SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — California is the only large state to make it out of the highest COVID-19 transmission risk category, according to the CDC.

As of this week, a map shows the United States in full red for high transmission – aside from California, plus Puerto Rico and three U.S. territories.

California is now in the orange category, which means there is still a ‘substantial’ risk of community transmission. The scale then goes down to yellow for ‘moderate’ risk, then blue for ‘low’ risk.


According to the Office of Governor Newsom, California is currently experiencing the lowest case rate in the nation. In the last seven days, the state has reported 97.8 new cases per 100,000 people.

The California health department reports that 68.3% of California’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This is one of the aspects that the state’s epidemiologist, Dr. Erica Pan, credits for the transmission risk lowering.

Masking indoors is another aspect. Here in the Bay Area, most counties have brought back an indoor mask mandate. In San Francisco, restaurants and other close-contact businesses require proof of vaccination to enjoy indoor services.

Last month, California became the first in the country to require all school staff to either show proof of full vaccination or be tested at least once per week and was the first state to require universal masking in school settings, according to Newsom’s office.

The strict COVID-19 measures during the pandemic got California to this slightly lower risk standing, and also ended up paying off for the governor during a recall attempt.

On election night, after Newsom cemented his survival, he told reporters: “I want to focus on what we said yes to as a state: We said ‘yes’ to science, we said ‘yes’ to vaccines, we said ‘yes’ to ending this pandemic.”