The Business Journal is tracking company moves related to the coronavirus. This listing will continue to be updated as the situation changes.

Send items to hamanaka@ocbj.com

For more details on many of these reports, see individual story links and the Monday print edition of the Business Journal.

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Oct. 28, 2:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

Orange County is not the only California region struggling to move out of the red tier and into the less restrictive orange tier.

Los Angeles has yet to move out of the most restrictive “purple” tier, along with about eight other counties.

OC is one of 20 counties in the red tier, the most of any tier. Just one county, Calveras, moved into the yellow tier on Tuesday, bringing the total counties in the fourth tier to 10.

When counties were reassessed on Tuesday, OC met the orange tier metrics for positive testing rate, with 3.2% of residents tested testing positive on average. It failed to meet the case rate requirements of one to 3.9, posting a rate of 5.1, up from 4.6 the week prior.

The county’s health equity positivity rate rose to 6% from 5.6% last week. It needs a testing rate of less than 5.2% to advance into the next tier.

—Katie Murar

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Oct. 27, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

Orange County remains in the red tier after posting a case rate of 5.1 in the past week, up from 4.6 the prior week.

The county has been in the red tier since Sept. 8 after being unable to meet the orange tier’s requirements of having fewer than four average daily cases per 100,000 residents.

Its testing positivity rate of 3.2% remains within orange tier requirements, but the county’s health equity positivity rate rose to 6% from 5.6% last week. It needs a testing rate of less than 5.2% to advance into the next tier.

—Katie Murar

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Oct. 26, 3:40 PM

HEALTHCARE

Orange County is expected to remain in the red tier for at least another two weeks, as the region struggles to reduce its case rate to less than 4.

The county has been in the red tier since Sept. 8, and currently has a case rate of 4.6 average daily cases per 100,000 residents. Its testing positivity rate of 3.2% remains within orange tier requirements, but the county’s health equity positivity rate is in the red tier at 5.6%. It needs a rate of less than 5.2% to advance into the next tier.

There were 202 average daily coronavirus cases reported in the two weeks ending Oct. 26, which is up from 175 in the two weeks prior.

The county will receive an update on its coronavirus metrics on Tuesday.

—Katie Murar

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Oct. 23, 3:40 PM

HEALTHCARE

There were 39 new deaths attributed to coronavirus in Orange County in the week ending Friday, which is more than half the 85 deaths reported in the week prior.

There have been 151 new deaths reported in the past four weeks, down about 25% from the prior four-week period.

There were six new deaths reported Friday, bringing the county total to 1,440, which includes about 655 deaths from assisted living or nursing home facilities.

—Katie Murar

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Oct. 22, 2:00 PM

ECONOMY

Orange County’s unemployment rate will be 8% this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and then drop to 4.6% in 2022, economists at California State University-Fullerton projected.

The OC jobless rate stood at 9% last month.

“We anticipate that it will take up to the end of 2022 for employment levels to approximate those at the beginning of 2020,” they said.

—Kevin Costelloe

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Oct. 21, 11:40 PM

TOURISM

There’s signs of optimism for John Wayne Airport, hit especially hard amid the coronavirus pandemic along with the rest of the tourism industry, with general aviation activity increasing in September over last year.

General aviation activity rose 4.8% to 19,186 total flights last month, representing nearly 84% of all aircraft operations.

It’s the first such increase since February.

Overall airport traffic remains slowed, albeit at a slower pace than at the onset of the pandemic.

There was a 68% drop in passengers last month to 274,813. In April, traffic plunged 97% to 25,313, followed by a 91% drop in May.

Year-to-date traffic is down 63% to nearly 3 million.

—Katie Murar

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Oct. 20, 1:40 PM

POLICY/TOURISM

In new state guidance revealed Tuesday, large theme parks, including Orange County economy driver Disneyland Resort, will not be able to begin reopening until the county enters into the final, fourth tier in the state’s COVID-19 monitoring system.

