County Enters Most Restrictive Tier
The County of San Diego has fallen back into the most restrictive tier on the state’s blueprint for reducing COVID-19. The move from the Red to the Purple tier means that restaurants, retail stores, gyms and places of worship must move outdoors or reduce their indoor operations once again. The blueprint, which went into effect Aug. 31, has criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities.
Businesses must comply with the new restrictions starting Saturday, Nov. 14. As Thanksgiving nears, San Diego County health officials warn residents to be vigilant about taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, including wearing a mask, washing your hands, staying home if you are sick and maintaining social distancing.
The County was aware of the risk earlier this week of moving to the Purple tier after the region had a case rate over the limit of 7 cases per 100,000 population for two consecutive weeks. The four-tiered, color-coded system allows counties to show consistent success in coronavirus transmission before allowing more businesses and activities to reopen or resume. The County had been in the Red Tier since the blueprint was issued.
Closures are based on data showing the spread of the virus among residents. The state system tracks three COVID-19 metrics: average daily case rates per 100,000 population, the percentage of positive tests, known as the positivity rate, and the health equity metric.
At a minimum, counties must remain in a tier for at least three weeks before moving forward. Data is reviewed weekly and tiers are updated on Tuesdays. To move forward, a county must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks. If a county’s metrics worsen for two consecutive weeks, it will be assigned a more restrictive tier.