HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif. (KIEM) — Humboldt County is now 1 of 7 counties in California to be placed into the least restrictive yellow tier in the statewide reopening plan. It allows for expanded services and increased capacity limits for local businesses.
The move to the yellow tier in the state’s reopening blueprint boils down to a few factors: our local total case rate, positivity rate, and something known as the health equity metric.
“The state wanted to ensure all portions of a community are served and that testing is done throughout a community and that prevention measures are implemented throughout a community,” Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Frankovich says.
If there are no major disparities in the positivity rate between different areas of the county or portions of the population, it allows for the move to a less restrictive tier despite a slightly higher case rate.
“As long as that positivity rate was low and pretty uniform across your county, which we have achieved here locally,” according to Frankovich.
A big reason for that, the emergency operation center’s work to increase testing throughout the area, but things could change in a short time frame.
“We were at 2 for our case rate, if we had been at 2.1 we wouldn’t be in yellow. It is very easy if we have a substantial increase in our cases and we have an increase case rate for 2 weeks we could move into the orange tier, in fact we would move into the orange tier,” Frankovich warns.
Dr. Frankovich acknowledges as a community, we’re doing really well and that’s reason to celebrate, but it will take the whole county working together to keep this momentum moving forward. “From the Public Health end our pledge is we’re going to keep it up in terms of our testing and contact investigations, but we need the public to continue doing all the things they’ve been doing to help the situation,” Frankovich says.