Riverside County is Now in the Red Covid Tier

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Anthony D'Amato, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, September 22nd, Riverside County moved down from the purple tier of Covid19 cases to the red tier. California’s Covid19 website states that any county in the red tier has 4-7 new cases per day (per 100k people) and that the positivity rate of tests is between 5%-8%. More specifically Riverside County sees 5.8 new cases per day per 100k people, but after an adjustment based on the tier assignment, the county has 6.7 new cases per day with a positivity rate of 5.8%. Moving from the purple tier to the red tier allows for more freedom in the county and will allow life to further emulate pre-pandemic times.

One implication moving into the red tier has, is the potential for schools to open back up. The state of California mandates that a school can open if the county has been in the red tier for the previous 14 days. This means that school districts such as the Corona Norco Unified School District can have students in the classroom as early as October 6th as long as the county stays in the red tier.  CNTA and CNUSD agree to a 3 week planning time between the school being allowed to open and students actually arriving on campus. The district is in favor of having students back in the classroom, but they will use this two-week period to evaluate the safest and most logical ways to get live instruction on campus. Whether or not schools open back up on October 6th is a completely different story, but with the push from parents to get students back in the classroom, schools will most likely try to open sooner rather than later.

While Riverside county was in the purple tier, all gyms and restaurants were allowed to be open as long as everything was done outdoors. Now that the county is in the red tier, gyms can legally allow members inside with modifications and at a maximum capacity of 10%. Modifications to gyms include spreading equipment out or closing certain equipment to ensure that members can stay six feet apart while working out. Restaurants can also have indoor seating with a maximum of 100 people or 25% capacity (whichever is fewer). Bars that strictly serve beverages are still not allowed to open, but should the county move into the orange tier, bars will be able to open with modifications. Citizens of Riverside County can enjoy many other benefits because of moving down to the red tier including the opening of movie theaters at a maximum of 25% capacity, the opening of piercing shops, as well as an increased capacity at shopping malls and the opening of food courts with modifications at the malls. A list of all the requirements and openings for the county can be found on the website https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/ after entering Riverside County on the website’s search bar.

Because the county is becoming less restrictive, the chances of catching and spreading Covid19 are increasing as public spaces begin to see more capacity. The case numbers need to be heavily monitored by health officials, but if every citizen does their part by wearing a mask in public and staying six feet apart, we can help stop the spread of the disease and get back to our pre Covid lifestyles as soon as possible.

 

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