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By Collin Breaux

An even further return to pre-pandemic life (or something similar) could be on the horizon for Orange County, if an anticipated move to the least restrictive “yellow” minimal tier of the state’s COVID-19 monitoring system goes through.

The county has officially remained in the orange “moderate” tier since March 31. The area has met yellow tier qualifications as far as test positivity rate and number of daily cases, and could officially enter the yellow tier some time this month. The yellow tier requires less than two cases for test positivity and per 100,000 people. Orange County’s positivity rate is 1% and the number of new cases per 100,000 is 1.8.

Those numbers have gradually dropped over time.

A move to the yellow tier would permit even more activities, including full reopenings for gyms. Some events have been gradually returning in South County and across the state as cases continue to drop and vaccinations increase. Los Angeles County recently entered the yellow tier.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has set June 15 as a projected date for a full reopening of California, provided there have been enough vaccine doses administered and cases are low.

The number of COVID-19 numbers and related deaths in the tri-city area of San Clemente, Dana Point, and San Juan Capistrano (and Rancho Mission Viejo) has also remained low as residents in South Orange County and throughout California continue getting their first and second shots of the vaccine…a turnaround from the high number of cases this past winter and earlier in the year, when vaccines were less available.

The current number of total confirmed cases is 3,011 in San Clemente, 1,515 in Dana Point, 2,780 in San Juan Capistrano, and 336 in Rancho Mission Viejo. None of the towns reported any new cases (so far) compared to yesterday, and Rancho Mission Viejo has not reported any new cases since April 26.

The number of cases in the past rough 30-day period is 64 for San Clemente, 25 for Dana Point, 41 for San Juan Capistrano, and 3 for Rancho Mission Viejo.

Orange County reported 7,437 COVID-19 tests on May 11, and has over 3.7 million cumulative tests so far. There have been 247,430 recoveries to date.

Nine deaths from COVID-19 were reported in Orange County on May 11. There have been 5,017 cumulative deaths in Orange County to date.

A majority of counties in California are in the orange tier. There are no counties in the widespread tier, 11 in the substantial tier, 38 in the moderate tier, and 9 in the minimal tier.

Nationally, the United States has 32.8 million total cases and approximately 582,000 deaths in total as of Tuesday. California has approximately 3.76 million total cases and 62,331 deaths as of Tuesday. There are approximately 159 million cases worldwide in total.

Approximately 262 million vaccine doses have been administered nationally, with 116 million fully vaccinated. Approximately 35.5% of California’s population is fully vaccinated, and 35.2% of the country fully vaccinated. There have been over 32 million doses administered in California.

For the entire world, approximately 1.32 billion vaccine doses have been administered, with 319 million (4.1% of the global population) fully vaccinated.

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