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Sacramento County could finally reach orange tier by end of April

Dr. Olivia Kasirye and Sacramento County's public health team say there's hope the vaccine supply could increase and restrictions will loosen in a few weeks.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With a lowering case rate and an increase in vaccine supply, things are starting to look up for Sacramento County.

Dr. Olivia Kasirye said the county could move to the orange tier by the end of April because of the county's lowering case rate and the state's increased number of vaccinations in communities with conditions that heavily impact health outcomes.

"In my best guess estimate is that probably sometime late April, we will be able to meet the criteria for the orange tier," Kasirye said.  

One of the factors that could help Sacramento County is when the state reaches its goal of administering 4 million doses in communities with the lowest healthy place index score [HPI 1]. When the goal is reached, counties won't have to lower their case rate much further to get to the orange tier.

Currently, for Sacramento County to get to the orange tier, it needs to get its rate of a seven-day average of new cases per 100,000 with a seven-day lag down below 4 for two consecutive weeks. After that goal is reached, the county would only need to get its case rate below 6 for two consecutive weeks.

According to CDPH, Sacramento's case rate with a seven-day lag was 7.4 for the week ending on March 13. Sacramento County's data shows the case rate without a seven-day lag was 6.8 for the week ending on March 20.

Sacramento County officials said the county is doing its part in vaccinating more people within HPI 1 communities with an increased supply and new guidance from California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Sacramento County received roughly 10,000 more doses this week than the near 15,000 doses the county was expecting last week. The county received 15,210 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, 8,500 doses of the Moderna vaccine and 1,600 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

"We have been told that the state is changing the way that they are making their allocation and basing it on the adult population," Kasirye said. "So that might give an advantage to us to be able to get more vaccine, but we'll have to wait and see."

While the county has not received confirmation the dose allocation will remain near 25,000 doses or increase further, Allen said they are hopeful they will be receiving an increased supply.

With the increased supply, the county is working to increase its vaccination efforts in communities HPI 1 communities by increasing the number of clinics in these communities.

In addition to an increased supply, Newsom allowed vaccine providers to begin vaccinating the families of the people eligible and live in HPI 1 and HPI 2 communities.

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