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Kings County moves into red tier
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Kings County moves into red tier

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Kings County has moved into the red "Substantial" tier 2 in the state's "Blueprint for a Safer Economy."

HANFORD — It was announced during the Kings County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday that Kings County has moved into the red tier 2 in the state’s "Blueprint for a Safer Economy."

“This is good news,” said Ed Hill, director of the Kings County Department of Public Health. “It goes to show that the work that everybody has been doing on the testing and getting our testing numbers up is helping us with our process and our move through economic opening.”

Since the beginning of September, Kings County had been in the most restrictive purple tier 1, also known as the “Widespread” tier.

The county has worked since then to meet the state’s metrics in new cases per 100,000 population, overall countywide testing positivity and testing positivity in the lowest quartile of the healthy places index in order to move into the red tier 2, also known as the “Substantial” tier.

Hill said his department was notified Monday that the county met these metrics and was eligible to move into the red tier on Tuesday.

The following sectors may modify their reopening status in accordance with the red tier 2 assignment:

  • Gyms and fitness centers may open indoors to 10% of their capacity;
  • Hotels and lodging can open with modifications to include their fitness centers;
  • Movie theaters may open indoors to 25% of their capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer;
  • Museums, zoos and aquariums may open indoors to 25% of their capacity;;
  • Personal care services may open indoors;
  • Places of worship may open indoors with 25% of their capacity of 100 people, whichever is fewer;
  • Restaurants may open indoors to 25% of their capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer;
  • Retail may open indoors to 50% of capacity;
  • Shopping centers may open indoors to 50% of capacity — common areas must remain closed and food courts can operate at 25% of capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.

Hill said schools won’t be able to open until the county holds this tier for two consecutive weeks.

While numbers are good right now, Hill said they must be maintained from this point forward. He said there are already counties that have had to go back to a more restrictive tier or are on the brink of having to do so because they did not maintain their numbers.

“Given this, we want to urge people not to get into a rush and get out as fast as they can,” he said.

Hill said testing efforts have been going very well, with the county testing more than the state median. He urged residents to continue to get tested for COVID-19 frequently and to remain diligent in implementing measures to keep themselves and others safe.

Supervisor Craig Pedersen thanked the health department staff for its efforts and the way it’s addressing testing in the county.

“This has been quite a fight and will continue, but you guys have done a fantastic job,” Pedersen said.

The reporter can be reached at julissazavala@hanfordsentinel.com

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