Will orange county move to yellow tier?

At the yellow level, bars that do not serve food can reopen indoors, with a maximum capacity of 25% or 100 people, whichever is lower, and the limit will increase to 37.5% if all guests show proof of full vaccination or a negative test. More than 17.5 million Californians, approximately 44% of the state's population, live in those counties.

Orange County

hit all yellow thresholds for the first time last week, when its case rate fell to 1.8 per day per 100,000. In Southern California, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties are a surprising distance from the yellow level with their most recent case rates estimated at 2.1 and 2.4, respectively.

Of particular interest in Orange County is that achieving yellow status means amusement parks and fairgrounds can expand attendance to 35% capacity, compared to 25% at the orange tier. In addition to Orange County, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Amador counties also advanced to the yellow level, continuing with a series of reopenings that have aroused optimism that the worst of COVID-19 could now be in the rearview mirror and that the state could soon fully reopen. It was the county's new case rate that stalled its progression to the yellow level; in terms of the percentage of COVID-19 tests that tested positive and showed that its traditionally underserved communities weren't being affected more by the virus than the rest of the county, OC has met the state's yellow criteria for weeks. As of early March, 40 of California's 58 counties were in the purple tier, subjecting them to the strictest restrictions outlined in the state's reopening plan.

Live outdoor events, such as baseball games, can expand to 67% capacity at the yellow level, compared to 33% at the orange level. The good news came when the Orange County Board of Supervisors was inundated with complaints from hundreds of residents protesting what they called a vaccine passport program. Los Angeles County is the only other county in the Southern California area that is already at the yellow level. He was previously a reporter and assistant city editor for the Daily Pilot, a Times Community News publication in Orange County, and prior to that he wrote for Santa Clarita Valley Signal.

The number of coronavirus patients in county hospitals increased from 80 on Saturday to 82, while the number of patients in intensive care decreased from 25 to 23, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency. Counties must record two consecutive weeks of qualified data to advance to a less restrictive level and must remain at one level for three weeks before moving again. Orange County also reported 58 new COVID-19 infections Tuesday and nine additional deaths, bringing its cumulative totals to 254,415 cases and 5,107 deaths, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

Yolanda Splane
Yolanda Splane

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