On Feb. 16, California lifted its universal indoor mask mandate due to a 65% decline in statewide case rates, according to the California Department of Public Health.
Most Southern California counties, including Orange County, followed the state’s lead.
Also on Wednesday, The Orange County Health Care Agency reported one new coronavirus case – a stark contrast from over a month ago, when the county surpassed 11,000 new cases.
Nearly 400 Orange County residents were reportedly hospitalized with the virus, 40% less than the number of hospitalized patients during the January surge.
“Omicron has loosened its hold on California, vaccines for children under 5 are around the corner, and access to COVID-19 treatments is improving,” CDPH Director Dr. Tomás J. Aragón said in a statement.
“With things moving in the right direction, we are making responsible modifications to COVID-19 prevention measures, while also continuing to develop a longer-term action plan for the state.”