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Public health

Napa County on verge of jumping to red COVID-19 rating

Outdoor dining in downtown Napa

Diners enjoyed a sidewalk meal outside Tarla Mediterranean Bar + Grill on First Street in early July. Napa County may be on the verge of loosening COVID-19 restrictions, which would again allow indoor dining.

March 10 could be a red-letter day for Napa County on the COVID-19 front.

Napa County has the numbers to move from purple into red on the state’s COVID-19 restrictions rating scale, but that’s not enough. It must maintain the numbers for two consecutive weeks prior to making the jump.

If all goes well, the county could go to red status on March 10, said Dr. Karen Relucio, county public health officer. She updated the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

“Congratulations to our community on almost getting to red,” Supervisor Ryan Gregory said. “I know we’re all hoping for that.”

Board of Supervisors Chairperson Alfredo Pedroza said he’s going to circle March 10 on his calendar with a big, red Sharpie.

A move to red would allow indoor restaurant dining, indoor fitness center use and indoor movie theater use, with various capacity restrictions. Retail could increase from 25% capacity to 50% capacity.

California has four colors on its rating scale. They range from the most restrictive purple to red to orange to the least restrictive yellow.

Napa County’s seven-day average for new daily cases per 100,000 people as of Tuesday was 10.6. The state adjusted this to 6.8 because of high testing rates. That meets the red criteria of four to seven daily cases.

In addition, the county’s positive testing rate was 2.5% and equity testing rate 3.6%. Those figures combined are good enough to get the county into red, even if the new daily case rate doesn’t remain low enough.

Napa County has moved around on the rating scale since the state introduced it in September. The county started off in red, moved to orange in October, then plummeted to what Relucio called “deep purple” in November, December and January.

“At this point, we are headed to red,” Relucio said.

On the vaccine front, 42,997 doses had been administered to those who live or work in Napa County as of Monday. That’s 13% of the 327,000 doses needed to cover everybody, a county report said. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses.

Napa County Public Health will have 840 first-dose appointments for Tuesday through Friday of next week. The target is those 65 and older, with a priority for Spanish speakers, a county report said.

This week, OLE Health will begin vaccinating clients 65 years old and older. Mobile clinics will focus on the farmer workers centers and senior complexes in Napa and American Canyon. St. Helena Hospital Foundation will vaccinate people 65 years and older and farm workers.

Meanwhile, the county this week will hold a second dose drive Wednesday through Friday and can provide all second doses. Safeway will provide second doses for educators, a county report said.

Local residents don’t have to get a vaccination in Napa County, Relucio said. She mentioned the Federal Emergency Management Agency vaccination site at Oakland Coliseum as a possibility.

Those who want to try to use the Oakland site would sign up on the state’s My Turn website to see if they are eligible. Go to to do so.

“The wider the net you cast, the more likely you’ll get one of the options,” Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht said.


The Covid-19 pandemic is having a "crushing impact" on the lives of young people, a new report has warned.

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Napa County Reporter

Barry Eberling covers Napa County government, transportation, the environment and general assignments. He has worked for the Napa Valley Register since fall 2014 and previously worked 27 years for the Daily Republic of Fairfield.

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