With the most recent data update, five counties saw case rates and positivity rates that put them in a position to move next week if their numbers remain low:
Placer County could move to the orange tier.
Yolo County to move to the yellow tier.
Plumas County to move to the yellow tier.
Inyo County to move to the yellow tier.
Merced County could move to the orange tier.
Yuba and Tuolumne county were in a position to move to a less restrictive tier last week, but their case rates rose to a point where they were ineligible to move this week.
Counties need to meet the next tiers metrics requirements for two consecutive weeks before moving tiers. There are only three more weeks of tier changes until June 15, when the state plans to retire the tier system. So, there still is enough time for more counties down one more tier before there are no more tiers.
Starting today, Solano County is expanding vaccine eligibility to individuals living or working in Solano County who are age 16 and older, in accordance with state guidance to expand eligibility to all Californians in this age group.
After the statement issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommending the administration of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine be paused temporarily, Solano County is also pausing use of the J&J vaccine at this time.
Until further notice, all vaccine clinics scheduled by the County will be administering the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. The public is urged to keep their appointments if they have already been scheduled.
“We are pleased to expand eligibility to all community members age 16 and older in Solano County,” said Bela T. Matyas, M.D., M.P.H., Solano County Health Officer. “With the temporary pause in providing the J&J vaccine, appointments for first vaccine doses may continue to be limited. We ask that the public continue to be patient as the pace of administering vaccines depends on supply. In the meantime, please continue to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by maintaining distance from those outside your household, by wearing a mask and by washing your hands often.”
Vaccines, including Johnson & Johnson, have been shown to be overwhelmingly safe and effective at preventing COVID-19. No adverse events have been reported in Solano County following administration of the J&J vaccine. The CDC and FDA’s recommendation to pause administration of the J&J vaccine is made out of an abundance of caution as the investigation is conducted into the six cases of blood clotting recently reported in the United States.
It is important to note that these reactions have been extremely rare, as nearly 7 million people have received the J&J vaccine to date in the United States. The County will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional information to the public as soon as it becomes available.
Vaccinations are no cost and available to all current eligible groups regardless of health insurance or immigration status.
Community members eligible to receive the vaccine are asked to sign up using the state’s vaccine notification and scheduling platform, www.myturn.ca.gov, or through the Solano County COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form, www.bit.ly/solanovax, to get priority notifications on upcoming COVID-19 vaccine clinics. For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine administration and rollout in Solano County, visit www.solanocounty.com/covidvaccine and on Facebook, @SolanoCountyPH.
Contra Costa, Napa and Sonoma are out of the red tier
Mercury News, by Bay Area News Group, PUBLISHED: April 6, 2021 at 12:11 p.m. | UPDATED: April 6, 2021 at 12:31 p.m.
Eighty percent of California’s population is in the orange COVID tier after Tuesday’s reassignment.
Moving from red to orange were 15 counties: Contra Costa, Napa, Sonoma, Siskiyou, Humboldt, Mendocino, El Dorado, San Benito, Monterey, Tulare, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego and Imperial.
Moving from purple to red was San Joaquin County.
The looser regulations in those counties will take effect Wednesday.
Only two counties — Merced and Inyo — remain in the purple tier, indicating “widespread” risk. They account for less than 1% of the state’s population.
Thirty-two of the 58 counties, with 80.5% of the population, are in the orange tier (“moderate” risk). Of the Bay Area counties, only Solano hasn’t advanced to that tier.
At a press conference Tuesday morning, state Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly said the tier-based system of COVID-19 restrictions is likely to be discontinued on June 15. The mask mandate is expected to remain in effect after that date, but businesses will probably be allowed to open at full capacity, he said.
Click here for the state’s official COVID website, including details of what activities are allowed in the various tiers.
After 31 weeks, an end to the tier system is in sight: Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that the state plans to remove most of coronavirus restrictions on June 15 if vaccinations remain widely available and hospitalization of Covid-19 patients remains low.
At that point California would allow restaurants, bars, stores, movie theaters, museums and practically all other businesses statewide to resume operations without capacity limits both indoors and outside, state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly told officials on Tuesday morning. Not everything would return to normal immediately — after June 15 California’s mask mandate will remain in place for the foreseeable future, officials said.
“We’re seeing bright light at the end of the tunnel,” Newsom said at the press conference, cautioning that the state will move “soberly and thoughtfully, guided by the data” to the next stage. “Everything being equal on June 15, we’ll be opening up business as usual.”
“The entire state will move into this phase as a whole. This will not be county-by-county,” Ghaly said in a briefing call with reporters Tuesday, reports the Los Angeles Times.
It’s unclear yet how much power local counties will have at their discretion to impose effective modifications to the “full reopening,” such as caps on capacity at event sizes, as San Francisco in particular has used to enforce a more conservative approach to reopening throughout the pandemic.
Newsom also shared that the state has reached its goal of administering 4 million vaccines to residents of low-income-designated areas throughout the state, activating looser criteria for counties to advance to the next tier.
On top of that news, the state included three Bay Area counties — Napa, Sonoma and Contra Costa — among the 16 across the state moving into less restrictive tiers. In the case of those Bay Area counties, they’re moving from the red “substantial” tier to the orange “moderate” tier, opening nonessential offices, indoor bars, and host limited live entertainment events, among other activities, effective Wednesday.
Solano County is the only county in the Bay Area still on the red tier. Eight of nine Bay Area counties have now reached the orange tier.
If their case numbers continue to improve, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties would be on pace to become eligible for the yellow tier next week.
Here’s what the orange tier counties can expect under the new tier changes, which would become effective Wednesday morning:
Bars that don’t serve food can reopen, but can only seat patrons outdoors. Wineries, distilleries and breweries that don’t serve meals can resume hosting customers indoors.
Restaurants and movie theaters can increase their indoor capacity to 50% or 200 people, whichever is fewer. Previously, both establishments were limited to 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever was fewer.
Retail stores can open to full indoor capacity as long as social distancing is enforced, up from 50% capacity previously.
Indoor gyms can expand from 10% to 25% capacity.
Museums and places of worship can move from 25% to 50% indoor capacity.
Nonessential offices can reopen, but the state is still encouraging remote work.
Amusement parks can open outdoors to 25% capacity for counties in the orange zone, or a maximum 500 people, but only in-state visitors are allowed and tickets must be purchased in advance.
On Friday state officials also loosened restrictions on holding indoor events such as conferences and performances for the first time since early 2020. They introduced a sliding scale for the number of visitors that can attend, and venues can increase capacity if visitors are vaccinated or have recent negative tests for coronavirus.
On the orange tier, indoor venues can host up to 15% capacity, and 35% if guests are vaccinated. For events with over 1,500 people, the orange tier allows 10% capacity and 35% if guests are vaccinated.