Humboldt Moves Back into State's Purple Tier


The state of California updated its COVID-19 risk tiers today, moving Humboldt County back into the most restrictive purple "widespread" tier as officials have warned would happen for weeks.

The new purple designation — imposed as state data shows the county having recorded an average of 25.1 new COVID-19 cases daily per 100,000 residents and a test positivity rate of 6.5 percent over a seven-day span — will shutter all indoor operations at restaurants, movie theaters, gyms and places of worship, while also imposting a nighttime stay-at-home order. The new designation comes as local officials warn that local conditions continue to worsen, with surging case counts and rising test-positivity rates.

Also this afternoon, the state updated its regional hospital capacity numbers. Under the state's regional approach, any area of the state in which cumulative available hospital intensive care unit capacity drops below 15 percent falls under a mandatory stay-at-home order, which shutters nonessential businesses and requires residents to only leave home for essential outings.

The updates numbers show the Northern California Region — which comprises Humboldt and 10 other counties and remains the only region in the state not subject to the order — saw its available ICU capacity dip from 35 percent Friday to 17.6 percent today, leaving it perilously close to falling under the stay-at-home order that currently covers 98.3 percent of the state's population.

Humboldt County's new designation comes amid a case surge that has now seen 362 cases confirmed so far this month.

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