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Compiled by Zach Cavanagh

JANUARY

Jan. 21 – First reported COVID-19 case in United States

Jan. 26 – First reported COVID-19 cases in California

Jan. 30 – World Health Organization declares global health emergency

FEBRUARY

Feb. 26 – Orange County issues public health emergency due to coronavirus concerns

Feb. 29 – First reported coronavirus death in United States

MARCH

March 4 – Orange County reports two positive cases of COVID-19

March 4 – First coronavirus-related death reported in California

March 11 – State advises postponing or canceling all events and gatherings through end of March

March 11 – World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a pandemic

March 13 – Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) schools close through April 3

March 15 – State issues social distancing guidelines and urges bars to close and restaurants to reduce operations

March 17 – Orange County bans gatherings, orders closure of in-person dining and bars and encourages working from home

March 17 – San Clemente City Council passes a resolution declaring a local emergency

March 19 – California issues stay-at-home order, closing all but essential services

March 19 – California surpasses 1,000 coronavirus cases

March 24 – San Clemente closes beach parking and pier

March 24 – CUSD begins distance learning

March 24 – Orange County reports first death related to COVID-19

March 25 – Orange County closes county-operated beach parking

March 25 – CUSD extends closure through May 1

March 27 – Orange County begins reporting city-by-city coronavirus cases

March 27 – U.S. House of Representatives passes $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package

March 28 – United States surpasses 100,000 coronavirus cases

APRIL

April 2 – CUSD continues distance learning indefinitely

April 3 – Orange County surpasses 1,000 COVID-19 cases

April 8 – San Clemente closes beaches

April 9 – United States surpasses 20,000 coronavirus-related deaths

April 13 – MemorialCare launches mobile testing center for coronavirus

April 14 – State announces plan to reopen California economy

April 17 – California records 1,000th coronavirus-related death

April 19 – Hundreds gather in San Clemente to protest stay-at-home orders

April 23 – United States tops 50,000 coronavirus-related deaths

April 24 – Food and retail workers required to wear masks in Orange County

April 25 – San Clemente reopens beaches for active recreation

April 28 – United States tops 1 million coronavirus cases

MAY

May 1 – State orders all Orange County beaches to close

May 1 – Defying state orders, Nomads Canteen reopens dine-in services, drawing crowds

May 4 – State allows San Clemente beaches to open for active recreation

May 7 – Orange County reopens county-operated beaches for active recreation

May 8 – California moves into Stage 2 of reopening plan allowing retail to offer curbside pickup

May 9 – Orange County records 100th coronavirus-related death

May 18 – Orange County reopens limited parking at county-operated beaches

May 21 – A protest against fencing around beach parking lot at Pier Bowl leads to multiple arrests

May 23 – Orange County expands further into Stage 2 of reopening plan with dine-in restaurants, malls, office buildings and outdoor museums resuming operations

May 23 – United States tops 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths

May 26 – California surpasses 100,000 coronavirus cases

May 28 – United States surpasses 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths

May 29 – San Clemente reopens city beach parking lots in full capacity

JUNE

June 2 – San Clemente City Council approves a business assistance initiative, allowing restaurants to transition to outdoor dining

June 8 – Orange County top health officer Dr. Nichole Quick resigns after protests at home and death threats due to county mask order

June 10 – United States hits 2 million coronavirus cases

June 11 – Orange County mask-wearing requirement relaxed to “strongly suggested”

June 12 – Retail stores, dine-in restaurants, bars, churches, hair and nail salons, gyms, movie theaters and other businesses allowed to reopen with health and safety modifications in California

June 13 – Orange County surpasses 10,000 coronavirus cases

June 18 – California orders statewide mask-wearing requirement

June 29 – Orange County one of 19 counties put on state’s coronavirus watch list with rising case rates, testing positivity and hospitalization rates

JULY

July 1 – Restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and cardrooms in watch-list counties ordered to close indoor operations

July 2 – Orange County bars, breweries and brewpubs that do not offer dine-in meals ordered to close