“We are waiting until tier four, the yellow tier, with the limited capacity of 25%,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the state Health and Human Services Agency, said during a Tuesday conference.

The least restrictive yellow tier requires less than 1 average daily cases per 100,000 residents and a positive testing rate of less than 2%.

Orange County currently has a case rate of 4.6 and positive testing rate of 3.2%, keeping it in the red tier for the sixth consecutive week.

In a statement following the news, Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock expressed his disapproval of the new guidance, stating the company has “proven that we can responsibly reopen, with science-based health and safety protocols strictly enforced at our theme park properties around the world.

“Nevertheless, the State of California continues to ignore this fact, instead mandating arbitrary guidelines that it knows are unworkable and that hold us to a standard vastly different from other reopened businesses and state-operated facilities.”

Orange County Health Care Agency Director Clayton Chau said he expects the region to enter in to the final, yellow tier by next summer “hopefully.”

Small theme parks will be able to reopen with modifications in the third, orange tier.

All parks will be required to implement an advanced ticket sale system, according to the state, with large parks only able to operate at 25% capacity initially.

Just seven counties in the state have progressed into the yellow tier, which allows for nearly all businesses to reopen indoor operations at increased—though not full—capacity, with social distancing and face covering rules still in place.

—Katie Murar

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Oct. 19, 3:00 PM

POLICY/TOURISM

Several Disney unions representing over 10,000 local employees sent a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom as part of an ongoing push for guidelines on reopening theme parks.

The letter urges Governor Newsom to meet with resort workers to better understand how California theme parks, including Disneyland Resort, can reopen under the current state monitoring tiered system.

The letter also highlights recent efforts made toward instilling safe guidelines at the parks, which the unions believe should be able to reopen when Orange County moves into the orange tier.

Orange County has been in the second most restrictive “red” tier since Sept. 8. It has yet to meet orange tier metrics for the required two consecutive weeks.

Recent health efforts by Disneyland include testing for all employees and two weeks’ pay for those forced to quarantine due to positive test or exposure at work among.

“We are confident that with these protocols set in place, Disneyland will be able to fully reopen safely,” said Andrea Zinder, president of UFCW 324, one of seven unions involved in the letter.

—Katie Murar

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Oct. 16, 1:50 PM

HEALTHCARE

There were 177 average daily cases reported in the past week, which is flat from the week prior when there were 175 cases reported each day on average.

In the week ending Tuesday, the county’s case rate dipped to 4.6 from 5.2 the week prior, signaling positive momentum for the region as it attempts to move out of the red tier and into tier 3, or the orange tier.

To move into the orange tier, the county would need a case rate between 1 and 3.9.

Testing has declined slightly in the past week, with 6,615 tests handled each day on average, down 4% from the week prior.

The county’s positive testing percentage remains in the orange tier guidelines at 3.5%.

—Katie Murar

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Oct. 15, 3:45 PM

HEALTHCARE

As Orange County is still unable to move out of the red tier and into the orange tier, it’s unclear when the region can ultimately progress into the final, least restrictive yellow tier, and what that would mean for local companies.

In California’s coronavirus monitoring program, the final tier requires less than 1 average daily cases per 100,000 residents and a positive testing rate of less than 2%.

Orange County currently has a case rate of 4.6 and positive testing rate of 3.5%, keeping it in the red tier for the fifth consecutive week. A majority of the state’s counties lie in the red tier among the four total tiers, with 24 counties in the red tier, 16 in the purple, most restrictive tier, and 18 in the orange and yellow tiers.

Just seven counties in the state have progressed into the yellow tier, which allows for nearly all businesses to reopen indoor operations at increased—though not full—capacity, with social distancing and face covering rules still in place.

Restaurants, bars, movie theaters and gyms, for example, can operate indoors with modifications and at 50% capacity in the yellow tier.

