By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office
San Diego, CA–Given that the state has met a mark of vaccinating 2 million people in the communities hardest hit by COVID-19, it has revised its tier system, and San Diego County is expected to move to the Red Tier for activities on March 17.
The change in tiers will allow indoor operations to resume, at limited capacity and with modifications, at restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, and other establishments.
San Diego and 11 other counties are moving to the less restrictive Red Tier, which now requires a case rate of four to 10 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents. San Diego county’s state-calculated, adjusted case rate is currently 8.8 cases per 100,000 residents.
“This is great news for our region. San Diegans have done a good job following the public health guidance and that has driven our case rate down in recent weeks,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Our vaccination efforts have also helped to slow the spread of COVID-19. As more people get vaccinated, the number of cases should continue to decrease.”
The county must remain in the Red Tier and post two consecutive weeks of data in the Orange Tier before moving to the less restrictive level which would ease more restrictions.
Currently, the testing positivity percentage is 3.3%, placing the county in Tier 3 or the Orange Tier. The county’s health equity metric, which looks at the testing positivity for areas with the lowest healthy conditions, is 4.5% and is also in the Orange Tier or Tier 3. These metrics are also expected to decrease when the state announces tier assignments March 16.
While two of the three metrics qualify the County for the Orange Tier or Tier 3, the state assigns counties to the most restrictive tier.
When the state administers 4 million doses in the vaccine equity quartile, tier assignments will be revised once again.