A Northern California county has been moved back to a less restrictive tier for coronavirus infections after pleading with state officials to avoid closing down businesses.
Shasta County will return to the red tier for substantial virus transmission, according to the county health department.
State health officials announced Tuesday that the county of 180,000 people would be moved to the most restrictive purple tier for widespread virus transmission. That would have required business closures.
County officials said the state reversed course after evaluating more recent coronavirus data and seeing cases were declining. They said Shasta County’s recent uptick in cases was due in large part to specific outbreaks, which are now on the decline.
“Shasta County health officials have convinced the state health department to keep the county in the red (“substantial”) tier of the state COVID-19 tier system; restaurants, places of worship, movie theaters, fitness centers and museums can remain open indoors with modifications,” health officials announced Saturday.
California has established a four-tier system that lets counties reopen businesses as coronavirus infections decrease.
Shasta County had pleaded their case to California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.
Late Friday evening, Ghaly called “to report that the state department of public health was placing Shasta county back into the red tier after recalculating the average daily case rate using more recent data,” reads the county news release.
“This is a huge relief for our local businesses, and we are grateful that Dr. Ghaly agreed with our justification to stay in the red tier,” Public Health director Robin Schurig said. “We know that most of our cases have not been tied to the businesses that were most heavily impacted by a moved with the purple, and he heard us.”