San Diego County Back in the Red and Schools Are Back in the Green

by on March 17, 2021 · 0 comments

in Education, Health, San Diego

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, San Diego County is back in the Red, tier that is! And San Diego area schools have been given the green light to reopen.

Dr. Wilma Wooten on Tuesday announced that San Diego County has attained a case rate low enough to rejoin the red tier Wednesday, March 17.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune:

In a biweekly COVID-19 update to the Board of Supervisors, the county’s public health officer foreshadowed the contents of the state’s weekly tier report, listing the score at 6.8 cases per 100,000 residents. Taken together with last week’s rate of 8.8, and because the state retroactively increased the red tier threshold from 7 to 10, the county’ will move from purple to red.
“Tomorrow’, Wednesday, the county can officially move to the red tier,” Wooten said.

San Diego joins nine other counties that also moved from purple to red Tuesday: Lake, Monterey, Riverside, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Sutter, Tehema, Tulare and Ventura. That leaves just 11 of California’s 58 counties in the most-restrictive purple tier.

Observers note that it was on St. Patrick’s Day last year, 2020, that restaurants were ordered to close in 2020. Today they are able to reopen with 25 percent indoor dining.

Records indicate that the county’ had announced just 59 positive cases, 11 hospitalizations and zero deaths by the nation’s greenest holiday last year. As of yesterday’s daily report, those totals had grown to 265,649 cases, 13,343 hospitalizations and 3,452 deaths.

It was on November 10, 2020 that San Diego County moved to the purple tier and local businesses were restricted to operating outdoors just as winter weather started to arrive.

The U-T:

The red tier allows restaurants to begin using 25 percent of their indoor seating capacity’ while maintaining significant separation between tables and still requiring patrons to wear masks. Gyms are allowed to operate at 10 percent total indoor capacity’. Outdoor live entertainment venues, including Petco Park, and amusement parks such as Legoland California and Disneyland, may open at 20 percent and 15 percent occupancy starting April 1.

Greater levels of reopening are allowed in the two least-restrictive tiers of the state’s reopening system. At the moment, counties must have case rates no higher than 3.9 per 100,000 to move to the orange tier, which allows 50 percent indoor occupancy for restaurants, 25 percent for gyms and no capacity’ limits on shopping.

State officials said last week that they will make the orange tier requirements easier to meet once at least 4 million vaccine doses have been allocated to areas with inequitable health care resources.

Schools Get the Green

All public and private schools in San Diego County have as of today, Wednesday, March 17, received the green light to reopen for instruction starting today, the country’s greenest day – St. Patrick’s Day.

The County’s announcement about the COVID case rate having finally stayed low enough to reach the state’s less-restrictive red tier, coupled with a judge’s decision on Monday, means some North County districts have been given the authorization to reopen their middle and high schools.

San Diego Unified had already set a reopening date for April 12. The announcement and court decision does not put their reopening plans on fast-forward but does confirm their movement toward reopening is valid.

Other school districts are in similar situations:

  • San Ysidro Elementary and Lemon Grove Elementary had set April 12 as their reopening date,
  • La Mesa-Spring Valley set April 19.
  • Oceanside Unified, which reopened for elementary’ grades on Monday’, will reopen for secondary’ students the week of March 29;
  • At least three of those districts — Poway Unified, Carlsbad Unified and San Dieguito Union High — this week started offering at least one day a week of in-person instruction to their middle and high school students;
  • San Dieguito will discuss at a Thursday board meeting what its next steps will be to expand reopening;
  • Carlsbad will expand to offer two days a week of instruction to secondary students starting Thursday,
  • Poway will start doing so on Monday;
  • San Marcos Unified, which had also asked the state to reopen its middle and high schools, will open on March 23 and offer two days a week of in-person learning to each student;
  • Escondido Union High School District, where two-thirds of families said in a survey they are ready to return to school, will start returning students to campus on March 23, with students in all grades returning by April 20;
  • Chula Vista Elementary’ had decided to open no earlier than April 5 for staff and/or students.

For more, go to the SDU-T.

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