The roller coaster continues for Fresno County’s COVID-19 numbers after the state’s weekly Tuesday update to their ‘Blueprint for a Safer Economy‘ dashboard. The county is not meeting one of the metrics for the current red tier, and needs to correct it before next Tuesday’s update. This is the same position county found itself in just a few weeks ago.
Fresno County currently has a 5.2% test positivity rate (up from 5.1% last week), and 7.3 cases per 100,000 residents (up from 6.5). To stay in its current “red” tier, Fresno County numbers need to continue to have less than an 8% test positivity rate and reduce new cases per 100,000 residents to less than 7 over the next week.
Also sliding in the wrong direction is the new health equity quartile positivity rate that’s at 7.9% (needs to remain below 8% to remain in red tier). If the county slips back into the purple tier, places like movie theaters, houses of worship, and indoor dining would all have to close indoor operations.
However, California will now allow tattoo parlors, massage therapists, hair removal and all “personal care services” to resume indoors in the purple tier, joining hair salons, nail salons, barbershops in reopening indoors.
Madera County Has Red Tier in Sight
For the first time since the introduction of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, Madera County is meeting the state’s criteria for the red tier, according to a health department news release. On Tuesday, Madera County’s adjusted case rate was reported to be 4.8 per 100,000, far below the state’s cutoff of 7 cases per 100,000. The county’s positivity rate stands at 3.4, well below the maximum allowable rate of 8 percent. Madera County must meet the criteria for one more week before being able to move to the red tier.
“This is great news for Madera County and reflects both the efforts of Madera County residents and the local business community. It speaks to our whole government response which extends beyond Public Health to the Board of Supervisors, Sheriff Department, and others. We must continue to maintain this effort so that we can move to the red tier and continue to progress through the tiers,” said Madera County Public Health Director Sara Bosse.
Theme Park Operators Not Happy
Major theme parks weren’t happy that the state is limiting re-openings to those with a maximum capacity of 15,000 patrons. Places like Disneyland and Universal Studios won’t be allowed to reopen until their home counties reach the yellow tier, the lowest in the state’s monitoring system.
The state’s newly released guidelines will allow smaller parks to reopen when a county reaches the orange tier, but with capacity limited to 500 people or 25%, whichever is less.
Ken Potrock, president of the Disneyland resort issued a statement saying, ““We have proven that we can responsibly reopen, with science-based health and safety protocols strictly enforced at our theme park properties around the world. Nevertheless, the State of California continues to ignore this fact, instead mandating arbitrary guidelines that it knows are unworkable and that hold us to a standard vastly different from other reopened businesses and state-operated facilities.”
The president of Six Flags Magic Mountain, Don McCoy said, “Along with leaders from the entire SoCal theme park industry, Six Flags Magic Mountain is deeply disappointed with the state’s decision to keep large theme parks in the yellow tier. Our expansive safety measures meet or exceed all local, state, and federal guidelines.”