State Hits Equity Metric Trigger, Blueprint for a Safer Economy Tiers Updated

Today, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that two million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Californians in the lowest quartile of the Healthy Places Index (HPI), increasing immunity where the state’s transmission rates and disease burden have been the highest during the pandemic. With this equity metric met, the previously announced update to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy that accounts for progress in vaccine administration now goes into effect.

After reassessment using the update’s new thresholds, 13 counties will move to a less restrictive tier, from Purple (Widespread) to Red (Substantial): Amador, Colusa, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Mono, Orange, Placer, San Benito, San Bernardino, Siskiyou, Sonoma, and Tuolumne. 21 counties will remain in the Purple (Widespread) tier, 33 will be in the Red (Substantial) tier, three remain in the Orang (moderate) tier, and one remains in the Yellow (Minimal) tier. These updates will take effect this coming Sunday, March 14.

CDPH additionally indicated it expects 13 additional counties to shift from Purple to Red based on current data and projections: Sacramento, San Diego, Kings, Lake, Monterey, Riverside, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Ventura, and Yuba. These tier adjustments will be assigned on Tuesday and take effect on Wednesday. There is potential for additional counties to move tiers next week based on the upcoming Blueprint tier assessment and assignment.

Under the state’s equity metric, the Purple tier threshold will now be based on grater than 10 cases per 100,000 people. The Blueprint will also again be updated once the state reaches four million doses administered among the lowest HPI quartile statewide.

A news release on the latest Blueprint update from CDPH is available here.