The San Joaquin County Public Health Services logo. Calif. seal (Photo courtesy of San Joaquin County Public Health Services)

San Joaquin County’s overall COVID-19 average case rate has declined from 8.2 to 6.2 per 100,000 over the last two weeks but the county will remain in the red tier of the state’s pandemic reopening system for now.

San Joaquin County Public Health Officer Maggie Park said at a Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday that the decline in the COVID-19 rate could possibly help the county soon reach the orange tier. The state plans to lift the tier system, formally called the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, and allow counties to reopen most businesses at full capacity on June 15.

“We should be proud that we live in a state with the lowest case rate and as difficult as the past 18 months has been, that is true today largely because we have been careful and cautious,” Park said.

However, the county will remain in the more-restrictive red tier until it can reach a daily case rate of 5.9.

As of Tuesday, San Joaquin County reported 33 residents hospitalized with 13 of them in the intensive care unit, a decrease from last week’s 51 cases treated in hospitals.