Skip Navigation LinksNR21-089

office of communications

Contact :

Office of Communications

State Officials Announce Latest COVID-19 Facts

Date: March 16, 2021
Number: NR21-089


SACRAMENTO – Today, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released the most recent statistics on COVID-19, including updated data and tiers for reducing COVID-19 in the state under the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

Eleven counties moved to a less restrictive tier, from Purple (widespread) to Red (substantial): Lake, Monterey, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare and Ventura. One county, San Mateo, moved from Red (substantial) to Orange (moderate). No counties moved to a more restrictive tier.

Eleven counties remain in the Purple (widespread) tier, 42 in the Red (substantial) tier, four in the Orange (moderate) tier and one is in the Yellow (minimal) tier.

School Outbreak Data

The state has updated its schools reopening maps on the Safe Schools for All Hub to include outbreak data by school district. View the data for public schools by selecting a specific district on the School Districts Reopening Map. The map includes reported outbreaks since January 1, 2021.

Guidelines for Planning Commencement Ceremonies

In preparation for the end of the school year, CDPH announced that graduation and commencement ceremony organizers can begin to plan for events following the Outdoor Live Events with Assigned Seats and Controlled Mixing guidelines, which take effect on April 1. More detailed guidance is forthcoming.

Youth and Adult Recreational Sports FAQ

CDPH released an updated Youth and Adult Recreational Sports Questions & Answers today to help athletes, parents and sports organizations understand the state's guidance that went into effect on February 26.

Statewide COVID-19 Data as of Today

  • California has 3,530,055 confirmed cases to date. Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed.
  • There were 1,260 newly recorded confirmed cases Monday.
  • The 7-day positivity rate is 1.8%.
  • There have been 51,351,366 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 167,229 during the prior 24-hour reporting period.
  • There have been 55,372 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
  • As of March 16, providers have reported administering a total of 12,637,197 vaccine doses statewide. The CDC reports that 16,686,580 doses have been delivered to entities within the state. Numbers do not represent true day-to-day change as reporting may be delayed. For more vaccination data, visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Data Dashboard.

March15_daily_numbersCalifornia COVID-19 by the Numbers

Tracking Variants

Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been identified globally during the COVID-19 pandemic. These genetic mutations are expected, and some emerge and then disappear, while others persist or become common. Most variants do not have a meaningful impact. Public health becomes concerned about a variant when it affects COVID-19 transmission, severity, testing, treatment or vaccine effectiveness. Get more information on the variants CDPH is currently monitoring.

Blueprint for a Safer Economy

With the Regional Stay at Home Order rescinded statewide as of January 25, all counties are now under the rules and framework of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and color-coded tiers that indicate which activities and businesses are open based on local case rates and test positivity. 

CDPH modified Blueprint thresholds on March 12 after the state successfully met its first vaccine equity milestone of 2 million administered vaccine doses in some of the state's hardest hit communities.

Blueprint Summary (as of March 16)

  • 11 counties in the Purple (widespread) Tier
  • 42 counties in the Red (substantial) Tier
  • 4 counties in Orange (moderate) Tier
  • 1 county in the Yellow (minimal) Tier

Blueprint tiers are updated weekly on Tuesdays. Find the status of activities in specific counties.


Tracking COVID-19 in California

State Dashboard – Daily COVID-19 data

County Map – Local data, including tier status and ICU capacity

Data and Tools – Models and dashboards for researchers, scientists and the public

Blueprint for a Safer Economy – Data for establishing tier status

COVID-19 Race & Ethnicity Data – Weekly updated Race & Ethnicity data

Cases and Deaths by Age Group – Weekly updated Deaths by Age Group data

Health Equity Dashboard – See how COVID-19 highlights existing inequities in health

Vaccinate All 58

In order to increase the pace of COVID-19 vaccine distribution to those at greatest risk, the state is prioritizing individuals 65 and older to receive the vaccine as demand subsides among health care workers. This effort will help to reduce hospitalizations and save lives. To sign up for a notification when you're eligible for a vaccine, please visit For more information on the vaccine effort, visit the Vaccinate All 58 webpage.

Safe Schools for All

Governor Gavin Newsom launched the Safe Schools for All Hub as a one-stop shop for information about safe in-person instruction. For more information on the transparency, accountability and assistance measures related to California's Safe Schools for All plan, visit the Safe Schools for All Hub.

Travel Advisory

CDPH has issued a travel advisory in place. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Non-essential travelers from other states or countries are strongly discouraged from entering California and should adhere to the state's 10 day self-quarantine guidance.

Health Care Workers

As of March 15, local health departments have reported 99,414 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 417 deaths statewide.

Testing Turnaround Time

The testing turnaround time dashboard reports how long California patients are waiting for COVID-19 test results. During the week of February 28 to March 6, the average time patients waited for test results was one day. During this same time period, 79% of patients received test results in one day and 95% received them within two days.

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

As of March 15, 380 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) have been reported statewide. MIS-C is a rare inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 that can damage multiple organ systems. MIS-C can require hospitalization and be life threatening.

Your Actions Save Lives

Protect yourself, family, friends and your community by following these prevention measures:

  • If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches), call your health care provider.
  • If you believe you have been exposed, get tested. Free, confidential testing is available statewide.
  • Get vaccinated when it's your turn.
  • Limit interactions to people who live in your household and follow state and local public health guidance.
  • Wear a mask and get the most out of masking - an effective mask has both good fit and good filtration.
  • Avoid non-essential travel and stay close to home; self-quarantine for 10 days after arrival if you leave the state.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home from work, school and other people if you feel ill.
  • Add your phone to the fight by signing up for COVID-19 exposure notifications from CA Notify.
  • Answer the call or text if a contact tracer from the CA COVID Team or your local health department tries to connect.

Page Last Updated :