PALO ALTO, Calif. (KRON) — Three Bay Area counties were moved to the orange tier on Tuesday, allowing for fewer restrictions starting Wednesday.

Santa Clara, San Francisco and Marin counties are now considered to have a ‘moderate’ risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Each Tuesday, California health officials evaluate the COVID-19 trends in the counties and decide whether further reopening — or more restrictions — is allowable.

There are four tiers, listed from greatest COVID risk to least COVID risk: purple (widespread), red (substantial), orange (moderate), yellow (minimal).

San Mateo County was the first Bay Area county that made it to orange since the winter stay-at-home orders lifted in California.

This move allows:

  • Expanding indoor dining to 50% capacity (from 25%)
  • Expanding retails store capacity to 100% (from 50%)
  • Expanding places of worship capacity to 50% (from 25%)
  • Expanding indoor gyms to 25% capacity (from 10%)

This is along with several more loosened restrictions in other industries.

The state uses metrics such as average daily COVID-19 cases, test positivity rate, health equity and vaccines administered.

The orange tier requires a maximum of 3.9 average daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, maximum 4.9% positive test for the entire county, and fewer than 5.3% positive tests for the health equity quartile.