—Katie Murar

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Oct. 14, 3:40 PM

HEALTHCARE

A higher case rate and testing positivity rate in Orange County’s hardest hit cities is in part preventing the region from progressing into the orange tier from the red tier, which it has been in for five weeks now.

The state-mandated health equity metric—the third metric used to monitor when county’s can reopen businesses and gatherings—was added last week in an effort to monitor disadvantaged neighborhoods and make sure these areas do not lag behind the overall county test positivity. It is also required to make targeted investments in these areas to mitigate disease transmission.

Testing positivity in these neighborhoods improved slightly in the past week, decreasing from 6.6% to 6.5%.

This is higher than the county-wide testing positivity of 3.5%, which increased this week from 3.2%, but is still in the orange tier requirements of 2% to 4.9%.

The county has a case rate of 4.6 average daily cases per 100,000 residents, not yet meeting the orange tier requirements of one to 3.9 new daily cases per 100,000.

—Katie Murar

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Oct. 13, 3:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

Orange County’s case rate decreased from 5.2 to 4.6 in the past week, according to the Health Care Agency.

The county’s case rate—or average daily cases per 100,000 residents—remains in the red tier, which it moved into on Sept. 8. To move into the orange tier, the county would need a case rate between 1 and 3.9.

The OC HCA posts a new case and positive testing rate each Tuesday. The county currently has a testing positivity rate of 3.5%, within the orange tier requirements of 2% to 4.9%.

There were no new deaths reported on Tuesday, the second consecutive day with zero deaths reported.

—Katie Murar

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Oct. 12, 3:25 PM

HEALTHCARE

No new COVID-19 deaths were reported Monday, with 1,341 deaths attributed to the virus to date.

There have been 590 deaths from skilled nursing or assisted living facilities, making up 44% of the total.

Residents older than 65 make up 73% of all deaths. There have been five deaths among residents younger than 24 years old.

Hispanic or Latino residents make up most deaths among Orange County demographics, with 580 deaths to date, representing almost half of the total.

There have also been slightly more deaths among men, representing nearly 57% of the total.

—Katie Murar

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Oct. 9, 12:15 PM

HEALTHCARE

There were 7,079 coronavirus tests conducted each day on average in the two weeks ending Thursday, which is down about 3.5% from the 7,336 average daily tests in the two weeks prior.

There have been 918,420 cumulative tests, with 55,183 of those testing positive for an overall testing rate of 6.

Orange County currently has a positive testing rate of 3.2%, which meets the metrics for the “orange” tier, though the county’s case rate of 5.2 does not meet the tier’s requirements of one to 3.9 average new daily cases per 100,000 residents.

—Katie Murar

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Oct. 8, 3:20 PM

HEALTHCARE

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 continue to decline since hitting a peak in July, with average daily patients down 17% in the past two weeks.

There were 156 average daily hospitalizations in the two weeks ending Oct. 7, which is down from 188 in the two weeks prior.

Daily COVID-19 hospitalizations hit a peak of 722 COVID-19 patients on July 14, likely prompted by the uptick in June cases caused by crowds and gatherings around Memorial Day weekend, as well as graduation parties, Father’s Day celebrations and other social activities throughout the month.

That figure dropped to 172 as of Wednesday, according to the county’s 33 reporting hospitals.

ICU patients hit a high of 245 on July 15. That figure has dropped to 62 ICU patients as of Oct. 7, among the lowest level since late April.

—Katie Murar

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Oct. 7, 3:20 PM

HEALTHCARE

Orange County saw an increase in its case rate in the week ending Oct. 6, further delaying the county’s move into the next “orange” tier.

The county posted a case rate of 5.2 average daily cases per 100,000 residents last week, which was up from 4.4 and 3.6 in the prior two weeks.

The county needs a case rate of 3.9 to move out of the red tier into the orange tier.

The positive testing rate, however, is still within orange tier metrics at 3.1%.

OC has been in the red tier since Sept. 8. If case metrics improve, it could move into the orange tier in two weeks at the earliest.

