SAN DIEGO (CBSLA) – San Diego County Tuesday avoided a downgrade to the purple tier of the state’s four-tiered coronavirus assessment system, which would have forced it to shutter indoor operations for some businesses.
California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced Tuesday afternoon that San Diego would remain in the red tier despite an uptick in its COVID-19 numbers.
“We certainly see a county that is hovering around that threshold that is between red and purple, but we continue to have conversations about how we at the state can support San Diego,” Ghaly said Tuesday.
Being downgraded to purple would have meant that San Diego County would have been forced to close movie theaters, as well as indoor operations for restaurants and places of worship.
Currently, under the red tier, theaters, restaurants and churches are allowed to operate at a capacity of 25% or 100 people, whichever is less.
Gyms would also have had to close indoor operations.
So far, San Diego County has recorded 44,925 cases and 760 deaths.
To be downgraded from the purple tier, a county must have less than 7 new daily coronavirus cases per 100,000 population, and have a positivity rate of less than 8%. It must maintain those levels for 14 straight days.
According to the latest county numbers, San Diego has a case rate of 7.9 and a positivity rate of 3.8%.
Meanwhile, Ghaly announced that Riverside County was upgraded from purple to red due to their progress against COVID-19.
Orange County may see it itself upgraded from red to orange as early as next week. Several of its public schools reopened for in-person instruction Tuesday.
On Aug. 28, California Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a four-tiered coronavirus assessment system that determines the process by which each county can reopen businesses and schools.
As it stands Tuesday morning, the entire Southland, except for O.C. and San Diego County, is currently under the worst level, purple, which measures the spread of coronavirus as “widespread.”