By Miriam Raftery
June 8, 2021 (San Diego) – Local businesses and event organizers will get a welcome reprieve from COVID-19 restrictions even earlier than the full reopening set to begin June 15 statewide. Starting tomorrow, San Diego County will move into the state’s least restrictive Yellow Tier, after two consecutive weeks of less than two COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.
As of today, the County’s new adjusted case rate is 1.2 cases per 100,000 people after declining to a case rate of 1.7 cases last week. The Yellow Tier means there is minimal spread of COVID-19 in the region.
“You did it, San Diegans. You have followed the public health guidance and got vaccinated when the vaccine became available to you,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “These actions have resulted in a significant drop in COVID-19 cases in the region. Now we need San Diegans to continue getting vaccinated so that we can get closer to herd immunity, and that includes second doses for those who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.”
When the tier change goes into effect, local businesses can expand operations to levels not seen in over a year, and one week before the state’s tier system disappears.
Under the Yellow Tier, restaurants, wineries, breweries, distilleries, gyms and movie theaters can have up to 50% capacity indoors; bars can have up to 25% capacity indoors or 100 people, whichever is less. Family entertainment centers can have 50% capacity or 75% if all guests show proof of vaccination or are tested for COVID-19.
Museums, zoos and aquariums no longer have capacity limits.
The Yellow Tier also allows private gatherings of up to 200 people are allowed if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination. Without such proof, gatherings of up to 100 people are allowed outdoors and up to 50% indoors, or 50 people, whichever is less. Live event indoor seated performances can have up to 50% capacity if all guests are vaccinated or show proof of full vaccination, or a maximum of 25% or 300 people otherwise. Outdoor live events with assigned seating such as sports and concerts can have up to 67% capacity with certain limits, such as in-state visitors only.
“Vaccinations continue to be an important tool in ending the pandemic and ensuring full economic reopening,” Wooten said.
When the tier system ends in California, capacity and distancing restrictions will be lifted for most businesses and activities in the state. Further guidance is expected from the California Department of Public Health prior to June 15. Vaccination or negative test requirements will continue for large-scale indoor and outdoor events through at least October 1.
In San Diego County, 75% of residents age 12 and older have received at least one shot and 60.1% are now fully vaccinated.
That’s helped drop the rate of positive test results to just 0.8% in the past two weeks.
Today, only one community outbreak was confirmed, and just four in the past week. However, 71 new cases were reported today.
Detailed data summaries are found on the County’s coronavirus-sd.com website and are updated daily around 5 p.m.