San Diego barely avoided moving a step closer to more restrictive pandemic measures on Tuesday, despite initial confusion between two places where the state reports county metrics.
On Tuesday, the California COVID-19 update website stated on a map that the county's new state-calculated rate of coronavirus cases per every 100,000 residents was at 7.1. However, the state also had "7.0" listed inside the data spreadsheet that the state also posts.
County spokesman Michael Workman confirmed later in the day that the case rate was actually 7.0, If that case rate had spiked to 7.1 and increased for a second week in a row, the region would have shifted back down to Tier 1, which is also known as the Purple Tier, California’s most restrictive category in its color-coded system of coronavirus rankings.
If San Diego County were to shift to it, restaurants would be forced to cease indoor operations, and gyms and places of worship would have to offer their services outdoors.
“It’s going to impact us greatly,” said Sandy Tobin, owner of the Dumpling Inn & Shanghai Saloon restaurant on Convoy Street. “Going into kind of the winter season as well as the rainy season, I’m not quite sure how we would serve our guests.”
San Diego County remains in Tier 2, also known as the Red Tier. Although restrictions are still imposed in this metric, indoor services at some establishments like restaurants, fitness centers and places of worship are allowed under limited capacity.
Last month when the possibility loomed over the county, some business owners announced their intention to continue with indoor operations even if the region were to be demoted to Tier 1. Ultimately, however, San Diego County squeaked by and was able to remain in Tier 2, also known as the Red Tier – saving business owners the trouble of having to readjust their workflow.