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Only one metric, preventing the county from progressing into the state’s “red tier”

Only one metric, preventing the county from progressing into the state’s “red tier”

Riverside County has been getting closer to red or tier 2 status, which would mean further reopening, including, movie theatres, museums, indoor dining and widespread school reopenings.

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Tuesday the county’s adjusted daily case rate stood at 11.3 infections per 100,000 population, down from 16.6 cases per 100,000 last week.

This adjusted measure must drop to 7 cases per 100,000 or below for a County to move to the next ‘Red Tier’.

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The county’s seven-day positivity rate dropped to 5.8 percent, down from 7.6 percent last week. The health equity quartile positivity rate was reported at 6.1 percent Tuesday — down from 8.3 percent last week, according to state figures.

The daily adjusted case rate is the only metric holding Riverside County back from progressing into the red tier under the state’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy.”

To move between the two most restrictive tiers, a county needs two consecutive weeks of a seven-day adjusted case rate between four and seven daily new cases per 100,000 residents, a positivity rate between 5% and 8% and a health equity rate between 5.3% and 8%.

In an effort to bring the adjusted case rate down, the county has been urging residents to get tested for the coronavirus. The county’s longtime purple tier assignment is, in part, tied to a slowdown in the number of residents seeking coronavirus testing, according to county officials. Counties are penalized for not reaching a statewide median of PCR swab tests.

“With the recent focus on coronavirus vaccination, it is not surprising the rate for COVID-19 testing among Riverside County residents has dropped significantly over the past few months,” Riverside County Board of Supervisors Chair Karen Spiegel, Second District, said last week.

Although red tier status would mean that all Riverside County schools could fully reopen for in-person instruction, several industries would still be ordered closed to the public, including: amusement parks, bars that don’t serve food, bowling alleys, breweries that don’t serve food, concert venues, convention centers, distilleries where no food is served, festivals, indoor playgrounds, live theater, nightclubs, live audiences at sporting events and racetracks, saunas and steam rooms, and theme parks.

While the county’s case rate is still too high for the red tier, the state has approved the resumption of youth and adult sports, including high-contact sports like football.

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