Numbers lead to “yellow” but ….

WHEN WILL the masks really come off? Maybe not until June 15 (Shutterstock).

Encouraging numbers point to a possible move to the least restrictive “yellow” tier of Orange County’s status in the coronavirus pandemic.

In Monday’s report, the county health care agency reports that confirmed new cases have dropped to 39 from Sunday’s 52, and to zero from Sunday’s one death. Hospitalizations are down to 79 from 82 and patients being treated for COVID-19 in intensive care units are down from 23 to 13.

Tier assignment from the State of California is reported on Tuesdays. However, the State of California has previously announced it would drop the tier system as of June 15.  The County of Orange will adhere to state guidelines to continue to require masks indoors until that date, despite a statement from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that fully vaccinated adults could go maskless in most situations and places.

To date in Orange County, cases have totaled 254,783, of which 248,041 are considered recovered. Deaths are at 5,031.

Nationally, new cases have declined 33 percent over the last two weeks, according to The New York Times. Also, deaths are down 13 percent. In California, the Los Angeles Times estimates that cases are down 18 percent and deaths by 39 percent.

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