Indoor dining
Will indoor dining levels increase next week?
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
COVID 2021

The yellow for real this time? With case counts down, Santa Cruz County in line to make move next week

Will Santa Cruz County make it into the yellow tier this time? We will find in one week’s time whether case counts, and other criteria, will remain at a level that meets standards to leave the orange.

Santa Cruz County met the requirements for the least restrictive, or yellow tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy framework Tuesday, after narrowly missing it for two weeks in a row.

The main factor keeping Santa Cruz in the orange (more restrictive) tier has been the case rate, which has hovered just above 2 cases per 100,000 people. The latest data shows that the case rate (adjusted for the amount of testing) has fallen to 1.5 per 100,000.

The increase in infections in Santa Cruz County is small and “expected.” It is largely due to transmission of COVID-19...

Counties must meet tier requirements for two weeks before moving to a less restrictive tier. This means that as long as numbers remain the same or continue to decrease Santa Cruz could move to the yellow tier next Tuesday.

The yellow tier would mean most businesses, including indoor businesses, can expand their capacity, and the allowed size for most kinds of gatherings would increase.

Statewide, the tier framework is set to expire on June 15, if certain vaccination and hospital capacity conditions are met.