With an adjusted daily COVID-19 case rate of 7.0 per 100,000 population, San Diego County barely avoided being pushed into the most restrictive purple tier of California’s four-tier reopening system Tuesday.
High rates of testing helped the county stay in the red tier, county officials said. The positive adjustment is given by the state to counties that are testing at higher levels than the state’s median.
That adjustment kept the county just below 7.1, which would have landed it in purple, and if repeated a week later would have placed indoor activities at restaurants, movie theaters, gyms and a number of other locations in jeopardy.
“Remaining in the red tier is good news, but the new adjusted rate is not. The new figure clearly shows the region is not moving in the right direction,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer. “It is extremely important San Diegans follow the local health guidance to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep the region from falling into the purple tier.”
The county’s unadjusted case rate for the week of Oct. 4-10 rose from 7.2 to 7.8 cases per 100,000 residents. The data are reported on a one-week delay.
While the testing positivity percentage for the region also increased from 3.0% to 3.3%, it still remains low enough for this metric to remain in the orange tier. If a county reports statistics meeting metrics in a higher tier for two consecutive weeks, it will move into that more restrictive tier for a minimum of three weeks.
The state’s health equity metric, which looks at the testing positivity for areas with the lowest health conditions, dropped from 5.7% to 5.5% and remained in the red tier. This metric does not move counties backward to more restrictive tiers, but is required to advance.
Updated at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020.
— From Staff and Wire Reports
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