—Katie Murar

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Oct. 6, 2:50 PM

HEALTHCARE

California will start to monitor disadvantaged communities within each state county as part of an addition to the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy that goes into effect today.

This health equity metric will be used along with the case rate and test positivity metric to determine a county’s tier, and aims to ensure “California reopens its economy safely by reducing disease transmission in all communities.”

Orange County will start tracking test positivity rates in disadvantaged neighborhoods to make sure metrics do not lag behind the overall county test positivity. It is also required to make targeted investments in these areas to mitigate disease transmission.

The county has already made efforts in regards to health equity, such as increasing education, testing and resources in neighborhoods especially impacted by coronavirus, such as Anaheim and Santa Ana.

—Katie Murar

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Oct. 5, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

New coronavirus cases have risen slightly in the past week, and are up 9% in the past two weeks, according to OC Health Care Agency data.

There were about 187 average new daily cases in the past week, which is up 5% from the week prior.

In the two weeks ending Monday there were 183 average daily cases, up from the 168 average daily cases in the two weeks prior.

Deaths attributed to coronavirus have nearly doubled in the past two weeks, with 11 average daily deaths reported in the two weeks ending Monday.

Orange County has been in the red tier for the past three weeks, with an average case rate of 4.4 new cases per 100,000 residents. The county will be reviewed again tomorrow, with a new case rate and positive testing rate revealed based on data in the past week.

—Katie Murar

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Oct. 2, 4:15 PM

HEALTHCARE

Orange County will remain in its current COVID-19 “red” tier after failing to meet metrics for the “orange” tier 3 over the past week.

The county was expected to move into the next tier on Tuesday, before its case rate—a 7-day average of daily new cases per 100,000 residents—began increasing once again.

The county’s case rate has been 4.4% since Tuesday. It’s positive testing rate is still 3.1%, which meets the metrics for the “orange” tier.

California Governor Gavin Newsom delayed guidance on reopening theme parks, which was expected to be announced today after mounting pressure from state lawmakers and local officials.

“Given the size and operational complexities of these unique sectors, we are seeking additional input from health, workforce and business stakeholders to finalize this important framework,” Mark Ghaly, a state public health official, said in a statement.

Walt Disney Co. Executive Chairman Bob Iger stepped down from Newsom's economic recovery task force after Disney announced it would lay off 28,000 workers on Monday, the Sacramento Bee reported yesterday.

—Jessie Yount

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Oct. 1, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

The number of coronavirus tests conducted in Orange County slipped in the past week, with about 7,300 tests conducted on average each day.

That’s down about 5% from the week prior, when 7,700 tests were done each day on average.

Testing is up 17% in the past two weeks, however, with about 7,500 tests done each day on average in the two weeks ending Oct. 1. In the two weeks prior, there were 6,400 average daily tests.

Orange County currently has a positive testing rate of 3.1%, which meets the metrics for the “orange” tier, though the county’s case rate of 4.4 does not meet the tier’s requirements of one to 3.9 average new daily cases per 100,000 residents.

—Katie Murar

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Sept. 30, 3:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

While Orange County’s current adjusted case rate—or average daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents—kept it from leaving the “red” tier this week, other California counties like Los Angeles have yet to move out of the most restrictive “purple” tier.

Los Angeles currently has a case rate of 7, placing it in the “widespread” tier.

San Bernardino remains in the purple tier as well, after its case rate rose from 6.7 to 7.7 this week.

To enter into the red, or “substantial” tier—which Orange County has been in since Sept. 8—a county must report a case rate between four and seven, and a positive testing rate between 5% and 8%.

The latter metric appears to be easier to meet. When counties were reassessed on Tuesday, OC met the Orange tier metrics for positive testing rate, with 3.1% of residents tested testing positive on average. It failed to meet the case rate requirements of one to 3.9, posting a rate of 4.4, up from 3.6 the week prior.

