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: 1114524

Reported Deaths: 18726
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles3645207438
San Bernardino845311129
Riverside806761400
San Diego71648968
Orange696941554
Kern38316445
Fresno35973471
Sacramento33133546
Santa Clara30676463
Alameda27485499
San Joaquin24649503
Contra Costa22412258
Stanislaus20370416
Tulare19752303
Ventura18040174
Imperial15053353
San Francisco14445158
Monterey13886113
San Mateo13203169
Sonoma11428155
Merced10986176
Santa Barbara10922133
Kings1003886
Solano934980
Marin7518128
Placer577867
Madera571480
San Luis Obispo561835
Yolo419975
Shasta409542
Santa Cruz389827
Butte366459
Napa275717
Sutter263813
El Dorado19304
San Benito174115
Yuba173210
Lassen14803
Tehama143523
Mendocino138522
Nevada10189
Lake83218
Glenn8296
Humboldt7309
Tuolumne7088
Colusa6426
Mono4993
Siskiyou4951
Amador45016
Calaveras43421
Inyo28316
Del Norte2731
Plumas1770
Trinity1130
Modoc1110
Mariposa1042
Alpine420
Sierra170
Unassigned00
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Mostly sunny & dry weather is ahead for your Monday. The potential for showers will return to mostly mountain areas late Tuesday night through Wednesday .We'll be drying back out for Thanksgiving.
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