ORANGE (CBSLA) — With 2 million COVID-19 vaccines administered to some of California’s hardest hit communities, 13 counties will move to the state’s red tier of reopening this weekend, with another 13 counties poised to make the move on Tuesday.
The state’s red tier, which is the second strictest on the state’s reopening blueprint and denotes substantial spread of COVID-19, allows businesses to open limited indoor operations and increase store capacity. With COVID-19 case rates dropping and vaccinations accelerating, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Orange counties will move out of the most restrictive, purple tier on Sunday, along with Amador, Colusa, Contra Costa, Mendocino, Mono, Placer, San Benito, Siskiyo, Sonoma, and Tuolumne counties.READ MORE: Lakers Overcome Morant's 40-points, Beat Grizzlies 121-118 For First Win Of Season
And based on current data and projections, state public health officials say Riverside, Ventura, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Monterey, Kings, Lake, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, and Yuba counties will follow suit Tuesday, to take effect Wednesday.READ MORE: At Least 1 Person Killed In Crash Off The 57 Freeway
“While we have reached a milestone today, we still have a lot of work ahead of us to help ensure we can put an end to this pandemic,” Tomas Aragon, director of the California Department of Public Health and the state’s Public Health Officer, said in a statement. “We must all do our part by getting vaccinated as soon as it’s our turn and continue to wear masks and practice physical distancing to keep our communities safe.”MORE NEWS: Vehicle Crashes Into Restaurant Killing One, Injuring Five
Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 4 said the state was earmarking 40% of vaccine doses for people in hard-hit communities and establishing an equity metric to increase vaccinations in those areas where transmission rates and deaths have been the highest. Public health officials say California’s blueprint for reopening will be updated again when 4 million doses have been administered in these areas.