Like Orange County, San Diego and Riverside are in the red tier, but both have a higher case rate of 6.7.

In Northern California, San Francisco remained in the Orange tier for the third consecutive week with a case rate of 3.2. Santa Clara remained in the red tier for the fourth week with a case rate of 4.7.

—Katie Murar

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Sept. 29, 3:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

Orange County will remain in its current COVID-19 “red” tier after failing to meet metrics for the “orange” tier 3 over the past week.

The county was expected to move into the next tier today after weeks of improving metrics, but after seeing its case rate increase over the past week, the region will stay in the current tier for at least another two weeks.

The county’s case rate—a 7-day average of daily new cases per 100,000 residents—rose to 4.4 cases in the week ending Tuesday, up from 3.6 the week prior, when it met the orange tier metrics for the first time.

The positive testing rate remained unchanged at 3.1%.

Each county needs to remain in a tier for at least three weeks and must meet the next tier’s metrics for two consecutive weeks in order to progress.

Orange County, which has now been in the red tier for three weeks, could move into the orange tier as soon as Oct. 13, when businesses will be able to expand indoor operations, with retail stores operating at full capacity.

The final fourth or “yellow” tier requires fewer than one new daily case per 100,000 residents and a positive testing rate below 2%.

—Katie Murar

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Sept. 29, 2:20 PM

TOURISM

Walt Disney Co.’s park division, which includes Disneyland Resort, said Monday it is reducing its staff count as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 28,000 domestic employees affected.

The company’s non-working employees have been on furlough since April, with Disney paying healthcare benefits. Now, the company has “made the very difficult decision to begin the process of reducing our workforce,” Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro said in a statement.

About 67% of the affected employees are part-time.

The cuts are a result of “the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on our business,” D’Amaro notes, which is “exacerbated in California by the state’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen.”

The Anaheim resort, which includes two theme parks, three hotels and the Downtown Disney retail area, all closed on March 14; Downtown Disney has started a phased reopening in recent months while the theme parks await state reopening guidelines.

The layout is OC’s largest employer with 32,000 workers.

“Our Cast Members have always been key to our success, playing a valued and important role in delivering a world-class experience, and we look forward to providing opportunities where we can for them to return,” said D’Amaro.

—Katie Murar

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Sept. 28, 3:20 PM

HEALTHCARE

Orange County’s average coronavirus case rate is at its lowest point in four months, according to an analysis of OC Health Care Agency data.

There were 158 average new daily cases in the week ending Sept. 14, which is about the same level seen in mid-May in Orange County.

It’s also a steep drop off from the peak of 862 average new cases seen in the week ending July 11.

The HCA reports average new cases with a delay in order to prevent significant changes to data, as new cases can be inputted later due to testing reporting delays.

133 new cases were reported Monday, with no new deaths. There have been 53,448 cumulative cases in OC to date, and 1,216 deaths.

—Katie Murar

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Sept. 25, 3:10 PM

HEALTHCARE/EDUCATION

As Orange County school districts reopen, county officials warn residents to remain vigilant to prevent another COVID-19 spike.

Five local schools began in-person teaching on Thursday, and another five schools are expected to join next week.

Orange County is one of 33 counties in California permitted to resume in-person teaching because of improving coronavirus metrics or lower figures.

All schools returning to classroom instruction will also use online teaching, employing a hybrid model to maintain social distancing.

The county has 28 total schools; harder-hit cities, such as Anaheim and Santa Ana, have not been given the green light to resume in-person instruction.

The county hit a coronavirus peak in July but has since seen a steep drop off in new cases, hospitalization figures and other metrics.

—Katie Murar

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Sept. 24, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE/POLICY

Orange County could move into the next COVID-19 tier as soon as Tuesday, Sept. 29, amid improving coronavirus metrics.

The county's case rate and positive test percentage hit the “orange” or “moderate” requirements for the first time earlier this week.

