San Diego County awaits state data to move into less restrictive red tier

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Latest: State data revealed Tuesday keeps San Diego County in the state’s purple tier.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego County public health officials reported 307 new COVID-19 infections Monday, as the county awaits state data Tuesday which could promote it to the less-restrictive red tier of the state’s four-tiered economic recovery plan.

San Diego County remains in the most restrictive, purple, tier, but just barely. The county’s state-calculated, adjusted case rate is currently 10.8 cases per 100,000 residents. It needs to be below seven per 100,000 to head into the red tier.

The testing positivity percentage is 4.2%, placing the county in the orange tier. While the testing positivity rate for the county qualifies it for orange, the state uses the most restrictive metric — in this case the adjusted case rate — and assigns counties to that tier. The county’s health equity metric, which looks at the testing positivity for areas with the lowest healthy conditions, is 6% and is in the red tier.

The California Department of Public Health assesses counties on a weekly basis. The next report is scheduled for Tuesday.

Monday’s data increased the total number of cases to 263,275. No new deaths were reported Monday and the death toll remains 3,390.

The number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 declined to 337 from Sunday’s 351, with 109 cases in intensive care unit — down from Sunday’s 113. There are 53 staffed, available ICU beds in the county.

Of 9,770 tests reported by the county Monday, 3% returned positive. The 14-day rolling average remained 3.2%.

There were no new community outbreaks reported Monday. There have been 24 outbreaks over the last seven days with 89 cases associated with those outbreaks.

As of Sunday, of the county’s population over the age of 16, 23.6% — or 635,758 people — have received at least one dose, and 12.4% — or 333,581 people — have been fully inoculated.

Starting April 1, theme parks can reopen at 15% capacity in the red tier of the state’s four-tiered reopening plan, state officials announced last week. Capacity levels will shift to 25% in the orange tier and 35% in the yellow tier.

Attendance will be limited to in-state visitors.

The San Diego Padres expect to have fans at Petco Park for their home opener April 1 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, CEO Erik Greupner said.

“Our number-one 1 priority is providing our fans with a safe and fun experience when they return to the ballpark,” Greupner said. “We have been diligently preparing to ensure that Petco Park is one of the safest places to be in San Diego this season.”

The team will soon notify its season ticket holders with details of their return to Petco Park, Greupner said.

If San Diego County is in the red tier by the end of March, about 8,500 fans would be allowed to attend the opening day game, 20% of Petco Park’s capacity, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

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