On Tuesday, April 13, Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Steve Rosansky released a video sent to Chamber members and other businesses and community members to announce that Orange County coronavirus statistics have plateaued, and we may not move into the Yellow Tier in the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy as soon as hoped.
“The latest coronavirus indicators are out and they are almost unchanged from last week,” said Rosansky in the video. “The positivity percentage remained the same at 1.6 percent, still in the yellow tier. The health equity metric dropped from 2.1 percent to 1.8 percent, which is also solidly in the yellow tier. Unfortunately, the case rate remained the same at 3.0 cases per 100,000, which keeps it in the Orange zone.”:
Rosansky added that under the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, all three indicators must be in the Yellow zone for a minimum of two weeks before Orange County can reopen its economy further.
Rosansky also noted that last week, Gov. Newsom said he anticipates the state of California will fully reopen as of June 15.
“The full reopening is contingent on two criteria: that California’s Covid-19 vaccine supplies are sufficient to vaccinate all adults who wish to receive the shot, and that hospitalization rates remain stable and low,” said Rosansky. “Facemask mandates will remain in place for the time being, and other restrictions meant to prevent the spread of the disease may remain in place as well.”
“What does this mean?” asked Rosansky. “The level of coronavirus in the Orange County area has seemed to hit a plateau, which does not bode well for entering the Yellow tier anytime soon, as infections that have occurred over St. Patrick’s Day, Spring Break and the recent Easter Sunday weekend work their way through the population.”
At the moment, said Rosansky, it’s a battle between getting California residents vaccinated and the increasing contagiousness of the mutating coronavirus.
“This battle is further complicated by the announcement that the FDA is temporarily halting the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” said Rosansky.
Rosansky stated that reopening all sectors of the economy by June 15 will be great for businesses and residents. However, “as always, the devil will be in the details,” he said. “Even reopened, the state has issued extensive operating guidance on an industry by industry basis. What restrictions remain in place will dictate how close to normalcy things will return to. Many businesses may voluntarily choose to keep some safeguards like mask wearing and social distancing in order to keep customers and employees safe, even with the significantly reduced level of virus circulating in California.”
Rosansky concluded by saying “wear a mask, get vaccinated, and be safe.”
For more information, visit the Chamber’s website at www.NewportBeach.com.