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County Case Rate Drops Slightly, Still in Red Tier


The County’s new adjusted case rate dropped from 6.9 to 6.7 cases per 100,000 residents and the region will remain in the Red Tier, or Tier Two, of the state’s COVID-19 risk levels, the California Department of Public Health Announced Tuesday.

The decrease in the region’s case rate means that indoor dining and other operations can continue under the Tier Two guidelines they currently need to follow.

Reopening tiers are based on a county’s case rate and testing positivity percentage.

The County’s positivity percentage, now 3.5%, has been below the 4.9% that qualifies it for the Orange Tier, or Tier Three, since the state adopted the new ranking system. However, the state goes with the more restrictive measure to assign tiers.

The County cannot move into the Orange Tier until its case rate is below 3.9 cases per every 100,000 residents for two consecutive weeks. That would require the region to report an average of 140 or fewer cases each day.

COVID-19 spread in the region remains substantial and a concern. That’s why health officials stressed the need for local residents to continue using a face covering, maintaining physical distance, washing their hands and taking other preventive measures to keep bringing both metrics down.

“These prevention strategies can help reduce the case rate and testing positivity percentage,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer, during a COVID-19 update at the Board of Supervisors meeting.  “I encourage all San Diegans to please continue to do your part to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

The California Department of Public Health assesses counties on a weekly basis, and the next report is scheduled for Tuesday, October 6

County to Expand COVID-19 Testing

The County announced today it will be increasing the number of COVID-19 testing sites across the region to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The number of sites will increase from 29 to 41 and the number of tests available to be administered by public health nurses through the County’s lab contract with Helix will nearly double to about 30,000 weekly tests.

Testing by the County of school employees will take place at four regional locations the County identified through consultation with the San Diego County Office of Education. Testing of teachers and staff is recommended by the state for schools preparing to reopen for in-person instruction.

COVID-19 testing continues to be primarily being conducted at hospitals, with additional tests from commercial labs and community health centers.

Testing is available through your healthcare provider and health plans are required to cover the cost. Many County sites no longer require an appointment, but others do. To make an appointment, visit www.211sandiego.org or call 2-1-1. You can view the testing sites by day here.

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