With improving case trends, California expects many counties to see less restrictive tiers soon

California face masks
Posted at 4:48 PM, Feb 16, 2021

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that he expects several California counties to see coronavirus restrictions ease starting next week as case numbers continue to improve.

Newsom said based on recent case trends, he believes more and more counties will begin to move into lesser reopening tiers in the coming weeks.

"Yes, based on trend lines, 3.5% 7-day positivity rate. Remember, we were at 11.4% percent a month ago ... We have one county, Plumas ... that's moving out of purple into the red tier today. I anticipate substantial number next week and even more in the subsequent weeks," Newsom said Tuesday. "If the trend lines continue, I think indeed that is the case. We'll see counties move, not just from purple to red, but more and more, red to orange and I anticipate, based on the number that are already in orange, you'll see many more that are in that yellow tier as well, which is more permissive in the tiers that we put out 24 weeks ago in our blueprint for a safer reopening."

As of Tuesday, three counties were in the state's red tier (Del Norte, Mariposa, and Plumas counties) and orange tier (Alpine, Sierra, and Trinity counties) each. San Diego County and 51 other counties are in the purple tier, California's most restrictive.

California's COVID-19 dashboard also showed a 31.4% drop in cases week-over-week as of Monday. Just one month ago, California reported more than 42,000 new cases on Jan. 14 and 16. On Monday, the state reported nearly 5,700 new cases.

In addition to case trends, vaccination rates led state health officials to remain optimistic about case trends going forward. California received 1.08 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine this week and expects another 1.28 million doses to arrive next week.