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Restrictions return as COVID-19 cases surge
Stanislaus County back in purple tier
Stanislaus County’s hopes to appeal a move to a more restrictive tier came to a screeching halt Monday when Gov. Gavin Newsom applied the emergency brake on the state’s opening plan as COVID-19 cases surge.

Stanislaus County is one of 41 counties that are now in the most restrictive purple tier, indicating COVID-19 cases are widespread. The tier assignment returns restrictive rules for non-essential businesses like restaurants and gyms and went into effect Tuesday. It was announced Monday by Gov. Newsom during a press conference.

Previously, the tier assignments would be announced on Tuesdays and counties would have 72 hours to come into compliance, but health officials and the governor, seeing the rapid increase in cases, opted to pull the emergency brake in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. That means counties have 24 hours to comply with restrictions; tier assignments can be changed when counties fail to meet the metrics for one week rather than two; tier assignments can change any day of the week and may happen multiple times in one week; and counties can be moved through multiple tiers rather than one at a time.

Gov. Newsom said the daily number of cases has doubled in the state and that it has been the fastest increase of cases the state has seen.

“We are now moving backward not forward,” Newsom said.

The governor also said the state is considering a statewide curfew, but is looking at studies to determine the usefulness before making a decision.

“We have a lot of questions on what it would look like,” Newsom said.

California Secretary of Health Dr. Mark Ghaly said the surge in cases is being driven by multiple factors like household gatherings, people becoming too lax with mask use in workplaces like offices, and more activities happening indoors, like dining and exercising.

With Thanksgiving approaching the state is advising people who live in counties that are in the purple or red tiers to not gather indoors with individuals outside of their household. If people are gathering for the holiday, they should wear face coverings when indoors and try to keep the gathering short.

People traveling out of the state and people coming in to California for the holiday are being asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. The state has not made it mandatory.

Newsom said during his press conference that the state has made preparations for a surge in COVID-19 cases by increasing the supply of needed equipment like PPEs and ventilators. The state also has 11 surge facilities that can be opened within 24 to 96 hours.

Stanislaus County was moved out of the red tier because it failed to meet the metrics for that tier. Under the red tier, daily new cases have to fall between four to seven per 100,000 residents and the positivity test rate has to be between five to eight percent.
As of Tuesday the state data shows Stanislaus County has a daily case rate of 14.4%, but was adjusted to 15.9% because the county didn't meet the criteria for number of tests. The positivity rate is at 7.6%.

Stanislaus County has recorded 19,510 COVID-19 cases and 413 deaths as of Tuesday. Of those cases, 1,030 are presumed active now. There are 113 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county.