The county, which has been in the “red” or “substantial” tier since Sept. 8, needs to maintain these metrics for two consecutive weeks in order to move into the orange tier, which would mean fewer business restrictions in the county.

Tuesday's lowered figures signaled the first week that the county met those metrics, meaning it could move into tier three on Tuesday.

Orange County has an average of 3.6 new COVID-19 positive cases per 100,000 residents, and a positive testing percent of 3.1%, both well within the orange tier, which requires 1 to 3.9 average cases and a testing positivity percent between 2% and 4.9%.

In the orange tier, businesses will be able to expand indoor operations, with retail stores operating at full capacity.

Other businesses, including restaurants, churches, movie theaters, museums and zoos could operate at 50% capacity, up from 25%.

The final, least restrictive tier is the “yellow” tier, implying county transmission is minimal, with fewer than 1 new daily case per 100,000 residents and a fewer than 2% positive test rate.

—Katie Murar

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Sept. 22, 9:30 PM

RESTAURANTS

Sizzler USA Finance Inc. blamed the impact of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and the closure of in-restaurant dining for its Chapter 11 filing this week.

The Mission Viejo steakhouse chain has turned to the courts to restructure, listing assets and liabilities each of between $1 million to $10 million.

The chain, started in 1958, had been looking to gain traction among younger diners, testing a number of tactics over the past several years, including a to-go concept called Sizzler Express and food trucks.

The company ranked No. 10 on this years Business Journal’s list of the largest restaurant chains based in Orange County with 2019 sales down 3% to $259.1 million across 122 locations.

—Kari Hamanaka

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Sept. 22, 2:10 PM

TOURISM/POLICY

In a Tuesday press conference, Disneyland Resort officials reiterated their readiness to reopen Orange County theme parks, calling on state officials to offer reopening guidelines for the tourism and employment driver that’s been shuttered since March 14.

The virtual press conference brought together several executives throughout the company, from the local heads of Disneyland and California Adventure to leaders of Walt Disney World in Orlando—which reopened in July—to discuss how the company has “safely reopened” some of its theme parks and how it plans to do so in Anaheim.

Efforts include reservation systems that control the number of guests in the park at any time, mask requirements, social distancing, hand washing stations, expanded food and beverage mobile ordering and a new effort to provide COVID-19 tests for local employees.

“As you can see, we’re ready. And more importantly, it’s time,” said Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, and former Disneyland Resort president.

D’Amaro called on California government officials to “treat theme parks like you would other sectors and help us reopen,” asking for “guidelines that are fair and equitable, so that we can better understand our future and chart a path toward reopening.”

D’Amaro noted that nearly 80,000 individuals, including cast members and local suppliers and vendors, depend on Disneyland for employment, and a vast majority of these local employees remain out of work.

“The longer we wait, the more devastating the impact will be to Orange County and the Anaheim community,” he said.

—Katie Murar

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Sept. 21, 3:10 PM

HEALTHCARE

Orange County resident deaths attributed to coronavirus have dropped 52% in the past two weeks.

There were 75 deaths in the two weeks ending Sept. 21, down from the 156 deaths the two weeks prior, and down 57% from the 173 deaths in the two weeks ending Aug. 10.

There have been 1,128 deaths to date in Orange County; about 44% of those have come from assisted living and nursing home facilities.

New COVID-19 cases have dropped 33% in the past two weeks to 2,356, or about 168 per day on average.

—Katie Murar

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Sept. 18, 2:15 PM

HOSPITALITY/HEALTHCARE

In a recent news briefing, California Governor Gavin Newsom said the state is getting closer to providing a much-anticipated update on the reopening of state theme parks, including OC’s top employer, Disneyland Resort.

“We will be making announcements soon as it relates to theme parks and amusement parks. I am not here today to make that presentation, but want folks to know we are actively working in a number of sectors," Newsom said.

The resort, along with local businesses and leaders, have been urging for new guidelines regarding a potential reopening of theme parks in Orange County. Current government guidance does not address theme parks in business reopening rules.

