Mono County will re-enter the most restrictive Tier 1 Widespread (Purple) of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy (Blueprint), the State’s “stringent and slow plan for living with COVID-19 (Coronavirus)” based on our high rates of local transmission.
“California is slowly starting to emerge from the most dangerous surge of this pandemic yet, which is the light at the end of the tunnel we’ve been hoping for,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “Seven weeks ago, our hospitals and front-line medical workers were stretched to their limits, but Californians heard the urgent message to stay home when possible and our surge after the December holidays did not overwhelm the health care system to the degree we had feared.”
Based on current case rates, the Southern California Region ICU capacity is estimated to remain above 15% four weeks from now. It should be noted that in addition to reductions in case rates and the reproductive number in our region, the State adopted a new method of measuring ICU capacity, which takes proven hospital surge capacity into account, improving the monthly outlook.
“While the ICU capacity in the Southern California Region has improved, the COVID-19 test positivity rate and cases per 100,000 (7-day average) for Mono County remain alarmingly high at 18.4% and 111.5 respectively,” stated Dr. Tom Boo, Mono County Public Health Officer. “In addition, we are also very worried about the effects of the mutant virus strains that are expected to become predominant here and across the country. This is definitely not the time to relax safeguards intended to reduce the spread of the virus. While it is great that some small business operators can reopen, many restrictions will remain in place. In addition to the State’s Purple Tier restrictions, as a local jurisdiction we feel it is incumbent upon us to strive to limit the number of visitors to Mono County and Mammoth Lakes during this precarious time by imposing tier-based lodging restrictions and some limits on visitation to our local ski resorts.”
Under the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, Mono County will remain in the Purple Tier for at least three weeks. CDPH will assess indicators weekly each Monday and release updated tier assignments each Tuesday. In order to move from the Purple Tier to the next, less restrictive “Substantial” tier (Red), Mono County must achieve a case rate of 7 per 100,000 per day and percent positivity under 8%. A county must meet criteria for the next less restrictive tier for both measures for the prior two consecutive weeks in order to progress to the next tier and can only move forward one tier at a time. In Mono County, that case rate translates into 7 cases per week or less, which is far below our current situation of over 100.
Tier 1 Widespread (Purple) requires the temporary closure of much indoor business and religious activity while allowing many operations to continue outdoors, where the risk of infection is lower. Business owners and residents are encouraged to review the restrictions and plan your business operations and personal behavior accordingly. To view tier level descriptions, statewide county rankings, and what activities are allowable in Mono County, please visit covid19.ca.gov or open the Activity and Business Tiers Framework.