Red numbers, but not quite yet

ORANGE COUNTY will have to wait another week for a tier change (Shutterstock).

Orange County’s metrics for moving from “purple” (widespread) to the less restrictive “red” (substantial) tier for handling the coronavirus pandemic looks very crimson, but not for long enough.

On Tuesday, the California Department of Public Health released the latest assessment of COVID-19 infections and the OC met all the requirements to be classified red.

However, the state’s policy is that a county “must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks to move to a less restrictive tier.” That means we wait until March 16.

Orange County’s “score” on new cases per day per 100,000 population met the standard for red (6.0) and in the categories of test positivity (3.2 percent) and health equity (4.1) were good enough for orange (moderate).

Today’s report from the Orange County Health Care Agency supports the idea that the county is continuing to show encouraging statistics.

New confirmed cases declined to a near-historic low of 108, down from 163 on Monday. Deaths were up from 26 to 61, but hospitalizations dropped from 288 to 283 and COVID-19 patients being treated in intensive care units saw a reduction to 77 from 84.

To-date totals in the county are 248,022 for cases; 237,416 recovered cases; and 4,313 deaths.

Here is a list of the OC cities with the most cases. Deaths are in parentheses.

  • Santa Ana: 44,218 (766)
  • Anaheim: 41,098 (761)
  • Garden Grove: 16,252 (333)
  • Orange: 11,612 (220)
  • Fullerton: 11,112 (261)
  • Huntington Beach: 10,344 (193)
  • Irvine: 10,226 (77)
  • Westminster: 7,001 (169)
  • Stanton: 3,132 (54).

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