Now, it’s all about the Tiers

CALIFORNIA GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (Matt Gush/Shutterstock).

Just when Orange County appeared to be moving briskly toward some re-openings by staying off the state’s coronvirus watch list, another big wrinkle has been added to the process.

On Friday Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a new system of classifications which will alter which counties can re-open and how quickly.

“We’re going to be stubborn this time,” he said during a news conference. “This [is] more stringent, but we believe [a] more steady approach.”

The new plan creates four tiers: widespread, substantial, moderate and minimal. Most California counties – including Orange – are in the widespread category. For more on the tiers and details, see adjacent chart from the state’s health agency.

According to the state health agency, Orange County has a 5 percent test-positivity rate (up to 5.2 percent today) and new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people is at 5.6. Both metrics appear to be sufficient to allow the OC to apply move “up” a tier to “substantial.”

Counties may move to a more permissive tier after meeting state requirements for 21 days.  Orange County was in Day 6 of the former standards, moving toward the old 15-day period to expand opening of business and schools.

According to the California Department of Public Health, schools in counties in Tier 1 can’t reopen with in-person instruction without a waiver. Once a county has advanced past Tier 1 for 14 days, schools are eligible for in-person teaching.

For more on the state guidelines, go to: .

Friday’s stats from the Orange County Health Care Agency showed 323 new cases and nine deaths. Test positivity rose slightly from 5 to 5.2 percent, and the number of cases hospitalized in the OC is at 351, of which 98 cases are in intensive care units.

For more OC details, go to:

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