Merced County on Monday was demoted into a more restrictive tier for business reopenings under California’s program to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Merced, along with Fresno and Stanislaus counties are now part of purple Tier 1 in the state’s color-coded “Blueprint for a Safer Economy.” The purple tier represents “widespread” risk of spreading COVID-19 in the community.
The counties had previously been in red Tier 2, representing “substantial” risk. As of Friday, total county fatalities traced to the virus tallied 169. To date, 10,374 Merced County residents have received a positive COVID-19 test.
The backslide into the more restrictive tier means that restaurants, churches, gyms and other business sectors that had been allowed to reopen indoors with limited capacity will now have to return to outdoor-only operations.
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