The OC Health Care Agency reported 191 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, Feb. 28, and another 13 deaths.
The county has continued to see a positive trend in the speed and spread of the virus as the recent winter surge subsides. On Tuesday, when state public health officials release their weekly update of three key metrics that are deciding how far counties can reopen their business and public sectors, Orange County will learn if its case rate has finally fallen below the threshold that would allow it to soon progress into the less-restrictive red tier.
Last week, the county’s case rate was 11.9 new cases a day per 100,000 residents, the threshold is 7. If it can make up that distance, and maintain its improvement in all three categories for two weeks, it would then be able to make the drop from purple to the red tier.
That would allow businesses such as restaurants and gyms to resume indoor operations, with capacity limitations, among other loosening of restrictions.
The 191 cases added Sunday brings Orange County’s total of people who have tested positive for the virus to 246,455.
County officials noted ongoing issues with the state’s database that might be slowing reports of new deaths; Sunday’s update brought the total people who have died in the county from the virus to 3,917.
On Sunday, 421 people were reported in local hospitals with COVID-19, of whom 132 needed to be in intensive care units.
Another 8,075 tests for the virus were reported Sunday, bringing the total number of tests administered for the virus to 3,043,410.
As of the most recent update, about 5.4% of those tests are coming back positive, a positivity rate that makes Orange County eligible for red tier status.