By CBSLA Staff

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County reported another 316 COVID-19 cases on Saturday, raising the total case count to 58,326 diagnoses since the pandemic began.

An additional four virus-related fatalities were also reported, bringing the death toll to 1,444.

The county continues to report a relatively high number of daily cases. Officials have been aiming for a daily average of about 130 new cases per day, but this week the county reported between 200 to 300 new cases each day.

The rising daily case count jeopardizes the county’s chance to move to the less-restrictive orange tier of the state’s COVID-19 reopening roadmap.

Orange County officials expect to remain in the red tier next week, OC CEO Frank Kim said.

Rising case rates throughout the nation and forecasts of heightened infections during the winter have public health officials concerned, he said.

“Everyone has the same concerns — we’re looking at the same numbers,” Kim said. “We’re not seeing (the spikes) in hospital rates, so we’re happy about that…But we’re all staring at the same thing, and there’s no way Orange County gets to the orange tier while everyone else around us is in purple.”

The number of hospitalizations went down from 162 on Friday to 159 on Saturday. The number of patients in the ICU also decreased from 58 to 55.

The county’s positivity rate, which is updated each Tuesday, has been at 3.2% for the past two weeks. The daily case rate per 100,000 is 4.6.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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