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People getting tested best route to reopening
covid 19 graphic

That means until COVID-19 conditions ease enough to drop down a color on the state designed risk rating system, the county can’t consider more re-openings. Purple is the most restrictive color of mandatory framework based primarily on the number of new cases and positive tests within a county.

 The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday received updates and took actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic in San Joaquin County

Postings on the San Joaquin County COVID-19 dashboard on Tuesday as of 12:15 a.m. show 1,315 persons out of 760,000 San Joaquin County residents are currently positive with the virus although they are not necessarily sick. That is the number once you subtract the 18,249 people that health officials have determined to have recovered from the 19,564 cases since March

Many of the recovered may never have been ill. The mask order and social distancing is designed to protect people from those who may not know they are carrying the virus and who may never show symptoms.

There were 200 new cases Tuesday.

There have been 392 deaths in San Joaquin County. Of those, 12.2 percent did not have pre-existing conditions such as asthma, obesity, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, or diabetes

There were 59 COVID-19 patients countywide with 24 using ICU beds.

Dr. Maggie Park, San Joaquin County Public Health Officer, noted that the numbers are progressively coming down and are lower than the County has seen in several weeks.

Park explained that under the State’s new tiered system, which is based on a County’s rate of new cases and the testing positivity rate that San Joaquin County remains in the most restrictive purple tier indicating widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the County. This is due to the fact that the County has more than seven new cases per 100,000 per day being identified, and more than 8 percent of tests are positive. According to the State Department of Public Health, San Joaquin County was at 12.6 new cases per 100,000 per day and a 9.1 percent positivity rate on September 8.  Today, the County is at 9.5 new cases per 100,000 per day and has a positivity rate of 7.1%.

Per the State’s new guidelines, at a minimum, counties must remain in a tier for at least three weeks before moving to a different tier. Data is reviewed weekly, and tiers are updated on Tuesdays. To move forward, a County must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks. If a county’s metrics worsen for two consecutive weeks, it will be assigned a more restrictive tier. If a County is not meeting the statewide average for testing, they are penalized for not meeting the metric, which could keep many counties like San Joaquin from moving into the next reopening tier.

Park emphasized that in order to move from the current purple tier into the red tier that San Joaquin County residents are strongly encouraged to get tested whether or not they have symptoms.\

 “In addition to wearing a mask, limiting gatherings and social distancing, the easiest thing residents can do to help ease the COVID-19 restrictions is to get tested,” Park said. “We have the testing capacity at many locations throughout the County at no cost. We just need people in both high risk and low-risk communities to take advantage of the testing.”

Park reported that the County is offering tests to all residents at two free testing sites along with eight local health providers, which are offering tests to their patients. San Joaquin General Hospital is offering 14 pop-up testing sites throughout the County during the month of September. The County is also partnering with the State to offer a Verily Mobile Testing Van that will soon be set up every Monday at a designated location in the County through December, as well as an Army Corps Civil Support Team mobile testing unit that will be conducting testing at three separate locations in the County September 26 through September 28.  The County is also hosting a Family Drive-thru COVID-19 Event with health information, giveaways, and free COVID-19 testing on Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hamilton Elementary School in Stockton. Testing sites can be found at

 “Countywide testing among all residents will provide the State with a clear and accurate picture of our positivity rat,” said Kathy Miller, Chair of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors. “People ask all the time what they can do to get our economy back on track and lives back to normal. Testing is a primary way to do that. The tests are free, convenient, widely available, and present very minor discomfort. We all need to take this message to heart and get tested.”

Park also reported to the Board that she has granted 17 waivers for transitional kindergarten through sixth grade to schools in the County. She said several schools opened Monday and many more will open on Sept. 28. Even though San Joaquin County is still on the State monitoring list, the California Department of Public Health provided guidance to allow a district superintendent, private school principal/head of school, or executive director of a charter school to apply for a waiver from the local health officer to open an elementary school for in-person instruction.  The waiver is applicable only for grades TK-6, even if the grade configuration at the school includes additional grades. In order to qualify for a waiver, schools must follow several metrics, which can be found on the CDPH website.

The Board also approved several items related to COVID-19, including:

*Appropriation increase of $415,838 to the Aging and Community Services budget to reflect additional funds through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act for the Senior Nutrition Program.