COVID vaccine

For the 17th consecutive week, Del Norte County will remain in the red tier of pandemic restrictions, the longest streak of any county in the state.

In the latest metric announced Tuesday, the county has 9.3 new cases a day per 100,000 people and a test positivity rate of 2.1 percent over the last week.

Del Norte County is one of just four counties in the state remaining in the red tier as most counties are seeing COVID cases decline much faster.

Humboldt County to the south and Siskiyou County to the east have both fallen into the orange tier. There are 35 counties in the orange tier and 19 in the minimal tier.

In the red tier, most businesses, including restaurants, are allowed to open for indoor service, but the number of people allowed in businesses is limited. Every time a county decreases a level, a greater number of people can go inside businesses.

While the CDC has eased masking requirements for fully-vaccinated people, California has opted to wait before easing its masking requirements. The state announced last month it would not ease masking requirements before June 15. On that date, the state is also expected to lift most virus restrictions statewide.

The key to beating the virus remains getting people vaccinated. With that in mind, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a $116 million vaccine lottery program for people who get vaccinated. Under the plan, 10 California residents will win $1.5 million with the winners announced June 15. Another 30 winners will receive $50,000, with winners announced June 4 and June 11.

All California residents who have received at least once vaccine dose will be eligible for the cash prizes. Anyone who has received a vaccine is automatically registered.

In addition, California residents who get vaccinated are eligible for $50 prepaid cards or $50 grocery cards. Two million cards will be given away.

When the cash prizes were announced May 28, around 55 percent of the state’s residents had received a vaccine. As of Tuesday, close to 70 percent had received at least one dose.

In Del Norte County, 16,707 residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

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