Even as the state relaxes its standards for COVID-19 closures San Joaquin County still hasn’t reduced its infection rates enough to qualify for less restrictive measures.

As of Sunday the state has revised its standards for Governor Gavin Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. An infection rate of 10 or more people per-100,000 residents puts a county in the purple, or “widespread” tier. That standard previously was seven infections per-100,000, but once the state attained two million vaccination doses it relaxed the standard for which counties could move to the less restrictive red, or “substantial” tier.

San Joaquin County’s infection rate as of March 6 is 10.5 residents per-100,000, which represents substantial improvement since the infection rate peaked in early January, but little improvement over the past few weeks. The infection rate reached 76.7 per-100,000 on Jan. 9 and about a month later, Feb. 6, it was down to 25.1 per-100,000. That rate was down to 11.6 as of Feb. 20.

The new standards means that as of this week most of California has moved into the red tier. Remaining in the purple tier are 11 of the state’s 58 counties, representing 4.1 million of the state’s 40.1 million residents. Most of those purple-tier counties, including San Joaquin County, are in the San Joaquin Valley.

Movement to the red tier would allow restaurants to open for indoor dining, provide greater flexibility for other businesses to allow customers in their stores, and would relax some of the requirements that apply to youth and high school sports.

• Contact the Tracy Press at tpnews@tracypress.com or 209-835-3030.

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