SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County reported 12 more coronavirus-related fatalities on Tuesday, after having no new deaths for two consecutive days.
The death toll is now at 1,105, according to the O.C. Health Care Agency. The county also reported another 150 COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases to 51,124.
All Orange County schools will be allowed to reopen for in-class instruction next Tuesday, Orange County health chief Director Dr. Clayton Chau told the county’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
So far, the county has approved 140 elementary schools to reopen through the state’s waiver process, Chau said.
The county moved from the state’s purple tier to the red tier last week, which allowed for churches, theaters, and other indoor operations to resume at limited capacity. Theaters, restaurants, museums, and churches are restricted to 25% capacity. Shopping centers can now open at 50% capacity, and gyms can operate at 10% capacity.
Monday marked the six-month anniversary of the shutdown of large venues, including theme parks. Anaheim officials publicly appealed to the state for guidance as to when Disneyland can reopen and how they should begin preparing.
The March 14 shutdown also impacted the Anaheim Convention Center, the Honda Center, and Angel Stadium.
Officials need “guidance on theme parks to reopen safely and responsibly when it is right,” said city spokesperson Mike Lyster. “We actually need a roadmap for recovery.”
As case rates around Orange County are decreasing and Anaheim is becoming less of a hotspot for COVID-19, the need to plan and prepare for further reopening is crucial, Lyster said.
“We’re seeing cases come down significantly in Anaheim, even in our most hardest-hit neighborhoods,” he said.
Lyster also pointed to the city’s unemployment rate, which has reached 15% — higher than the peak of 12% during the Great Recession a decade ago.
“That’s 26,000 people in our city. That’s a significant amount of people dislocated from their jobs,” Lyster said, noting that Anaheim “is looking at a $100 million deficit.”
The county is heading toward the state’s orange tier, which would allow for more reopening flexibility, but still does not indicate when theme parks may be able to begin operating again.
The number of people hospitalized in Orange County increased from 193 on Monday to 201 on Tuesday. The number of ICU patients also increased from 56 to 67.
The daily case count per 100,000 people dropped from 5.2 last week to 4.7. The seven-day rate of residents testing positive also dropped from 4.2% to 3.9%.
To move into the orange tier, the county must sustain a daily case rate of 1 to 3.9 per 100,000 and a positivity rate of 2 to 4.9%.
As of Tuesday, the O.C. HCA reported that 749,727 COVID-19 tests have been conducted thus far, including 8,480 on Tuesday. So far, there have been 45,626 documented recoveries.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)