Santa Barbara County Assigned to Purple Widespread COVID-19 Tier

Wednesday, 18 Nov, 2020

After California's total coronavirus cases surpassed 1 million, most counties will return to the state's most restrictive reopening tier, Newsom announced.

That's how Santa Barbara County, which had the red tier status last week, is moving to purple immediately, as are San Luis Obispo County, Ventura County, and many more.

Under the purple tier indoor operations for museums, houses of worship, gyms and restaurants are not allowed.

"While our family followed the restaurant's health protocols and took safety precautions, we should have modeled better behavior and not joined the dinner", the governor said in a written statement.

This two-tier jump is a part of the state's hope to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Ventura County had moved to the red tier on October 6.

Counties will move backward in the tier system following one week of meeting the metrics of a more restrictive tier rather than two consecutive weeks of meeting those metrics, which include the daily new case rate and test positivity rates. It ranges in severity from purple - the most restrictive for businesses - to red, orange and yellow - the most flexible. The county Health Care Agency is handling those case by case.

California will assess tiers a few times a week and counties may be reassigned tiers any day of the week.

Daily new cases are rapidly rising in almost half of the country, forcing governors in at least 48 states to take new steps to stop the spread.

In a coronavirus press conference on Monday Newsom said the state's number of COVID-19 cases has doubled in the past week alone and 10,968 new cases were reported on Monday.

"Eight months into a pandemic that's likely to stretch well into next year, our priorities are misplaced when malls receive more focus than the public schools that provide children with the foundation of literacy, math and critical thinking skills they need to succeed in school and in life", he said.

The local curve has been shooting "straight up" since about November 3, she said.

"If we have to wait until January 20 to start that planning, it puts us behind, over a month and a half", Biden said during a news conference. The U.S. has regularly seen more than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases for the past week, and that number is only continually growing. Those schools having already reopened can continue without interruption, and those in phased reopening can continue to reopen under their phased schedules under the state's law, he said. This is only applicable to individual school sites.

Sonoma County has not left the most restrictive tier since the four-tier system was announced in August.

"One of the lessons we have learned and demonstrated in March and July (when there were also steep rises in COVID-19 cases) is that acting quickly helps bring things under control faster", Williams said last Friday regarding the county's decision to move faster to implement the restrictions than state guidelines.

Newsom said he is concerned that he may have undermined his own message.