While other major cities in California have shifted to the state’s least restrictive yellow tier in its color-coded reopening system, San Diego will remain in the more restrictive orange tier and it may stay that way until the state’s targeted reopening date.
In a coronavirus county briefing on Thursday, San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher said that he is “not optimistic” San Diego will move tiers before June 15, when Gov. Gavin Newsom plans for a wider reopening of the state.
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At last check, San Diego County had an adjusted case rate of five new daily cases per 100,000 people. In order to transition to the yellow tier, the county would have to have two or fewer daily cases for that figure. The region also has a 2.2% positivity rate on a 7-day average and needs less than 2% to shift tiers. Additionally, it would need less than 2.2% of positive tests for its health equity quartile, but it currently sits at 2.7%.
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To advance to the yellow tier, San Diego would have to report statistics that satisfy those metrics for two consecutive weeks.
As of Friday morning, nearly 1.2 million eligible San Diegans have been fully vaccinated, but the county would need 1 million more to reach herd immunity. Roughly 63% of the eligible population has received at least one COVID-19 shot.
In an effort to get as many interested San Diegans inoculated as possible, the county has taken steps to accommodate residents’ schedules and access to the vaccines. Some vaccination sites have expanded their hours to include evening shifts, appointments have been made available countywide seven days a week and pop-up sites have been opening in high traffic areas.
“We are working with MTS, for example, on identifying frequently high visited areas where people as they’re moving through, might be willing to drop in and get a vaccine on their way home,” Fletcher said. “We’re working with senior centers, with faith-based organizations.”
To take a look at available COVID-19 vaccine appointments, click here.