SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County’s updated COVID statistics showed some ups and downs Tuesday but ultimately showed the county will stay in the orange tier this week.
Tuesday’s weekly update from the state showed the county’s test positivity rate improved from 1.7% to 1.6%, meeting the yellow tier requirements.READ MORE: California Focusing On Urgent Projects As Wildfire Season Looms
Meanwhile, the adjusted case rate per 100,000 people on a seven-day average with a seven-day lag increased from 2.8 last week to 3, staying in the orange tier, and the county’s Health Equity Quartile rate improved from 2.6% last week to 2.1%.
The county reported 131 more COVID cases Tuesday and 12 additional fatalities.
The numbers brought the caseload to 251,441 and the death toll to 4,784.
The number of people hospitalized with COVID declined from 109 Monday to 107 on Tuesday, but the number of people in intensive care units increased from 16 to 23.
Also on Tuesday, state health officials and Gov. Gavin Newsom announced they will scrap the reopening plan on June 15, lifting all of its restrictions and eliminating the tier system.READ MORE: Future Of Hollywood's Cinerama Dome Still In Question
Discarding the colored tier system will allow restrictions to be lifted from all businesses, gatherings and recreational activities. However, a statewide mask mandate will remain in place.
Andrew Noymer, a UC Irvine professor of population health and disease prevention, said he was surprised state officials made an announcement this soon.
“It seems we will be in a good place in June, but it’s a bit far in advance,” Noymer said. “I liked what they were doing (with the tier system) and now they’re undoing it.”
Noymer added, “I do have reason to believe optimism is warranted… If we can make it to summer without a Michigan-style reversal of fortune there’s good reason to believe we won’t have another wave until November.”
Given there could be a seasonal surge in the winter, like with the flu, “it makes sense to have a more relaxed summer to keep our powder dry for (restrictions) later,” Noymer said.MORE NEWS: Paul Flores, Father Arrested In 1996 Disappearance Of Kristin Smart
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