Like many counties across the state, the coronavirus news was not good this week for Stanislaus County.
Due to an increase in spread, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reassigned Stanislaus County into the most restrictive “Purple” tier. The reassignment announced on Monday, Nov. 16 is now in effect. Residents and businesses can view the status of allowable activities and operations on the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy webpage.
“As the weather gets cooler, flu season imminent, and the holidays just around the corner, we are not moving in the right direction,” said Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, Stanislaus County Public Health Officer. “Our communities worked extremely hard to lower our numbers and move into the less restrictive red tier four weeks ago. Our numbers began to steadily increase as folks began to return to regular activities, like attending small and large gatherings without wearing a face covering and maintaining a six-foot distance at all times. I know we can decrease the spread; we’ve done it before and can do it again. It is critical that we turn this trend quickly to avoid overwhelming our healthcare system.”
Schools that have opened during the timeframe of the County being in the red tier are not required to close. Schools that have not started their reopening plan will be required to wait until the County advances to the red tier and maintains red tier status for two consecutive weeks.
In order to return to the red tier, Stanislaus County must have an adjusted daily case rate of less than seven per 100,000 population and a test positivity rate of less than eight percent for two consecutive weeks.
Public Health encourages all residents to get tested. Testing helps identify people who are infected with COVID-19 so they can take actions to stop the spread to their family, friends, coworkers, and community. Anyone, with or without symptoms can take a free test from a county or state-run site. The best ways for residents to protect themselves and those around them is by continuing to wear face coverings, giving a safe space of six feet to others, washing hands frequently with soap and water, and gathering safely by following California Department of Public Health Guidance for Private Gatherings.