A couple wearing facemasks to prevent the spread of coronavirus watch the sunset from Elysian Park in Los Angeles, California, on November 14, 2020. APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images

The majority of counties in the state of California have moved to the “purple tier” denotation — the most serious of the state’s ranking system. 

Under the purple designation, “many” non-essential businesses are forced to halt their indoor operations to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

California over the weekend became the second state to report more than 1 million COVID-19 cases, joining Texas. 

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The majority – 41 of 58 —of counties in the state of California were classified by state officials Monday in the purple tier, the state’s designation for areas hardest hit by COVID-19 infections. The move comes days after California surpassed one million confirmed cases of the virus, a metric so far only matched by the state of Texas.

The California designation includes the state’s most populous regions, including the counties of Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino. 

According to California’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” “many” non-essential businesses must cease indoor operations when counties are moved to the purple tier. Counties move into the purple when they have an adjusted case rate greater than seven and a positivity rate greater than 8%. 

Other tiers include red, where “some” indoor businesses are required to close, the orange tier, where “some” indoor businesses can remain open but with modifications, and the yellow tier, where the majority of businesses are open with normal operations, according to the state guidelines. 

Also Monday, Newsom told reporters he was “considering” implementing a statewide curfew, though he said a final decision had not been reached. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week ordered bars, restaurants, and gyms to close at 10 p.m., and leaders in Ohio are also reportedly mulling over a curfew, according to The Columbus Dispatch.  

Newsom announced Monday that statewide, hospitalizations increased 48% over the last two weeks and admissions to intensive care units in the state increased 39% during the same time period. 

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A number of states have begun to impose new restrictions on residents, from limits on gatherings in private residences in New York to the closure of in-person schools in Michigan, as cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus skyrocket throughout the US. 

According to data analyzed by Johns Hopkins University, there have been 1,032,095 confirmed cases of the disease in California, which has led to 18,262 deaths. Over the past week, 4.8% of COVID-19 tests in the state have returned a positive result, about half of the 9.8% national positivity rate, according to the data.

There have been at least 11,114,151 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in the US since the outset of the pandemic earlier this year, according to Hopkins.

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