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By Collin Breaux

Orange County is still in the orange “moderate” tier of California’s four-tier, color-coded blueprint system, as of this post. The tiers variously prohibit or allow certain activities, including for businesses, and are based on pandemic conditions in a county. Indoor dining and other activities are permitted under the orange tier, and customers have been regularly filling up seats at local restaurants lately.

In-person events are also gradually returning, as vaccinations increase and case rates remain relatively low. Though there have been recent minimal increases in COVID-19 metrics, they are still much lower when compared to the surge seen months ago.

The yellow “minimal” tier is still potentially on the horizon for the area. The move to yellow from orange would lift even further restrictions, but could be moot by June 15 when the tier system will likely be done away with if restrictions are entirely lifted across the state. The statewide lifting of restrictions will be based on if COVID-19 metrics continue to hold steady and there are enough vaccine supplies.

Orange County entered the orange tier on March 31, which allowed increased capacity for indoor dining at restaurants, among other provisions. An area generally has to remain in a tier for several weeks with favorable conditions before moving to a less restrictive tier.

Orange County’s current metrics are 2.8 new cases per day per 100,000, 1.4% positivity rate on a seven-day average, and 1.7% health equity quartile positivity rate. The 2.8 rate is a slight drop from last week’s rate of three new cases per day per 100,000.

In order to advance to the next less restrictive tier, each county must meet an equity metric or demonstrate targeted investments to eliminate disparities in levels of COVID-19 transmission, depending on its size, per state regulations. The yellow tier requires less than two cases per 100,000.

Orange County reported 5,994 COVID-19 tests on April 20, and has over 3.5 million cumulative tests so far. There have been 245,471 recoveries to date.

Four deaths from COVID-19 were reported in Orange County on April 20. There have been 4,900 cumulative deaths in Orange County to date.

A majority of counties in California are in the orange tier, though some are in the more restrictive red “substantial” tier. There are no counties in the widespread tier, 17 in the substantial tier, 38 counties in the moderate tier, and three in the minimal tier.

On the vaccine front, Orange County had reportedly administered over 2.1 million doses.

Nationally, the United States has 31.8 million total cases and approximately 567,000 deaths in total as of Tuesday. California has approximately 3.72 million total cases and 61,006 deaths as of Tuesday. There are approximately 141 million cases worldwide in total.

Over 26 million vaccine doses have been administered in California, with 10 million fully vaccinated. Approximately 212 million doses have been administered nationally, with 85.4 fully vaccinated. Those numbers represent 25.4% of California’s population fully vaccinated, and 26% of the country fully vaccinated.

For the entire world, 920 million doses have been administered, with 208 million fully vaccinated. The fully vaccinated global population is 2.7%.

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