Our Comeback Depends on All of Us
September 17, 2020
  • county of san mateo joint information center

    We are all eager to get back to visiting friends, going to restaurants, and enjoying everyday life safely. We can do it by following California’s blueprint for reducing COVID-19.

    Here’s how: Every county in the state is assigned one of four tiers based on its risk level.

    San Mateo County is currently in the most restrictive tier with “widespread” risk (purple in the state’s color-coded dashboard).

    This is based on results for individuals tested for COVID-19 – the rate of positive tests and what’s called the adjusted case rate.*

    Here’s the good news: for the week ending September 5, the county’s overall positivity rate was 4.1 percent and the adjusted case rate was 6.0 percent.**

    These results meet the state’s criteria to move into a less-restrictive tier (red in the state’s dashboard where risk is “substantial”). Here’s the catch: the county must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks.

    If we meet the criteria for a second week (September 6-12), we could then move to the red tier.

    We’ll learn if we can see fewer restrictions when the state releases testing results on Tuesday, September 22.

    “Moving into the red opens up many, many more opportunities for businesses to open indoors with modifications,” Callagy said. “We’ve had almost 160,000 tested in this county to-date, which is terrific. We want to keep those numbers high.”

    Moving to Red allows:

    • Restaurants indoors (max 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
    • All retail indoors (max 50% capacity)
    • Shopping centers, swap meets indoors (max 50% capacity, closed common areas)
    • Museums, zoos and aquariums (max 25% capacity)
    • Places of worship (max 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
    • Movie theaters in doors (max 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
    • Gyms and fitness centers indoors (max 10% capacity)
    • And more

    What can I do to help my county reach a lower tier?

    • Wear a face covering in public.
    • Wash your hands regularly.
    • Keep at least six feet of physical distance when in public.
    • Limit mixing with people you don’t live with.
    • Avoid large gatherings.
    • Get Tested!


    *Counties that test individuals at a higher rate than the state median are given what’s called a “Case Rate Adjustment.” That means a county that tests at rates higher than the state median per 100,000 in population is given credit for the higher testing. Those that test lower than the state median are penalized.

    ** Source: State of California Blueprint for a Safer Economy  https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/


    Helpful Links

    COVID-19 California Immigrant Guide -- available in Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Tagalog and Vietnamese found at COVID-19 Resources

    Resources for San Mateo County Residents

    Local COVID-19 Testing Dates and Locations

    County of San Mateo Comeback Campaign

    Understand which activities and businesses are open in the four tiers

    Blueprint for a Safer Economy