El Dorado County in line for move to orange tier next week

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, El Dorado County Public Health Officer Nancy Williams said that she can see the county moving to the orange tier as early as next week.

Williams said both the adjusted case rate and positivity rate are in the orange tier range and the health equity quartile is in line with the less restrictive yellow tier.

While the metrics have to remain in the orange tier for two weeks before the county is eligible to move. The tier adjustment could go into effect on Wednesday, March 31, if the trend continues.

As of March 19, the adjusted case rate was 3.9, the positivity rate was 2.4% and the health equity quartile positivity rate was 1.9%.

“We have a pretty good chance [at moving],” said Williams. “Obviously there is no guarantee, but things are looking pretty good right now.”

Williams says the county has a good “cushion” on the metrics.

During the meeting she also said that the state is keeping a close eye on variants. While there have been none reported in the county, the UK Variant, the Brazil Variant and South African variant have been detected in California.

The CDC says the variants are a cause of concern because they could have an increased level of transmissibility, cause more severe disease, may not be detectable, may not respond to current medicines or may not be completely susceptible to the vaccines.

“They are here, but not widely spread which is good news,” Williams said.

El Dorado County has been allocated 63,360 doses of vaccine from the state and, with partners, have administered 70,838 doses.

With a mission to vaccinate vulnerable populations, 53.7% of the vaccines have been administered to residents 65 and older. Kristine Guth of the Emergency Operations Center said that there have been talks at the state level regarding Gov. Gavin Newsom potentially widening the vaccine eligibility tiers. She said the county is watching this closely.

Said Guth, “If we continue on this trajectory that we are on with case rates, we may look at moving into the orange tier as soon as next week or beyond.”