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Why Solano County may move to most-restrictive COVID tier

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BENICIA, Calif. (KRON) – As other county’s move ahead to less restrictive reopening tiers, Solano County could move backward next week.

After seeing a spike in cases, Solano County’s health officer warned that the county’s on track to move to the state’s most restrictive purple tier.

Over the last two weeks, Solano County saw a spike in cases averaging about 40 cases per day right now.

For them to stay in the red tier which is where they are now, the county will have to get that number down to under 31 cases per day, which is something that businesses here in Benicia say is crucial for their survival.

After seeing a rise in coronavirus cases, Solano County is moving in the wrong direction, heading backwards from the state’s red tier to its most restrictive purple tier.

“Definitely disappointing because I love working and getting to see people,” an employee said.

Businesses in Benicia say the jump in cases is disheartening, not only for the community but also for the lifeblood of their local economy.

The purple prohibits most non-essential indoor business operations and would cause some businesses to close or change their current plans.

“Everybody does need to do their part and be diligent, especially right now. We are in normal flu season so taking extra precautions is going to help our little businesses in town stay in businesses,” owner of Daughter of Luna, Michelle Young said.

Solano County Health Officer Dr. Bela Matyas warns that the county has to get its act together.

“Unfortunate reality is that we are seeing case numbers that are higher than they should be for us to remain in red and unfortunately that puts us at risk of going back to purple. The cause of it is people getting together with family and friends and letting their guard down so the disease spreads and we had several weeks ago several events that we believe accounted for that spike,” Dr. Matyas said. 

Dr. Matyas says the spike could be temporary, at least he’s hoping that’s the case. 

He points to several recent events as examples of behavior that is detrimental to the county’s progression in re-opening.

“Funeral involving 300 people with no social distancing. We had a wedding in a home with 40 people, no social distancing, no masks and there was some type of event, an invitation only event with a large number of people. Again, no social distancing. And we had dozens of cases from these events and that’s a lot of cases for a county our size,” Dr. Matyas said. 

Dr. Matyas says the county was averaging 27 positive coronavirus cases per day about a month ago but in the last two weeks, that number jumped to 41 positive cases per day — A number that would put the county back on the state’s purple tier list if they get the same results next week.

Hopefully, Solano County can get its average case numbers under 31 by next week to remain in the red tier.

It’s another important reminder ahead of Halloween and the holidays to keep your guard up and continue to practice social distancing, while also wearing a mask.

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