There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, California!
On Wednesday, all 58 of California’s counties officially left the purple tier, which is the strictest level of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The state started this colored tier system as a way to show COVID recovery progress in California’s various districts, based on case numbers and subsequent restrictions.
[Image: Screenshot from California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy]
Merced County was the last county remaining in the purple tier, and they finally reached the less restrictive red tier on Wednesday. Inyo County in Southern California reached the red tier on Tuesday.
California’s purple tier is considered “widespread” risk, where most non-essential businesses are closed. The red tier is still “substantial,” but is nonetheless a huge step forward in California’s plan.
There are now 33 counties in the orange “moderate” tier, which accounts for 82.9% of the state’s population. Since California opened vaccine eligibility to all residents 16 and over, we are seeing life become marginally more normal in a significant amount of counties.
Three counties are in California’s least-restrictive, yellow “minimal” tier, which allows most indoor businesses to reopen. Those counties are Lassen, Sierra, and Alpine County in Northern California.
San Francisco is still at a moderate risk level, with an average of 3.8 cases per day per 100k people. That comes to a 0.9% positivity rate. To qualify for the yellow tier, the county must have less than 2.0 cases per day per 100k people, and less than 2.0% positive tests for the entire county.
California has now administered over 23.3 million doses of the COVID vaccine, coming to almost 40 percent of the state’s population. Dr. Anthony Fauci and other experts have said that a state would need to reach a vaccination rate of about 85% in order to get true herd immunity.