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Will spike in COVID cases move Siskiyou to more restrictive orange tier?

Skye Kinkade
Mount Shasta Herald
Siskiyou County remains in the yellow, or minimal tier as of Wednesday, Nov. 4, although last week's spike in positive COVID-19 cases could push the county into the orange tier if conditions don't improve.

Although Siskiyou County remains in the least restrictive of California's reopening tiers, last week's spike in COVID-19 cases puts the county in danger of being moved to the moderate orange tier if conditions don't improve next week.

According to the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy, Siskiyou County now has a 4.5% positivity rate and an average of 3.9 new COVID-19 cases per day per 100,000 residents. 

More:Siskiyou keeps COVID-19 cases low, remains in least restrictive reopening tier

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The yellow minimal tier is for counties that have less than 1 new COVID-19 case daily and a positivity rate of less than 2%. Counties in the orange tier have 1 to 3.9 new cases per day and a positivity rate of 2.2% to 5.2%.

If a county’s metrics worsen for two consecutive weeks, it will be assigned a more restrictive tier. Public health officials are constantly monitoring data and can step in if necessary.

The difference between the yellow and orange tier is the ability for bars to remain open. Restaurants, churches and other would have more restrictions in attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

On Oct. 2, Siskiyou County Public Health reported one active COVID-19 case in the county, but those numbers jumped to 56 active cases as of Nov. 3.

The majority of cases are coming from close contact, followed by community spread, according to the Siskiyou County Public Health Department's COVID-19 dashboard.  Four people are currently hospitalized but the county has yet to report a coronavirus-related death in the county.

East county has seen the most cases - 36% of all 272 confirmed positive cases, the public health department reported.

California's Blueprint for a Safer Economy reopening tiers

Shasta County bumped to most widespread purple tier

Shasta County's persistent high levels of COVID-19 cases have put the region back into the state's most restrictive purple tier.

Bans on indoor dining at restaurants and other business restrictions will begin later this week, said officials with the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency at a press briefing on Wednesday.

In-person college instruction will also be suspended, health officials said.

Coronavirus cases have been reported at about 16 congregate living facilities, said Health Officer Dr. Karen Ramstrom.

More than 100 Shasta County residents tested positive for the coronavirus and over 300 people are in quarantine, according to the newest figures released Tuesday by health officials.

Combined with Monday's totals, the county added 238 cases over a period of four days starting last Friday and ending Monday.

The new cases bring the total number of county residents who have caught the virus to 2,284 since the pandemic began. There have been 32 deaths.

California has 940,010 confirmed cases to date. Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed.

There were 5,338 newly recorded confirmed cases Tuesday. Numbers do not represent true day-over-day change as these results include cases from prior to yesterday.

COVID-19 in California

The California Department of Public Health released the following statistics Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 4:

• Statewide, the 7-day positivity rate is 3.3% and the 14-day positivity rate is 3.3%.

• There have been 19,181,012 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 106,091 over the prior 24-hour reporting period.

• As case numbers continue to rise in California, the total number of individuals who will have serious outcomes will also increase. There have been 17,752 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The Record Searchlight's Michele Chandler contributed to this report.

Skye Kinkade is the editor of the Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers and the Siskiyou Daily News. She is a fourth generation Siskiyou County resident and has lived in Mount Shasta and Weed her entire life.