Coachella Valley and Riverside County Meet Criteria To Reopen More Sectors

by Publisher CoachellaValley | September 16, 2020 10:18 pm

RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CA — New state data released Tuesday show Riverside County, which includes the Coachella Valley, has met the state’s coronavirus thresholds required to move to the next less restrictive Tier 2 ( red tier).

This will allow the reopening of more industry sectors. Unfortunately, the official decision won’t be made for at least another week before our local businesses learn whether they may begin welcoming customers again.

For the first time since California’s color-coded four-tiered “Blueprint” for reopening was unveiled on August 31, Riverside County has met the criteria for moving from the “purple tier” to the less-restrictive (red tier).

California’s color-coded tier levels.

Riverside County has been stuck in the most restrictive Tier 1 ( Purple Tier) moving forward because it exceeded the state thresholds of an 8 percent coronavirus positivity rate over a seven-day period and a case rate of seven infections per 100,000 population over the same period.

The state data released Tuesday show the county with a 6.4 percent positivity rate and 6.7 percent case rate both acceptable enough to move us into Tier 2 ( red tier).

If and when the Riverside County is officially moved into Tier 2 (red tier), it will allow for reopening of:

Indoor retail (at 50 percent maximum capacity)
—Malls, destination centers, swap meets (at 50 percent maximum capacity with food courts allowed to reopen at reduced capacity; common areas would remain closed)
—Indoor personal care services
—Indoor museums, zoos and aquariums (at 25 percent maximum capacity)
—Indoor places of worship (at 25 percent maximum capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
—Indoor gyms, fitness centers (at 10 percent capacity)
—Indoor restaurants (at 25 percent capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
—Schools can reopen on a widespread basis (without a waiver)

On Tuesday, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced that several other California counties have met the state thresholds to reopen more sectors. He said there will be an announcement next Tuesday, when it’s expected that several more counties will progress into new tiers. Ghaly stopped short of indicating which counties would progress.

No county moved into the less restrictive orange or yellow tiers this week.

San Diego County, which was moved into Tier 2 (red tier) on Aug. 31, has an uptick in its case rate. As of Tuesday, its 8.1 case rate was higher than Riverside County’s.

According to Ghaly, state health officials are working closely with San Diego County to prevent a backward move into the more restrictive purple tier that would force newly reopened businesses to close again.

This snapshot provided by the state shows the color-coded tier assigned to each county as of Sept. 15.

Orange County is the only other Southern California county that’s been placed in the state’s red tier. Tuesday’s figures show it has a positivity rate of 3.9 percent and a case rate of 4.7 infections per 100,000 population

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