Marin Remains in Tier 2 and State Introduces New Health Equity Metric

October 7, 2020

On Tuesday, October 6, 2020, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) provided its weekly update on the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, a statewide plan for reducing COVID-19 and keeping Californians healthy and safe. 

As part of this process, CDPH assesses indicators that capture disease burden, testing, and health equity. This assessment happens weekly on Mondays and CDPH releases updated tier assignments on Tuesdays at around 12-noon.

CDPH confirmed Marin County’s placement in Tier 2 (red status) for a fourth straight week.

CDPH’s October 6 assessment for Marin County includes:

  • Testing Positivity: 1.8% (decrease of 1.1% since last assessment)
  • Adjusted Case Rate: 4.0 (decrease of 1.7 since last assessment)
  • New Health Equity Metric / Quartile Test Positivity Rate: 3.1%

Effective Tuesday, the State is considering testing positivity rates in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods for each county. Defined as the lowest quartile of the U.S. Census Healthy Places Index for California (HPI), this new initiative is designed to help guide counties in their efforts to reduce COVID-19 cases in all communities and requires more intensive efforts to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among Californians who have been disproportionately impacted by this pandemic.

Marin County has focused on health equity from the onset of our response, including providing services like culturally and linguistically competent case investigation and contact tracing, resources and housing options to support residents so they can safely isolate, and increasing access to testing in communities that are seeing high testing positivity and case rates.

The following table outlines the requirements for case rates, test positivity rates, and quartile test positivity rates for each tier status. Currently, two of Marin’s three measurements qualifies for Tier 3 (orange status):

In general, for a County to advance to a less restrictive tier, it must (1) have been in the current tier for a minimum of three weeks; and (2) meet criteria for the next less restrictive tier for all three measures for the prior two consecutive weeks in order to progress to the next tier.

For Marin to officially achieve Tier 3 (orange status), two things need to happen: (1) the adjusted case rate must equal or fall below 3.9; and (2) Marin’s data must remain within the Tier 3 range for two weeks. If Marin’s data continues to improve, we could achieve Tier 3 status as early as October 27.  However, that means we must continue to work as a community to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Learn more: Marin's Blueprint Data