SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County officials believe they could reach all key metrics this week needed to move into the less restrictive red tier of the state’s COVID-19 monitoring system.
The county’s test positivity rate, which is reported on Tuesdays, improved from 7.8% to 5.4% last week, and the adjusted case rate per 100,000 on a seven-day average with a seven-day lag improved from 20.7 to 11.9.READ MORE: Restraining Order Issued Against Atlas Metal; Mountain Of Scrap Metal Towering Over Jordan High School Called A 'Public Nuisance'
The Health Equity Quartile Positivity Rate, which reflects the rates in lower-income and minority neighborhood hot spots, improved from 10.7% to 7%.
Based on the updates, officials believe the county might reach all of the metrics required to move from the most-restrictive purple tier of the state’s re-opening framework this week.
To qualify for the red tier, the county must have a case rate per 100,000 population of 4 to 7, a positivity rate of 5% to 8% and a Health Equity Quartile rate of 5.3% to 8%. The metrics are updated every Tuesday.
The county then must stay within those metrics for at least two weeks.
Under the red tier, more businesses and organizations would be able to reopen and/or increase capacity.READ MORE: Fellow Student Killed Kristin Smart During Attempted Rape At Cal Poly Dorm, Prosecutors Allege
Retail stores would allow for half capacity instead of 25%, and museums, zoos and aquariums could reopen for indoor activities at 25% capacity. Also, movie theaters, gyms and restaurants could open indoors at 25% capacity.
Meanwhile Monday, Orange County health officials reported 179 new cases of COVID- 19 and four additional deaths Monday as hospitalization rates continued to decline.
The new numbers brought the county’s total caseload to 246,634 and the death toll to 3,921. Orange County Health Care Agency officials said there were technical issues with the state’s death reports system, so fatalities might be relatively low over the next several days.
Hospitalizations continued to decline in the county as the number of people hospitalized with COVID dropped from 421 Sunday to 419 Monday. Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units fell from 132 to 119.
The county reported having 31.1% of its ICU beds available and 63% of its ventilators, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.MORE NEWS: Ex-Catholic Priest Charged With Sexually Assaulting 4 Boys In Palmdale, Redondo Beach
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