California State Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Friday the goal of administering two million coronavirus vaccine doses to low-income, severely-impacted communities during the pandemic, which could push several areas in the region into the less restrictive red tier.
Newsom said California had reached a total of ten million coronavirus vaccines, becoming the first state in the United States to do so. Authorities have been using a four-tier color-coded system to determine the severity of the pandemic in each of its counties.
California COVID-19 Status
The tiering system is the guideline that businesses and schools follow to know when they could start reopening. When several metrics are passed, a county can move into a less restrictive tier. The list includes having seven or fewer positive cases for every 100,000 residents.
The California Department of Public Health placed a notice on its website notifying officials that once the state has successfully distributed two million vaccine doses, they will then move forward with revising the required metric to 10 new infections or fewer for every 100,000 residents.
Officials are looking at two approaches in revising the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” one of which is shifting the tier threshold to higher case rates per 100K population per day based on meeting vaccination thresholds within Vaccine Equity Quartile communities, and the second is changing some specific guidance and releasing new guidelines.
Newsom said last week that setting aside 40% of available vaccine doses to distribute to vulnerable communities across the state could speed up the reopening of the economy. The state governor said the plan is to prioritize vaccinations of residents who have the highest risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus, CBS8 reported.
Officials determined the most vulnerable areas based on household income, education level, and housing status. Newsom said the process would greatly reduce the positivity rate of the virus across the region.