Contra Costa County moves closer to less restrictive red tier

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — In the East Bay, COVID-19 case and test positivity rates are steadily declining in Contra Costa County.

And nearly one-fifth of its residents have already been vaccinated.

A deputy public health officer who spoke with KRON4 says he believes the county could transition from the state’s restrictive purple tier to the red tier within weeks.

“The trend is favorable,” Dr. Rohan Radhakrishna said.

Contra Costa Health Services Deputy Health Officer Dr. Rohan Radhakrishna says the the county is not far off from reopening more businesses and services.

“The three measures to advance through the tiers are case rates, test positivity and the equity metric, making sure that we don’t leave any neighborhood or community behind,” Dr. Radhakrishna said.

And, in all three categories — Radhakrishna says the county has made significant improvements since the peek of the winter surge.

When more than 60 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents were reported daily.

“Out of testing 100 people, right now, only four or five of those people are coming up positive. But the case rates are still high. There’s still a lot of community transmission and we can’t let our guard down,” Dr. Radhakrishna said. “It’s in the 16 to 18 range out of 100,000 new cases per day. That number is the one we’re really hoping gets below seven new cases per 100,000 per day, hopefully sometime in March, if we continue this positive trend downward.”

In addition to moving closer to meeting the state’s metrics — and transitioning from the purple tier to the less restrictive red tier, health services is focusing on increasing vaccinations.

The public health department has set a goal of vaccinating 1 million residents by Independence Day.

So far — more than 228,000 people have received a shot in the arm.

“We got a long ways to go, but we’re making steady progress towards community immunity,” Dr. Radhakrishna said.

Close, but not there yet.

Read More