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San Diego County Remains In Purple Tier, But COVID-19 Numbers Improve

Juan Carlos Padilla gets his COVID-19 vaccination inside the community center of Terry's Mobile Home Park in Chula Vista, Feb. 17, 2021.
Matt Hoffman
Juan Carlos Padilla gets his COVID-19 vaccination inside the community center of Terry's Mobile Home Park in Chula Vista, Feb. 17, 2021.

San Diego County will remain in the most-restrictive purple tier of the state's four-tiered coronavirus reopening plan, it was announced Tuesday, but there is a still a possibility to be promoted to the less-restrictive red tier by the end of the month.

According to state data released Tuesday, San Diego County has an adjusted case rate of 8.8 new daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. To be promoted to the red tier — and its limited allowance of indoor dining, gyms, movie theaters and other businesses and services — the county must report a daily case rate of 7 or less per 100,000 and then maintain that rate for two weeks.

However, the state plans to expand the parameters as it reaches vaccine equity goals.


Gov. Gavin Newsom announced earlier this month a target of administering 2 million vaccine doses in some of the most vulnerable communities in the state. Once reached, that would allow counties with a case rate of 10 per 100,000 or below to move into the less restrictive red tier.

Thresholds for the even less restrictive orange and yellow tiers will be slightly tweaked once the state reaches 4 million doses in harder hit regions.

The California Department of Public Health assesses counties on a weekly basis and schedules updates for Tuesdays.

The testing positivity percentage is 3.3%, placing the county in the orange tier. While the testing positivity rate for the county qualifies it for orange, the state uses the most restrictive metric — in this case the adjusted case rate — and assigns counties to that tier. The county's health equity metric, which looks at the testing positivity for areas with the lowest healthy conditions, is 4.5% and is also in the orange tier.

RELATED: Vaccine Supply Issues Continue, Cause Del Mar Site To Shutter This Weekend


Meanwhile, COVID-19 vaccine shortfalls will close the Del Mar Fairgrounds vaccination super site again this weekend, and a technical error caused 1,800 vaccine appointments for this week to be rescheduled, Scripps Health announced Tuesday.

Scripps, which runs the Del Mar site, will be closed Friday through Sunday due to the low number of vaccine doses that were delivered to Scripps for the week.

The station is scheduled to reopen Monday.

Patients who had appointments on one of the three closed days are being rescheduled for either Thursday or early next week automatically through the MyTurn online appointment system.

County public health officials reported 307 new COVID-19 infections on Monday, increasing the total number of cases to 263,275. No new deaths were reported Monday and the death toll remained at 3,390.

The number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 declined to 337 from Sunday's 351, with 109 cases in intensive care unit — down from Sunday's 113. There are 53 staffed, available ICU beds in the county.

Of 9,770 tests reported by the county Monday, 3% returned positive. The 14-day rolling average remained 3.2%.

There were no new community outbreaks reported Monday. There have been 24 outbreaks over the last seven days with 89 cases associated with those outbreaks.

Governor Gavin Newsom gives his State of the State address, one year into the pandemic and amid growing pressure from a recall campaign against him. Meanwhile, while San Diego police are touting a lower crime rate in 2020, a closer look at the numbers shows that violent crime here has gone up a bit, as it has big cities across the country in 2020. Plus, San Diego City Council votes to create a “climate equity fund.”