Red tier could be in sight as Orange County coronavirus metrics improve

Red tier could be in sight as Orange County coronavirus metrics improve


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Orange County’s coronavirus numbers continue to improve, as the county has now met one of the three metrics required to move from the state’s most restrictive, “widespread” purple tier for reopening to the less restrictive, “substantial” red tier.

The Orange County Health Care Agency reports that the county’s test positivity rate has fallen to 7.8%. That figure is a seven-day average and comes with a seven-day lag. Counties in the red tier must have a positivity rate between 5% to 8%.

However, the county has a way to go to satisfy the other two requirements: an adjusted daily case rate of four to seven people per 100,000, and a health equity quartile positivity rate of 5.3% to 8%. The health equity quartile measures rates of infection with the virus in the county’s most disadvantaged communities.

Orange County’s adjusted daily case rate is 20.7 per 100,000 people, and the health equity quartile rate is 10.7%.

“We haven’t seen any spikes so far from the Super Bowl, so that’s good news,” Orange County Executive Officer Frank Kim told the City News Service this week.

Kim said the county “has one foot in the red tier, and another firmly planted in purple still.”

Counties have to meet the requirements for a less restrictive tier for two weeks before moving to that tier. Last fall, Orange County was in the red tier, under which places like movie theaters and gyms can be open indoors with modifications.

The county opened a new COVID-19 vaccination site on Wednesday at Santa Ana College. The appointment-only operation runs Tuesday through Saturday and aims to vaccinate 1,000 people who live in high-risk communities, like Santa Ana and Anaheim, per day.

Qualified individuals living in the identified high-risk communities will receive an appointment, according to a news release.

The healthcare agency reported 27 new deaths due to COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county’s overall death toll to 3,644 people. There were 166 daily positive coronavirus tests received, and 243,329 cases countywide have now been recorded to date, including deaths.

There are 719 patients hospitalized, and 235 of those are in intensive-care units.

Here are the latest cumulative coronavirus case counts and COVID-19 deaths for select cities in Orange County:

  • Santa Ana: 43,587 cases; 650 deaths
  • Anaheim: 40,475 cases; 667 deaths
  • Huntington Beach: 10,050 cases; 170 deaths
  • Costa Mesa: 8,545 cases; 95 deaths
  • Irvine: 9,906 cases; 61 deaths
  • Newport Beach: 3,535 cases; 63 deaths
  • Fountain Valley: 3,328 cases; 58 deaths
  • Laguna Beach: 777 cases; five deaths

Here are the case counts by age group, followed by deaths:

  • 0 to 17: 25,116 cases; one death
  • 18 to 24: 33,632 cases; eight deaths
  • 25 to 34: 48,660 cases; 39 deaths
  • 35 to 44: 37,959 cases; 81 deaths
  • 45 to 54: 39,073 cases; 234 deaths
  • 55 to 64: 30,626 cases; 492 deaths
  • 65 to 74: 15,254 cases; 708 deaths
  • 75 to 84: 7,672 cases; 880 deaths
  • 85 and older: 5,186 cases; 1,201 deaths

Updated figures are posted daily at occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc. Information on the COVID-19 vaccine in Orange County can be found at occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/covid-19-vaccine-resources.

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