The Governor’s recent message comes six months after Disneyland Resort temporarily closed on March 14. In June, Disney proposed plans to reopen in stages starting July 9, but those plans were quickly nixed after a worsening COVID-19 situation in Orange County.

The resort, which includes two theme parks, three hotels and the Downtown Disney retail area and employs about 32,000 locally, has said it is ready to reopen once it gets the green light.

“As soon as a date and those guidelines are set, I can tell you, we’re ready,” Disney Parks Chairman Josh D'Amaro said last month in an interview with the U.S. Travel Association.

—Katie Murar

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Sept. 17, 3:10 PM

EDUCATION/HEALTHCARE

A partnership led by the University of California-Irvine has unveiled another resource on the coronavirus pandemic in Orange County, with a new focus on tracking the spread of the disease and forecasting future trends.

The website, released this week, estimates “current and future numbers of infectious individuals in Orange County, which is important for understanding risks of getting infected,” said Vladimir Minin, UCI professor of statistics and associate director of the UCI Infectious Disease Science Initiative.

The website, developed in partnership with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Orange County Health Care Agency, estimates how many coronavirus infections actually occurred rather than the number of infections reported, how many infectious individuals Orange County has on any given day and how quickly the virus is spreading.

The researchers in UCI’s Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Science also produce short-term forecasts of COVID-19 deaths, which are slated to continue to decline in the next month.

The report, which covers July 28 through Sept. 1., shows that the infection rate is declining in Orange County, with an effective reproduction number—the rate at which infections are growing or declining—below 1, meaning the area “is successfully suppressing coronavirus spread.”

The project is the second coronavirus-focused website UCI has developed in response to the pandemic, with the university releasing a public online database last month about the virus in the county that provides comparisons with neighboring California counties.

—Katie Murar

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Sept. 16, 2:15 PM

HEALTHCARE

COVID-19 ICU patient counts in Orange County have sunk to their April levels after peaking in mid-July.

ICU, or intensive care units, has been used as a metric throughout the pandemic to determine the severity of the virus in a region, and can be used as a barometer regarding future death rates.

There were 67 patients in the ICU on Sept. 16, which is down 73% from July 15, when ICU patients were at a peak of 245.

On Sept. 13, there were 56 ICU patients, the lowest level in the county since mid-April, shortly after the virus transmission began locally.

There were 202 COVID-19 hospitalizations as of Sept. 15, which is down significantly from the peak of 722 patients reached on July 14.

—Katie Murar

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Sept. 15, 3:10 PM

HEALTHCARE

A week after being moved into the “red” tier, Orange County’s coronavirus metrics continue to improve, and are nearing the qualifications to be met in order to move into the next “orange” tier.

After posting declining positive cases and a positive testing rate, Orange County was moved out of the “purple” or “widespread” first tier last week into the “substantial” second tier, with 5.2 average daily new cases per 100,000 residents and a positive test rate of 4.2%, well within the requirements of 4 to 7 new daily cases and a rate between 5% and 8%.

Now, the region has 4.7 new daily cases per 100,000 residents and a positive test rate of 3.9%.

To enter into the next tier, Orange County will have to post 3.9 or fewer new daily cases per 100,000 residents and a positive testing rate between 2% and 4.9%.

Orange County would need to meet those metrics for two weeks to move into that tier, though it must remain in its red current tier for three weeks, according to the state’s initial guidelines.

The final, least restrictive tier is the “yellow” tier, implying county transmission is minimal, with fewer than 1 new daily case per 100,000 residents and a fewer than 2% positive test rate.

—Katie Murar

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Sept. 14, 3:05 PM

TOURISM/POLICY

California theme parks, including Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, are urging California Governor Gavin Newsom to reopen the state for amusement park operations.

The theme parks are represented by Sacramento-based trade organization California Attractions and Park Association, which recently called for amusement park reopening guidelines “so these vital community attractions can reopen their doors in a responsible manner and get residents back to work.”

