San Diego County remains in purple tier, South Bay vaccination barriers

NATIONAL CITY (KUSI) – San Diego County will remain in the most-restrictive purple tier of the state’s four-tiered coronavirus reopening plan, it was announced today, but there is a still a possibility to be promoted to the less-restrictive red tier by the end of the month.

According to state data released Tuesday, San Diego County has an adjusted case rate of 8.8 new daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. To be promoted to the red tier — and its limited allowance of indoor dining, gyms, movie theaters and other businesses and services — the county must report a daily case rate of fewer than 7 per 100,000 and then maintain that rate for two
weeks.

By these numbers, the earliest the county could move to the red tier is March 30. The California Department of Public Health assesses counties on a weekly basis and schedules updates for Tuesdays.

The testing positivity percentage is 3.3%, 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 4.5% and is also in the orange tier.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 vaccine shortfalls will close the Del Mar Fairgrounds vaccination super site again this weekend, and a technical error caused 1,800 vaccine appointments for this week to be rescheduled, Scripps Health announced Tuesday.

Scripps, which runs the Del Mar site, will be closed Friday through Sunday due to the low number of vaccine doses that were delivered to Scripps for the week.

The station is scheduled to reopen Monday.

Patients who had appointments on one of the three closed days are being rescheduled for either Thursday or early next week automatically through the MyTurn online appointment system.

County public health officials reported 307 new COVID-19 infections on Monday, increasing the total number of cases to 263,275. No new deaths were reported Monday and the death toll remained at 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.

This news comes as vaccinations continue in many areas including in some of the hardest hit areas of San Diego County.

KUSI’s Hunter Sowards was live in National City with the very latest on the efforts there.

Categories: Coronavirus, Health, KUSI, Local San Diego News