CA's New Four-Tier System 'Big Improvement,' But Caution Urged With No Vaccine Ready

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California begins a whole new system Monday to govern the opening and closing of businesses, schools and other sectors of the economy, six months into the coronavirus pandemic.

The new four-tier, color-coded system is supposed to clear up confusion and prevent another surge, caused by some counties reopening too soon. In making the announcement last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom said this was to be a new blueprint for a safer economy, implemented in a simple, slow, and stringent way.

Breaking: here is California’s new color-coded, 4-tier system to govern when a county can reopen during #coronavirus. Fair question: why didn’t @GavinNewsom come up with something like this back in the spring? #COVID19

— SovernNation (@SovernNation) August 28, 2020

"I think it’s a big improvement, frankly," said Dr. George Rutherford, longtime Bay Area epidemiologist and Professor and Director of the Prevention and Public Health Group at University of California, San Francisco.

While purple is the most restrictive category, the state’s updated reopening guidelines allow counties in the purple category to reopen malls, barbershops and hair salons f