Madera County officials say they'll petition state to let county move out of 'purple tier'

No indoor services are allowed yet at places like restaurants, gyms and houses of worship.
MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- As coronavirus cases continue to climb across the state Madera County, finds itself stuck in the most restrictive 'purple tier'.

Health officials made the announcement Tuesday just as business owners face a grim outlook heading into the holiday season.

"This is just really devastating to the local economy. Our small businesses just can't survive in this purple mode," said Madera County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Bobby Kahn.

Based on the state's metrics Madera County is still seeing too many new COVID cases each week to move into the less restrictive 'red tier'.

That means no indoor services at places like restaurants, gyms and houses of worship.

"I think even if you open things up right now there will be some that didn't make it. I know there's at least one of two restaurants in the downtown area that have closed permanently and not sure if they'll reopen once they can," said Kahn.

County health officials plan to petition Sacramento to allow Madera County to move out of the 'purple tier', because they say they were close to meeting the state's red metrics for two of the last four weeks.

"We're working on an adjudication application to the state today to discuss several issues that are acute problems in Madera within the tier system," said Madera County Public Health Director Sara Bosse.

The metric where Madera County keeps getting hung up is the number of new cases.

To enter the 'red tier', the county needs to have fewer than seven daily new cases per 100,000 residents.

"Rates and percentages are highly impacted by random samplings which is fairly unstable at a population as small as Madera," said Bosse.
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