Stay-at-home order lifted, California back to tier system


Maya Kornyeyeva

With the lift of the stay-at-home order, Californians are able to venture out of their homes and enjoy more activities.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has lifted the regional stay-at-home order after over a month.

Since the lift’s announcement on Monday, Jan. 25, counties have gone back to the color-coded tier system, with many businesses reopening to the public. Newsom also revoked the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. 

“COVID-19 is still here and still deadly, so our work is not over, but it’s important to recognize our collective actions saved lives, and we are turning a critical corner,” said Dr. Tomás Aragón, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

The lift came after CDPH data confirmed that the December surge had begun to subside. Experts believe that the initial uprise in cases was due to traveling during the winter season. 

“The premise of the stay-at-home order is to stop the spread of the virus by limiting contact with those outside your household. Unfortunately, since many residents were mixing households during the holidays, we had a surge,” said Stacy Markel, a member of the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) and head of the Carlmont Academic Foundation (CAF) Mini-Grant program at Carlmont. “Even though we can now perform more activities, it is important not to let our guard down and have another surge occur.”

Even with the discontinuation of the shelter-in-place order, California is still affected by a high number of COVID-19 infections. 

ICU (Intensive Care Unit) capacities are low in a majority of the 58 counties, and under San Mateo County’s classification as part of the purple tier, businesses must operate under a low indoor capacity or entirely outdoors.

California COVID-19 Tiers / CDPH / KARA/ CC

For example, hair salons and barbershops are allowed to be open indoors with modifications. Additionally, indoor gatherings are forbidden, and outdoor gatherings can only include people from up to three households.

“More than ever, it is necessary to wear a mask, social distance, wash hands, and disinfect surfaces. Especially for sports cohorts, maintaining a safe distance and having a set of procedures is essential,” Markel said.

Along with many other Californian schools, Carlmont has already adjusted to the lift, issuing an athletics update about which sports can resume in-person practices. 

I know all of our hearts lie in the direction of sports being able to return and be played as we know them. This is a step in the right direction”

— Patrick Smith

The announcement included information about which sports will be allowed to start up, stating that cheer, baseball, softball, girls basketball, water polo, boys tennis, and lacrosse will continue their current conditioning season.

“I know all of our hearts lie in the direction of sports being able to return and be played as we know them. This is a step in the right direction,” said Patrick Smith, Carlmont’s athletic director.

Carlmont junior Anna Burford is among the students who will be welcomed back for in-person training.

“After a whole month of not being able to practice, it was tough to go back to honing the old skills that you had. With [Carlmont] cheer recently moving back in person, we have been able to do more physical aspects like tumbling and jumps,” Burford said.

However, even with the stay-at-home order lift, it is still crucial to maintain safety guidelines.

“California is slowly starting to emerge from the most dangerous surge of this pandemic yet, which is the light at the end of the tunnel we’ve been hoping for,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s health secretary, said in a statement made on Jan. 25.