SUPPORT THIS INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM
The article you’re about to read is from our reporters doing their important work — investigating, researching, and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires lots of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ businesses have been impacted. That’s why the SC Times is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider’s program here. Thank you.
By Collin Breaux
As of this post, Orange County sits in the red tier of the state’s four-tier COVID-19 metric monitoring system.
The county could move down to the less restrictive orange “moderate” tier at some point in April if cases continue dropping and vaccinations keep increasing, as Orange County Fifth District Supervisor Lisa Bartlett said last week.
Counties must remain in a tier for at least three weeks and meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks before moving to a less restrictive tier, according to state guidelines. Orange County entered the red “substantial” tier on March 14 after previously being in the purple “widespread” tier—the most restrictive of the tiers.
Among the orange tier’s guidelines are museums, zoos, and aquariums being able to open indoors at 50% capacity, indoor pools being able to open at fitness centers and hotels, and some indoor family entertainment center activities at limited capacity.
Currently under the red tier, some limited capacity indoor operations are permitted for restaurants, gyms, and movie theaters. The move to orange from red essentially allows the return of more indoor activities and business operations.
Orange County reported 7,150 tests on March 23, and has over 3.2 million cumulative tests so far. There have been 241,504 recoveries to date.
Twenty-seven deaths from COVID-19 were reported in Orange County on March 23. There have been 4,635 cumulative deaths in Orange County to date.
A majority of counties in California are in the red tier. There are now 11 counties in the widespread tier, 42 in the substantial tier, four counties in the moderate tier, and one in the minimal tier.
On the vaccine front, the state reported it had administered over 15 million vaccine doses, with 1,222,579 in Orange County as of Tuesday–an increase by 185,505 from a week ago.
Nationally, the United States has 29.9 million cases and approximately 543,000 deaths in total. California has approximately 3.65 million cases and 57,799 deaths. There are approximately 124 million cases worldwide in total.