What it would take for SLO, Santa Barbara Counties to move into the next lower tier

Posted at 10:49 PM, Oct 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-08 02:30:09-04

Earlier this week, COVID-19 restrictions in San Luis Obispo County loosened, following 14 days in the red tier.

If the county gets into the orange tier, places like restaurants can have more people dining inside and bars can reopen outside without having to serve food.

San Luis Obispo County Public Health shared Wednesday the latest on what it would take to now move from red to orange tiers.

"We continue to be in very good shape, this week is as good as we've been in a very long time. We are once again seeing the yellow tier level for test positivity, with less than 2% countywide. Our case count remains above the four cases per 100,000 population and that's where we would need to get and stay for us to get to the next level," County Health Officer, Dr. Penny Borenstein, said.

In Santa Barbara County, a similar story, with county health officials saying the orange tier could be in sight.

"COVID-19 cases have dropped dramatically countywide over the past month to the adjusted case rate of 4.5 as announced on Tuesday with the state's new report card. The top of the case threshold is 3.9 cases, so we're very close," Santa Barbara County Supervisor Gregg Hart said.

There are some roadblocks still in the way.

"Whether it's our youthful population or people who refuse to wear a mask, or people who are a gathering at large parties, those are the conditions that are going to keep us having these high number of cases," Dr. Borenstein said.

Dr Borenstein says the county's health equity metric is also a way we could make it into orange. It's a new metric that monitors the impact of all of these statistics on some of the county's most vulnerable.