July 4 – Orange County surpasses 500 coronavirus-related deaths

July 4-5 – County-operated beaches and beach parking lots closed for Independence Day weekend

July 7 – United States surpasses 3 million coronavirus cases

July 8 – Orange County hits single-day summertime high of 1,333 new coronavirus cases, tops 20,000 total cases

July 9 – San Clemente restaurants and city launch open-air dining in the downtown corridor

July 13 – Barbershops, salons, personal care services, fitness centers, places of worship, indoor malls and offices in non-critical sectors in watch-list counties ordered to close indoor operations

July 14 – Orange County hits summertime high of coronavirus hospitalizations at 722

July 17 – State announces plan for reopening schools connected to state coronavirus watch list

July 20 – Barbershops and salons allowed to reopen with outdoor operations in California

July 28 – United States surpasses 150,000 coronavirus-related deaths

July 31 – California hits 500,000 COVID-19 cases

AUGUST

Aug. 6 – California surpasses 10,000 coronavirus-related deaths

Aug. 8 – United States surpasses 5 million coronavirus cases

Aug. 11 – Orange County tops 1,000 coronavirus-related deaths

Aug. 18 – CUSD begins school year with online learning

Aug. 19 – First teen in Orange County dies due to COVID-19

Aug. 23 – Orange County removed from state’s coronavirus watch list

Aug. 28 – California replaces state coronavirus county watch list with four-tiered, color-coded monitoring system; Orange County opens in highest-risk purple “widespread” tier with restrictions on many sectors

SEPTEMBER

Sept. 3 – Orange County surpasses 50,000 coronavirus cases

Sept. 8 – Orange County moves down into state’s red “substantial” tier – the second-highest coronavirus monitoring tier – clearing the way for reopenings in several sectors, including schools and limited indoor dining

Sept. 15 – The San Clemente City Council approves program allowing local fitness centers and churches to operate on city parks

Sept. 21 – United States tops 200,000 coronavirus-related deaths

Sept. 28 – Worldwide COVID-19 death toll surpasses 1 million

Sept. 28-29 – CUSD schools begin to resume in-person instruction

OCTOBER

Oct. 6 – State adds health equity metric to coronavirus monitoring system to address higher rates of COVID-19 impact on low-income, racially diverse neighborhoods

Oct. 6 – CUSD middle schools resume in-person instruction

Oct. 8 – United States surpasses 10 million coronavirus cases

Oct. 13 – CUSD high schools resume in-person instruction

Oct. 21 – Orange County tops 1,500 coronavirus-related deaths

NOVEMBER

Nov. 13 – California surpasses 1 million coronavirus cases

Nov. 16 – California pulls “emergency brake” on coronavirus monitoring system as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surge; OC falls back to purple tier

Nov. 18 – United States tops 250,000 coronavirus-related deaths

Nov. 19 – State issues limited stay-at-home order to cease overnight activities in purple tier counties

DECEMBER

Dec. 3 – Orange County hits new pandemic high of coronavirus hospitalizations at 746

Dec. 6 – Regional stay-at-home order enacted for Southern California as available ICU capacity dips below 15%

Dec. 7 – United States surpasses 15 million coronavirus cases

Dec. 8 – Orange County surpasses 100,000 COVID-19 cases

Dec. 8 – California reports 20,000th coronavirus-related death

Dec. 10 – California tops 1.5 million coronavirus cases

Dec. 14 – First coronavirus vaccines administered in California

Dec. 14 – United States tops 300,000 coronavirus-related deaths

Dec. 16 – First coronavirus vaccines administered in Orange County

Dec. 17 – Orange County, Southern California region hit 0% adjusted available ICU capacity

Dec. 19 – Orange County hits single-day pandemic high of 3,445 new coronavirus cases

Editor’s note: A general year in review of San Juan Capistrano and South Orange County news is available here.

Zach Cavanagh

Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is a multiple California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports. Email at zcavanagh@picketfencemedia.com.

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