San Diego set to enter red tier next week

Coronavirus

SAN DIEGO — San Diego County is expected to enter the less-restrictive red tier next week after the state met its goal of administering 2 million doses of the vaccine to California’s hardest-hit communities.

The state was expected to meet the goal by Friday, a milestone that comes with relaxing the threshold for counties to move into less restrictive tiers on the state’s reopening system. Some counties, including Los Angeles and Orange, can reopen more businesses beginning Sunday.

San Diego and 12 other counties will have to wait until Tuesday, when they are expected to move from the purple to red tier under the new guidelines. The tier adjustments will be assigned on Tuesday and take effect on Wednesday, the state said.

The change in tiers will allow indoor operations at restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and other establishments to resume at limited capacity and with modifications.

“This has been a lot of hard work of San Diegans in lowering the case count, a lot of hard work getting vaccines into arms, but all of these have combined and come together to put us on the cusp of being able to achieve this next tier,” Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said of the expected move.

The state said after reassessment using new thresholds, 13 counties will move to the red tier Sunday: Amador, Colusa, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Mono, Orange, Placer, San Benito, San Bernardino, Siskiyou, Sonoma and Tuolumne.

State health leaders expect 13 additional counties to move into the red tier on Tuesday, including Sacramento, San Diego, Kings, Lake, Monterey, Riverside, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Ventura and Yuba.

The county must stay in the red tier and post two consecutive weeks of data in the orange tier before San Diego moves to the less restrictive level, which would ease more restrictions.

“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,” said Tomás Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. “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.”

The blueprint will be updated again when 4 million doses have been administered in the vaccine equity quartile.

Check back for updates on this developing story

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