Health officials announced on Tuesday, Oct. 13 that Stanislaus County has been cleared to move forward to Tier Two (Red Tier) per the Blueprint for a Safer Economy by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The primary changes allowed under the state order as Stanislaus moves into this tier include:
• Mall, outdoor malls, and other retail establishments opening indoors at 50 percent capacity;
• Museums, Zoos, Aquariums, Restaurants, Movie Theaters, and Places of Worship opening indoors at 25 percent capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer;
• Gyms, Fitness Centers, Hotels and Lodging opening indoors with 10 percent capacity; and
• Personal care services opening indoors with modifications.
While officials noted that this is a significant step towards reopening businesses and places of worship, risk of COVID-19 transmission in the county is still considered substantial.
“Moving out of Tier One has truly been a community-wide effort involving changes in everyday activities and we thank all of you,” said Stanislaus County Public Health Officer, Dr. Julie Vaishampayan. “We can’t let our guard down. The virus is still here, and we are seeing a significant amount of spread. In order to keep moving towards Tier Four, we must continue to give space to others, wear a face covering, wash hands frequently, and get tested if you have been exposed or have symptoms of COVID-19.”
In order to move to Tier Three, (Orange Moderate), Stanislaus County must remain in the Red Tier for three consecutive weeks and have less than four cases per 100,000 residents and a positivity rate less than 5 percent for two consecutive weeks. Additionally, the County must meet the health equity metric requirements for testing and resources. For more information regarding the tiers and Blueprint for A Safer Economy, visit https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/
“Our progress to Tier 2 is a result of our community coming together and we want to thank everyone for doing their part in helping with this change,” said Lori Williams, Director of Stanislaus County Public Health. “Reducing the spread of COVID-19 has always been our goal and we appreciate our community for sharing this responsibility with us. While we are not completely out of risk, we are definitely moving in the right direction and we encourage our community members to continue working with us in getting to Tier 4”.
Other neighboring counties in the Red Tier include San Joaquin, Merced, Fresno and Sacramento counties. To continue achieving these milestones, Public Health is working with various community-based organizations to ensure testing and educational resources are available in all communities within Stanislaus County. Upcoming mobile testing events and additional locations are available on Public Health website at http://www.schsa.org/corona-virus/testing/.
Stanislaus County Public Health encourages the community to continue following recommendations and to get tested if they have been exposed to a person with COVID-19, have symptoms, or have gathered with others outside of their household. Free testing is available in Stanislaus County through partnerships with Optum Serve at website https://lhi.care/covidtesting and Project Baseline at website https://www.projectbaseline.com/study/covid-19/.
Stanislaus County Public Health continues to work closely with all community partners and the Emergency Operations Center to address the COVID-19 pandemic through guidance provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health, and other partners.