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California Would Be Almost Completely Purple If The Tier System Was Still In Place

A masked man pulls up his left shirt sleeve as a health worker wearing a mask, face shield and disposable blue gloves administers a vaccine.
Health care workers get vaccinated for COVID-19 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital.
(Chava Sanchez
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A KPCC analysis of seven-day case rates shows all but two of California’s 58 counties — Modoc and Alpine — would now be in the most restrictive purple tier under the state’s abandoned blueprint for reopening.

The purple tier indicated that the virus is widespread in a county, but the tier system was rolled back, along with almost all of the state’s coronavirus restrictions, on June 15.

Since then, cases in California have surged due to the highly contagious delta variant, which has driven the statewide positivity rate up to 6.1%, with 11,437 new cases reported Sunday — almost 10 times as many as on June 15. The California Department of Public Health reports that among the unvaccinated, cases are 600% higher than for vaccinated people.

In L.A. County, the case rate is nearly four times higher than the purple tier threshold.

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The current transmission rate in L.A. County is “high” according to the CDC threshold of community transmission.
(Courtesy of the L.A. County Dept. of Public Health)

The current transmission rate in L.A. County is “high,” according to the CDC threshold of community transmission.

A county has "high transmission" if it has 100 or more weekly cases per 100,000 residents, or a positivity rate of 10% or greater in the past seven days. In that case, communities should implement universal masking indoors and consider additional "significant measures ... to limit contact between persons," according to the CDC's website.

What questions do you have about the pandemic and health care?
Jackie Fortiér helps Southern Californians understand the pandemic by identifying what's working and what's not in our health response.

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