San Luis Obispo County moving into the red tier

Virus Outbreak Variant
Posted at 12:44 PM, Mar 02, 2021

San Luis Obispo County is moving to the red tier.

The county's latest COVID-19 metrics, reported Tuesday on the state's coronavirus-tracking website, have dropped to red tier levels.

To leave the most-restrictive purple tier, a county's adjusted case rate must be 7 or lower. San Luis Obispo County's rate is now 6.8 cases per 100,000 people, down from 9.4 last week.

The county's positivity rate and health equity positivity rate, now at 2.7% and 3.4% respectively, are well below the numbers required to reach the red tier and have been for the past two weeks.

Generally, a county must meet all of the criteria to move into a less restrictive tier for two consecutive weeks before actually moving to that tier. But because SLO County's positivity rates were at orange tier levels - two tiers less restrictive than the purple tier - for two weeks, the county qualified for what the state calls "accelerated progression," allowing it to move into the red tier now.

Under the red tier, restaurants can open for indoor seating at 25% capacity, gyms can resume indoor operations at 10% capacity, and movie theaters will be able to open indoors with capacity limited to 25% or 100 people. Retail shops can also increase their capacity to 50%, and museums, zoos and aquariums can open indoors with modifications. Click here for detailed guidance for various business sectors.

San Luis Obispo County Public Health officials say the change goes into effect on Wednesday, March 3, and businesses can resume indoor operations at that time.

SLO County is one of seven counties moving into the red tier this week.

Last week, the county met the criteria to allow outdoor sports to resume.