Yolo County Moves down into Red Tier for COVID-19, some indoor services including dining allowed

Yolo County Moves down into Red Tier for COVID-19, some indoor services including dining allowed

Photo Credits: AGGIE FILE

Despite progressing into Red Tier, public officials urge residents to continue following safety guidelines

On Sep. 29, the State of California moved Yolo County from the Purple Tier for COVID-19 down into the Red Tier. This action allows restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and other businesses to operate indoors with a reduced capacity. 

Yolo County was able to move down a tier after maintaining a positive test rate of 4.2% and a daily case rate of 4.7. Yolo County Supervisor Jim Provenza explained that this action demonstrates the county’s success in confronting the pandemic.  

“The main thing is that it shows we’re making progress on reducing our numbers of COVID-19 cases and the positive test results in the county,” Provenza said. 

Despite this progress, a Yolo County press release urges people to continue adhering to COVID-19 safety guidelines. 

“Everyone has a role to play in keeping our communities safe and healthy, including wearing a face covering, social distancing, and not gathering with others outside their household,” the press release reads. “Older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions should continue to stay at home as much as possible.”

Provenza echoed this sentiment, cautioning that the county can move back into the Purple Tier if people don’t continue following restrictions. 

“We have to be very careful because those numbers can be reversed quickly and there’s still a lot of people in the community who are infected,” Provenza said. “We have to continue to double down on wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings.”

Davis City Councilmember Dan Carson explained that it’s possible for Yolo County to move into the Orange Tier less than a month after entering the Red Tier if residents and students stay cautious. 

“If the numbers bear out, it’s theoretically possible that within three weeks of our going to the Red Tier that we can move down another tier,” Carson said. “But it’s really hard to know whether that will actually happen or not. We’ve got our fingers crossed, but we know with UC Davis back in some operation, that there are now more students back in town.”

In an effort to keep cases low in the dorms, UC Davis has introduced a testing and tracing program for students living on-campus. There is currently no UC Davis testing in place for students living and working off-campus, however. 

Provenza said that although UC Davis doesn’t yet have the testing capacity for all students, the county and city are urging the university to ramp up testing quickly.

“The university plans to expand testing off-campus, and we want that to happen as soon as possible,” Provenza said. “They’re rolling out a new testing program that will enable them to test more people at one time and get the results back quicker.”

Although there is some worry over students sparking an outbreak in Davis, Carson asserted that any community member could spread the virus, so everyone has to be careful to protect each other. 

“Of course there’s a risk of an outbreak happening in the dorms, but there’s also a risk of an outbreak happening in Davis among our residents,” Carson said. “We don’t want to sound like we’re lecturing students, because it’s everybody in our community that has a responsibility to act appropriately. We’re saying everyone has to observe these rules. Nobody is immune from this virus, so we’re trying to work together on all fronts.”

Carson also expressed that this move into the Red Tier will greatly help Davis businesses keep their doors open through the ongoing pandemic and economic downturn.

“Every step we take along this path back to normalcy will help our businesses to survive this,” Carson said. “A lot of our businesses are used to having a quiet summer, but having a quiet spring, summer and fall is very hard for many of them.”

Written by: Eden Winniford –– city@theaggie.org

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