Vaccination photo by Breanna Hardy
Written by Breanna Hardy
Don’t expect to eat inside a restaurant (as long as it follows guidelines) this week.
The state updated the Blueprint for a Safer Economy Tuesday — the tier system that determines how businesses are allowed to operate under Covid restrictions. Kings, Madera, Tulare and Fresno counties remain in the most-restrictive purple tier.
The California Department of Public Health tier placements are based on local Covid-19 statistics from the week ended Feb. 6.
All four counties have struggled to rise to the red tier — which, among other things, would allow restricted indoor dining — since Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a regional stay at home order on Dec. 3, 2020.
Newsom lifted the order Jan. 25.
On a Fresno County Department of Public Health Covid-19 update Friday, health officials explained that testing activity can affect how a county’s restrictions are set. The more testing the counties perform, the smaller the case rate since it’s divisible by total tests performed.
Madera County’s testing was below the state’s median requirement, increasing its case rate. Testing in Madera County is 348.7 per 100,000 which is below the state median of 424.58 per 100,000.
Counties should continue testing at a high rate in order to decrease the positive case rate, health officials say. Pharmacies including Rite Aid and CVS in the region are now administering vaccinations for those 65 and older.
Under the purple tier, restaurants are still required to seat outdoors, and retailers are required to keep a maximum of 25% store capacity.