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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Will San Diego County slide into state's most restrictive tier?

San Diego County's case rate is 6.9%, threshold for purple tier is 7%

San Diego County's coronavirus case rate is holding at 6.9%. However, if that number goes any higher, the county could move down a tier into Tier 1, the purple tier, which means tighter restrictions and more closures.

San Diego has been in the red tier – the category with "substantial" case rate – since the end of August. Should our case rate hit 7% or higher for two consecutive weeks, San Diego could be hit with new restrictions.

"Unfortunately, we would be sliding backwards but we're keeping our fingers crossed. Our numbers have been holding," said San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond.

He tells News 8 business owners are worried. 

"Quite frankly, I know a lot of businesses are going to be very frustrated because they open, they close, the inside, the outside. Employees in and employees out," he said. "It's going to be very frustrating for people and businesses are saying 'I'm just gonna throw in the towel if we keep going back-and-forth like this I can't continue.'"

Under the state's red tier - businesses like restaurants, gyms and movie theaters are allowed to reopen for indoor service with limited capacity.

Under the purple tier - most non-essential indoor business operations are closed. Schools are also not allowed to open.

However -- no county has moved from red to purple yet - so it's still unclear what guidance the county would receive from the state.

Supervisor Desmond says the tier system is complicated and confusing. 

"We get a lot of calls at our office asking us, 'Can we open? Are we are legal to be open? Can you send us a letter that says we can open?' And so it takes us a lot of digging as well just to determine where we are and where we're going," said Supervisor Desmond.