A fleeting promotion to a slower rate of coronavirus spread in Napa County lasted only a day, leaving behind no changes in mask-wearing and other local safety rules for now.
A decline in the county’s COVID-19 positive cases carried it on Monday to the federal government’s “yellow” tier — the middle of five tiers — indicating a moderate rate of spread, according to Napa County spokesperson Leah Greenbaum. However, new COVID-19 infections reverted the county back to the “orange” level Tuesday, meaning the virus is spreading at a substantial rate, she said Tuesday afternoon.
More movement between the yellow and orange levels remains possible until infection levels drop more substantially, Greenbaum said in an email late Tuesday. Napa County last got its rate of viral spread down to the yellow tier Oct. 26.
The brief stay at the yellow level is far short of a three-week minimum set by most Bay Area counties — all except Solano — as one condition for relaxation of COVID-19 safety rules such as the requirement to wear masks in indoor public areas.
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Napa has joined seven other Bay Area counties in basing the loosening or tightening of public safety rules on the ladder of COVID-19 transmission issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The criteria are as follows:
1. A county reaches the "moderate" (yellow) tier of case rates — fewer than 50 new positives per 100,000 residents in the past seven days — as determined by the CDC’s data tracker, and remains there for three weeks.
2. The county health officer determines that COVID-19 hospitalizations are "low and stable."
3. Eighty percent of a county’s total population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or eight weeks have passed since a vaccine has been authorized for children ages 5 to 11.
COVID-19 booster shots will be available for all ag workers in Napa County beginning this week.
A lower-dose version of Pfizer’s two-part vaccine last week became the first to get the federal green light for use in younger people. Among Napa County residents who are already vaccine-eligible, 68.5% have received full inoculation so far, according to CDC figures.
Napa County earlier reported 89 infections for the week of Oct. 30 to Nov. 5, up from 72 the previous week. However, the county on Monday added 29 positive tests to its total tally, due to delays in reporting laboratory results from Oct. 25 and Nov. 3.
On Tuesday, 15 more people tested positive for the coronavirus in Napa County, according to the county’s online informational website. Seven hospital patients in the county were being treated for COVID-19, with 16% of local intensive care beds available.
The Napa Valley Unified School District reported 18 positive COVID-19 tests last week, including 16 students and two employees — up from the four students who tested positive during the week of Oct. 25. The latest infection count covers 0.1% of NVUSD’s total student body of 16,603.
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