The good news that Orange County has been waiting for across months of battling the coroanvirus pandemic finally came through today (Tuesday). The California Department of Public Health moved the OC into the “yellow” or minimal tier, the category with the least restrictions.
Orange County actually qualified for that status last week, but the CDPH rules for reassignment call for a county to remain in its tier for at least two weeks before moving.
In a county in the yellow tier, indoor capacity of restaurants, movie theaters and gyms can open at 50 percent capacity. Bars can reopen with 25 percent capacity and larger amusement parks can open with modifications (maximum 25 percent capacity).
Personal care facilities can open indoors with modifications and outdoor live events with assigned seating and controlled mixing can open with modifications.
The change has been much anticipated. The Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove, for example, had previously announced plans to reopen for business on Saturday, May 22.
Although the change is welcomed by many businesses and individuals, it probably just moves up the relaxation of most rules by three weeks or so. The State of California has announced a June 15 date for total “re-opening” of the state, provided sufficient vaccines are available.
In Orange County, the daily numbers from the county agency showed generally positive numbers. The number of confirmed new cases went from to 36 on Monday to a still-low total of 48 on Tuesday. Deaths were at zero for the second consecutive day.
Hospitalizations tied to the virus ticked downward from 79 to 78 and patients being treated for COVID-19 in intensive care units went from 13 to 14.
On a national basis, cases declined 35 percent over the past two weeks, according to The New York Times, and deaths fell 12 percent. In California – according to the Los Angeles Times – cases are down 24 percent and deaths fell 39 percent.