Due to increasing case rates, today the State of California announced that Sacramento County will move back to the more restrictive Tier 1 Purple COVID restriction tier.

Effective at noon on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, the amended Sacramento County Health Order will align with the State’s Purple Tier 1 for allowable activities, which closes certain indoor operations or reduces operational capacity. 

On Tuesday, the county had 9.7 new cases per 100,000 population and a 36% increase in new cases over the last week, according to the California Department of Public Health. Counties must have less than seven new cases per 100,000 population to stay in the “red” tier.


Returning to the more severe “purple” tier requires more businesses to put their operations solely outside.

The designation requires the closure of indoor gyms, card rooms, family entertainment centers, movie theaters, museums, and indoor dining. Most stores are advised to operate at 25% capacity. Barbershops, nail salons, and other personal services are allowed to remain open indoors with modifications.

Placer and El Dorado counties were also demoted from the “orange” tier to the “red” tier. The new designation still allows most business types to remain open indoors, but further limits the capacity in which they can can operate. Movie theaters, museums and indoor dining can continue their operations, but only at 25% capacity indoors under the “red” tier.

California Health and Human Services secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said that California is beginning to see an uptick in cases as Covid-19 cases are spiking across the country. California reported 5,367 new cases on Tuesday and a 14-day positivity rate of 3.7%.

On Twitter today, the Mayor of the City of Sacramento, Darrell Steinberg posted this message:

Nov. 13, 2020 Sacramento County Health Order

In alignment with Purple Tier 1, the following sectors are permitted for OUTDOOR operations only until further notice. These sectors must still maintain mitigation measures (social distancing, face covering, and sanitization): 

  • Cardrooms, satellite wagering
  • Family Entertainment Centers (e.g. bowling alleys, miniature golf, batting cages, kart racing, and arcades)
  • Gyms and fitness centers 
  • Movie theaters (maximum 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
  • Museums, zoos, aquariums
  • Places of worship (maximum 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
  • Playgrounds and recreational facilities
  • Restaurants 
  • Wineries

Bars, pubs, brewpubs and breweries may operate outdoors if they are offering sit-down, outdoor meals. Outdoor operations may be conducted under a tent, canopy, or other shelter as long as no more than one side is closed.

In alignment with Purple Tier 1, the following sectors are open for INDOOR operations. These sectors must still maintain mitigation measures (social distancing, face covering, and sanitization) and specific modifications in parenthesis below:

  • All retail (maximum 25% capacity)
  • Critical infrastructure 
  • Hair salons and barbershops
  • Libraries (maximum 25% capacity)
  • Nail salons and electrolysis operations
  • Personal care services (e.g. body waxing, estheticians, tattoo, massage)
  • Professional sports (without live audiences)
  • Shopping centers (e.g. malls, destination centers, swap meets, excluding food courts and common areas) (maximum 25% capacity)

In alignment with Purple Tier 1, bars, breweries and distilleries are prohibited from operating with the exception of those serving sit-down, outdoor meals.


In alignment with CDPH requirements, schools (all grade levels) that have reopened for in-person instruction, either under a waiver or while Sacramento County was in Red Tier 2 (September 29 – November 10, 2020), are permitted to continue to conduct in-person instruction. Schools that have not reopened must wait until they are eligible again, either by acquiring a waiver from Sacramento County Public Health (grades TK-6 only) or by waiting until Sacramento County returns to Red Tier 2 for at least two weeks.

If a school was implementing a phased re-opening (e.g., only opened grades K-2 for in-person instruction with set plans to phase in grades 3-6) while Sacramento County was in Red Tier 2, the school site may continue their phased re-opening. This is only applicable to individual school sites. If a district has a phased reopening of their schools, the schools in that district that did not open for in person instruction may not reopen until Sacramento County has returned to Red Tier 2 for two weeks. 

Schools conducting in-person instruction must maintain mitigation measures, including social distancing, face coverings, and sanitization, in compliance with schools guidance from CDPH and Sacramento County Public Health.

Tier Advancement

Counties are required to remain in an assigned tier for a minimum of three weeks and must meet the criteria for the next tier for two consecutive weeks before being able to advance to the next tier.

“To advance back into the Red Tier 2, Sacramento County needs to have lower daily case rates. The only way to do that is to do what we know works,” said Sacramento County Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye. “We all have a part in this and we must be committed to social distancing measures in public spaces (6ft apart, wear face coverings, wash hands, etc.) and to avoid gathering with non-household members.”

To learn more about the State’s Tier system and specific allowable activities for Sacramento County, visit the State of California’s COVID-19 Blueprint for a Safer Economy website

For questions about the Public Health Order, call the Public Health hotline at (916) 875-2400. 

For more information about the County’s response to COVID-19, visit Sacramento County’s COVID-19 webpage.​​