By CBSLA Staff

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County Tuesday met the COVID-19 metrics to move up to the less-restrictive orange tier of the state’s reopening plan, but it will have to wait until April 7 to officially graduate up to that level.

The county’s test positivity rate improved from 2.2% to 2.1% Tuesday, and the adjusted case rate per 100,000 people on a seven-day average with a seven-day lag improved from 4 to 3.5 last Tuesday.

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The county’s Health Equity Quartile rate, which measures positivity in hot spots in disadvantaged communities, improved from 3.5% last week to 3.2%.

The county must remain in the red tier for three weeks and maintain current levels for two weeks making April 7 the earliest the county could move up to the orange tier, officials say.

Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett said it’s possible the county could move up sooner if the state relaxes its standard by meeting its goal of 4 million inoculated in its health equity category statewide.

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Dr. Clayton Chau, director of the Orange County Health Care Agency and the county’s chief health officer, said the state has inoculated about 2.8 million in the health equity category.

Meanwhile Tuesday, the county reported 119 new COVID-19 cases and 27 additional fatalities.

The numbers brought the county’s caseload to 249,760 and its death toll to 4,635.

Hospitalizations decreased from 195 on Monday to 188 Tuesday, as the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care dropped from 50 to 40, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

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