Once the state reaches certain vaccination thresholds in those designated communities, case rates can be higher.
In order for counties to enter the second most restrictive red tier right now, for example, they must have no more than seven cases per 100,000 people. A case rate of lower than four per 100,000 people would make that county eligible to move into the orange tier.
But once two million vaccine doses have been administered to residents of those vulnerable communities, the red tier range will widen to four to seven cases per 100,000 people.
What will be allowed to reopen in each tier?
For the most part, the rules for businesses reopening in each tier will stay the same come April 1. In the most restrictive purple tier, for example, restaurants, museums and gyms will still be allowed to operate outdoors only. In the red tier, those will still have their indoor capacity strictly limited.
The biggest changes are in the rules for large-scale outdoor events and amusement parks.
Effective April 1, outdoor live events — including concerts and sports — can take place in any county, with assigned seating and other modifications.
In the purple-tier counties, those events can have 100 people or fewer, audience members must come from within 120 miles, and concessions can’t be open. In red-tier counties, there isn’t a restriction on audience members, but the events will be capped at 20 percent capacity, with other rules for suites.
In the orange and yellow tier, live events can already take place at reduced capacity.
And while amusement parks still won’t be able to reopen in purple-tier counties, starting April 1, they can in red-tier counties — at 15 percent capacity and with other modifications, including a weekly worker testing program.