing fully vaccinated individuals to stop wearing face masks. While people don't currently have to wear masks now in California outside, Dr. Mark Ghaly clarified that masks will be required in indoor settings "regardless of vaccination status" until June 15.