The California Public Health Department announced this week that some COVID-19 quarantine restrictions have been relaxed, making it likely that San Joaquin County will soon meet the guidelines for reopening of more businesses and public spaces.

On Monday, the state health department noted that many counties have seen new infections and hospitalizations begin to level off, and also have sufficient levels of testing, contact tracing and hospital capacity, plus stronger preparedness to respond to local outbreaks.

With the new guidelines, San Joaquin County is closer to meeting the Stage 2 requirements for reopening schools, offices, logistics businesses and child care centers. Stage 3 will bring the opening of higher-risk workplaces, and Stage 4 will be the opening of all workplaces and public spaces.

The state’s standard is now 25 or fewer new cases per 100,000 people over 14 days. In San Joaquin County, with a population of about 762,000, that translates to 190 cases in that time period. The county has reported 130 new cases. To qualify for Stage 2 reopening, the county also must have had no more than 20 people hospitalized with COVID-19 on any given day in the past two weeks; the county’s maximum for that time is 17 patients.

San Joaquin County is also meeting the criteria for COVID-19 testing capacity, hospital capacity, protection of those most vulnerable to the virus, and protection of essential workers.

The county does not yet meet state standards for getting homeless people into housing where they can avoid the virus or for having enough contact tracers, with 114 needed but only 50 available.

As of Wednesday, the county has reported a total of 733 known COVID-19 cases. Among those, 584 people have recovered, and 33 people have died.

The peak for reporting of new cases in San Joaquin County was April 13, when 39 new cases were reported, and the county has averaged 11 new cases a day since then. Tracy has had 106 confirmed cases.

Statistics on local COVID-19 cases are updated daily at www.sjcphs.org.

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