Butte County placed in state's most restrictive tier, public health expected red tier

Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom placed Butte County and 40 other California counties directly into the most restrictive tier of the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

Posted: Nov 17, 2020 12:21 AM
Updated: Nov 17, 2020 11:47 AM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - Tier changes go into effect immediately, and in Butte County, even public health was expecting to be placed in the red tier.

This two-tier jump is a part of the state's hope to slow the spread of COVID-19.

"Unfortunately it's not good news, and it has a significant impact to our community," said Director of Butte County Public Health, Danette York.

Butte County saw a large increase in COVID-19 cases moving it into the purple tier and Dr. Robert Bernstein warns cases could keep climbing.

"My concern is that it will continue to rise and perhaps reach an even taller peak maybe," said Bernstein.

RELATED: 4 North State counties placed into state's most restrictive Covid-19 tier

"They moved the counties immediately based on this data," said York. "And they moved counties into the tier assignment they fell in regardless of whether or not it skipped tiers."

One of those data points the state looks at is positivity rate, and in Butte County, it's low enough to be in the orange tier.

"If one metric met a higher tier level than another metric, we would go with the most restrictive," said York. "I was very surprised, I believe everyone here at public health and the county was surprised."

Butte County's cases per 100,000 reached a staggering 10.8. Anything above a 7.0 is considered widespread in California.

"I think it's frustrating because it felt like life was just starting to go somewhat back to normal," said gym go-er, Kaylin Patterson. "I felt like we made so much progress and now hearing that this afternoon that we're going back into purple it's like, almost a bit hopeless."

Restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, and entertainment centers must all close indoor operations. Retail stores must limit capacity to 25%. But schools can choose to stay open, and we asked York, why.

"Now that they're open and we're in the purple tier, why are they not closing, why are they continuing to stay open?" asked Action News reporter Esteban Reynoso.

"If a school opened while the jurisdiction was in the tier that allowed them to open," responded York. "They would be able to remain open going forward, it was just too much to try to close back down."

York told Action News Now while schools can stay open, classroom sizes will remain the same.

Colleges for those in the purple tier counties will go virtual, or remain in virtual learning.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3543340

Reported Deaths: 49888
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles118349620069
Riverside2885413695
San Bernardino2850812651
Orange2598573848
San Diego2578053218
Santa Clara1095061747
Kern102137786
Fresno945841397
Sacramento926211446
Alameda797961200
Ventura76947805
San Joaquin662901042
Contra Costa61865653
Stanislaus55487937
Tulare47680731
Monterey42016323
San Mateo38552502
San Francisco33947394
Santa Barbara31630398
Solano29882161
Merced28749393
Sonoma27845295
Imperial26840587
Kings21916218
Placer19661231
San Luis Obispo19500221
Madera15325201
Santa Cruz14516174
Marin13083197
Yolo12689185
Shasta10950172
Butte10855158
El Dorado906995
Napa895068
Sutter881896
San Benito572358
Yuba571936
Lassen559419
Tehama506852
Tuolumne392959
Nevada390974
Mendocino379043
Amador343840
Humboldt313633
Lake310740
Glenn220723
Colusa212513
Calaveras190225
Siskiyou172013
Inyo127835
Mono12084
Del Norte9765
Plumas6516
Modoc4504
Mariposa3937
Trinity3525
Sierra990
Alpine800
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 44°
Oroville
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 51°
Chico
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 44°
Red Bluff
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 52°
Red Bluff
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 52°
Chico
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 44°
Strong wind continues to blow through the valley this afternoon, and will last through the evening. Thursday will still be a fairly breezy day, but the wind won't be as strong and our temperatures will be warmer. More wind is coming Friday and Saturday.
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