SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County health officials reported 113 new cases of COVID-19 but no additional deaths Monday as hospitalizations decreased.
To date, the county has reported 49,845 cases and 1,053 fatalities since the pandemic began.
Due to reporting lags, case numbers are typically lower over the weekend but Monday’s relatively low numbers are another encouraging sign as the county hopes to move up from the purple to the red tier of the state’s monitoring system by Tuesday.
Orange County has met the state’s metrics for at least two weeks.
The county’s new case rate per 100,000 residents over seven days is 5.6. To move to the next tier, the county has to be between 4 and 7.
Hospitalizations also continued to decline, dropping from 253 on Sunday to 238 Monday. Of those hospitalized, 75 patients were in intensive care down from 77 the day prior.
The rate of county residents testing positive for COVID-19 was at 5%, which is below the state’s desired threshold of 8%.
Of the 49,845 cases reported, there have been 43,597 documented recoveries. Officials said 700,492 COVID-19 tests have been conducted, including 4,444 reported Monday.
“This significant move to the red tier for Orange County indicates that we are hopefully getting the upper hand on COVID-19,” Supervisor Lisa Bartlett said last week.
“Our numbers are holding steady or declining, we still have excess capacity in our hospital system and as long as we all continue to follow prescribed health and safety guidelines our trend should keep improving in the county. I look forward to cautiously opening up our local economy so we experience some level of normalcy once again in our day-to-day lives.”
Under the red tier, the county will be able to reopen movie theaters, restaurants and churches indoors at 25% capacity.
“What it means for us is just one more step towards normalcy, where we can get this place back up and running,” Tim Taber, owner of Dick Church’s Restaurant, said. “We can have our regulars back inside — they’ve got their favorite booths, their favorite places to sit — and we want to give them a peek of what we’ve been doing for the past many months.”
Meanwhile, shopping centers may expand from 25% capacity to half capacity under the red tier.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)