Orange County is red, finally. At least, it will be as of Sunday.
The California Department of Public Health, acting on the latest statistics on the coronavirus pandemic, on Friday reclassified the OC from the most restrictive “purple” tier of “widespread” to the less restrictive “red” (substantial) tier, the change going into effect on Sunday.
The change in tiers will allow indoor dining at restaurants and will allow gyms and movie theaters to open their doors and bring guests inside, at the limited capacity of 25 percent or 100 patrons, whichever is less.
Friday’s change came about as the state of California reached its goal of vaccinating 2 million people considered vulnerable in selected zip codes. That created revised guidelines that set the bar for the red tier at having no more than 10 new cases per day per 100,000 residents.
That shift allows Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and San Luis Obispo counties to go red. San Diego, Imperial, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern counties remain purple.
In anticipation of a change to red, some businesses have announced reopening plans, and others have quietly moved to fewer restrictions unofficially. The Disneyland Resort – Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure – in Anaheim is expected to reopen in April, and the Great Wolf Resort in Garden Grove will be accepting reservations for dates starting on May 22. At those places, capacity will be restricted initially to 15 percent.
Friday’s report on COVID-19 statistics showed increases in new confirmed cases and patients being treated in intensive care units, along with declines in deaths and coronavirus hospitalizations (see chart).
The to-date total of Orange County cases is at 248,389, of which 238,688 are considered recovered. Deaths now total 4,408.
Here is a list of OC cities with the most cases. Deaths are in parentheses.
- Santa Ana: 44,276 (779)
- Anaheim: 41,146 (778)
- Garden Grove: 16,281 (342)
- Orange: 11,629 (225)
- Fullerton: 11,122 (266)
- Huntington Beach: 10,359 (196)
- Irvine: 10,241 (78).
Westminster has had 7,014 cases and 175 deaths. Stanton has had 3,137 cases and 58 deaths.