Somewhere a lucky St Patrick’s Day leprechaun is smiling on Riverside County.


Though it likely has no connection to good luck on St Paddy’s Day, Riverside County has moved into Governor Gavin Newsom’s Red Tier for re-opening of private businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.


The California  Department of Public Health says Riverside County has seen steady declines in coronavirus cases (6.1 case rate), percentage of positive tests (3.3%), and something called the health equity metric (3.7%).


So, effective Wednesday March 17th 2021, restaurants and movie theaters may return to indoor operations up to 25 percent capacity or 100 people (whichever is fewer).


Museums, zoos and aquariums may reopen indoor operations up to 25 percent capacity.


Gyms and fitness centers may return to indoor activities but only up to 10 percent capacity.  So, if a gym can hold a maximum of 100 people, 10% of that figure is 10 people.


In addition, retail stores and shopping malls may increase capacity to 50 percent.


Moving into the red tier also allows middle and high schools to return to in-person instruction with approved safety plans in place.


Riverside County will need to remain in the red tier for a minimum of three weeks and meet the orange tier metrics for two of those weeks before moving into the orange tier, which is less restrictive than the red tier.


Visit the state’s blueprint website for more information at


To continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 and advance into future reopening tiers, all residents are urged to get tested and wear a mask. Visit  to make an appointment. Other testing options can be found online at:


For more information on business industry guidance to reopen safely, visit


Color Chart of CA Covid 19 Tiers which rank the state according to risk of Covid Spread. Photo from Riverside County Public Health Dept