The state has introduced a new set of guidelines focused on the affect the novel coronavirus is having on San Diego County’s most disadvantaged communities.
The new health equity metric will now be used to determine how quickly a county may advance through the reopening plan, San Diego Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten said.
A community can only be as well as its unhealthiest quartile, she said, and while counties with a large disparity between the least and most sick members of a community will not be punished for the disparity by sliding back into more restrictive tiers, such a disparity will stop counties from advancing to less-restrictive tiers.
According to the state guidelines, the health equity will measure socially determined health circumstances, such as a community’s transportation, housing, access to health care and testing, access to healthy food and parks.
Neighborhoods are grouped and scored by census tracts on the Healthy Places Index, https://healthyplacesindex.org/. Some of the unhealthiest neighborhoods include Logan Heights, Valencia Park, downtown El Cajon and National City. According to county data, the county’s health equity testing positivity percentage is 6.2 and is in the Red Tier.
The complicated metric will be explained further on Monday, Wooten said, when the state releases an official “playbook” of how it is calculated and what it means to communities throughout the state as they attempt to reopen.
The county’s state-calculated, adjusted case rate is 6.5 new daily infections per 100,000 people, down from last week’s 6.7. The unadjusted case rate is down to 7 from last week’s 7.2. Because San Diego County testing levels were above the state median testing volume, the county’s adjustment level was decreased.
— City News Service
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