By CBSLA Staff

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County’s COVID-19 encouraging trends continued Friday as the county continued on its path to move up from the red to the orange tier in the state’s reopen system.

The county reported 156 COVID-19 more cases Friday and 19additional fatalities.

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Flor Medina-Trejo, LVN gives the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to a woman at AltaMed Health Services in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, February 9, 2021.

The numbers brought the county’s total caseload to 250,095 and the death toll to 4,684.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations increased from 167 to 172, with the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care dropping from 35 to 31, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

The last time overall hospitalizations were this low was Oct. 26.

While in Orange County this week, Gov. Gavin Newsom praised efforts to inoculate underprivileged people in the hardest-hit neighborhoods while also announcing he would expand the population of Californians eligible for vaccines.

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To handle that expected influx of vaccine seekers, county officials are considering opening a new vaccine distribution point at the Orange County Fairgrounds next week, Orange County Board Vice Chairman Doug Chaffee said.

“It’s always been a place we’ve talked about as a possible spot,” Chaffee said.

Beginning April 1, anyone 50 or older will be able to get vaccinated, and everyone 16 and older will be eligible on April 15, Newsom announced Thursday.

If current trends continue, Orange County could graduate to the orange tier by March 31, officials said.

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