Madera County’s positivity rate could help it move into Red Tier next week

Coronavirus

CENTRAL VALLEY, Calif. (KGPE) – Tulare and Madera counties are the two of the Central Valley that still remain in the most restrictive Purple Tier.

Both counties are urging their residents, including those who are asymptomatic, to get tested – which in turn helps their case rates.

But Madera County could move into the red tier on Tuesday.

“The State of California has an opportunity for tier movement that is outside of the regular pattern and it’s called ‘accelerated pattern’ and it happens if your positivity rates are very low,” said Sara Bosse, the Madera County public health director.

The state tracks two positivity rates in Madera County — the positivity rate as a whole in the county and the positivity rate in areas with the most vulnerable populations, known as the equity metric.

The county’s adjusted case rate is at 7.5 daily cases per 100,000 people, a Purple Tier metric. But its positivity rate is at 4.2% and its equity metric at 4.8%, which are orange tier metrics. Bosse said if these positivity rates remain below 5.3 on Tuesday, they will progress into the red tier, regardless of the case rate.

In Tulare County, the increase in testing helped adjust the case rate from 10.2 daily cases per 100,000 people to 9.3. The state will adjust case rates downward for counties that are testing above the requirement.

Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency’s Carrie Monteiro said gatherings continue to play a big role in recent cases.

The county announced on Tuesday they changed the hours for the Optum Serve sites to Wednesday through Sunday – instead of Monday through Friday. Monteiro said this is to help make it easier for residents to get tested.

“If we’re able to have widespread testing, have regular surveillance testing of our residents, then we can catch those asymptomatic individuals and get them isolated so they don’t unknowingly spread the virus to others.”

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