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Stanislaus County finally moves into red tier
COVID dining
Restaurants are now able to open inside dining at 25% of capacity under state health guidelines as Stanislaus County is in the red tier regarding COVID-19 restrictions (Journal file photo).

Stanislaus County was finally given the green light on Tuesday to move into the less restrictive red tier as part of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

Stanislaus County’s daily case rate average was still higher than the metric for the red tier, but the continued low test positivity rate allowed for the move. The California Department of Public Health allows for a county to move down when the testing positivity rate meets the metrics of two tiers down, which in this case would be the orange tier.

Stanislaus County had an adjusted case rate of 12.2% per 100,000 residents and a testing positivity rate of 5% with an equity quartile positivity rate of 4.5%. The equity quartile positivity rate adjusts for efforts being made to stop the spread of COVID-19 in neighborhoods and regions that have been the hardest hit. Because both testing positivity rates have fallen at or below 5 percent, for a couple of weeks Stanislaus County could move into the red tier.

Moving into the red tier allows for:

• Restaurants, movie theaters, zoos, museums, higher education indoor lectures can resume at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is less.

• Retail stores and shopping centers can operate at 50% capacity. Grocery stores can operate at full capacity.

• Gym and fitness center indoor capacity is limited to 10%.

“Our residents have once again stepped up and helped us move forward through their efforts in controlling the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, Public Health Officer. “However, we cannot let our guard down. We could easily slip back into purple tier if we do not stay vigilant. With the increased mixing that comes with businesses opening, there will be increased spread unless we consistently do those actions we know will stop the spread of COVID-19. We must continue to give space to others, wear a mask, wash hands often, and get tested frequently so our community can get back to work and start recovering from the pandemic.”

Public Health asks community members to continue following these safety guidelines of keep the entire community safe and protected from COVID-19:

1. Get Tested. Testing remains a vital surveillance tool in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and helps us advance to the next tier by improving the overall percent positive tests and the State’s “adjustment” of the County’s case rate.

2. Wear a mask. Wearing a mask when in public or around those who are not a part of your household will help stop the spread.

3. Maintain and safe distance from others. Keeping a safe distance from those who do not live with you is effective at keeping the coronavirus away.

4. Avoid crowds. The fewer people you encounter or interact with, the lower the chance the virus will spread.

5. Move activities outdoors. Outdoor activities are far safer than indoor activities due to better ventilation.

6. Get vaccinated when it is your turn. All federally authorized vaccines work extremely well at preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19.