The organization represents Disneyland, Knott’s, Universal Studios, Six Flags Magic Mountain, SeaWorld San Diego, Legoland California, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and California’s Great America.

The effort comes six months after Orange County’s largest employer and tourism driver, Disneyland Resort, temporarily closed on March 14. In June, Disney proposed plans to reopen in stages starting July 9, but those plans were quickly nixed after a worsening COVID-19 situation in Orange County.

The Governor’s newly implemented tiered monitoring system outlines business reopening guidelines under four color-coded tiers, but does not include theme parks.

“In order to reopen, parks require guidance from the state and that guidance has not been forthcoming,” California Attractions and Parks Association Executive Director Erin Guerrero said in a statement.

—Katie Murar

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Sept. 11, 1:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

New coronavirus cases in Orange County have dropped 44% in the past month, according to an analysis of OC Health Care Agency data.

There were 9,944 new cases reported in the month ending Sept. 10, which is down from the 17,877 cases reported in the month ending Aug 10.

Regional COVID-19 hotspots Anaheim and Santa Ana have represented 31% of new cases in the past month; the month prior, they generated about 36% of new cases.

North County still represents the bulk of COVID-19 cases in the region, with other hotspots including Garden Grove; Fullerton; Huntington Beach; Orange; Costa Mesa; and Buena Park.

Together with Anaheim and Santa Ana, those eight cities represented nearly 60% of all new cases reported in the past month.

—Katie Murar

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Sept. 10, 2:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

COVID-19 hospitalization and ICU figures are significantly lower than their peak-July levels, and are nearing closer to the lower numbers seen in May.

There were 239 hospitalizations and 64 ICU patients as of Sept. 10, which is down 67% and 74%, respectively, from the highs of 722 and 245 hit in mid-July.

The county has also seen sharper declines in cases and other COVID-19 metrics in recent weeks, with new cases down 43% in the two weeks ending Sept. 10 from the two weeks prior.

The county had a positive testing rate of 3.9% on Thursday. In July, the region saw positive testing percentages nearing 15%.

—Katie Murar

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Sept. 9, 9:10 AM

GOVERNMENT/POLICY

Orange County's move into the next tier of reopenings under the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy brings a new set of modifications for some businesses.

For a full listing of what's open and closed in OC by industry, go here.

—Kari Hamanaka

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Sept. 8, 12:45 PM

HEALTHCARE

Orange County has moved into the next COVID-19 tier following weeks of an improving case and testing rate, California Governor Gavin Newsom said Tuesday.

The county was one of 38 counties that were placed into the most restrictive “purple” tier on Aug. 28 when the state rolled out its new monitoring system; after nearly two weeks of falling case numbers and a positive testing rate, the county was placed in the next tier down, known as the “red” tier, signifying the virus is “substantial” rather than “widespread” in the county.

It is one of five counties to move into the red tier, along with Amador, Placer, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz.

This move allows for an easing of business restrictions, such as allowing indoor operations for movie theaters, gyms, restaurants and salons. It also allows schools to open with 25% capacity, though the soonest local schools could open for in-person teaching is Sept. 22.

In the red tier, counties must have four to seven daily new cases per 100,000 residents and a positive test rate between 5% and 8%. Orange County currently has a case rate of 5.2 and a positive test rate of 4.2%.

The next tier, the “orange” or “moderate” tier, requires 1 to 3.9 new daily cases per 100,000 residents and a positive test rate between 2 and 4.9%. Orange County would need to meet those metrics for two weeks to move into that tier, though it must remain in its red current tier for three weeks, according to the state’s initial guidelines.

The final, least restrictive tier is the “yellow” tier, implying county transmission is minimal, with fewer than 1 new daily case per 100,000 residents and a fewer than 2% positive test rate.

—Katie Murar

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Sept. 4, 12:15 PM

HEALTHCARE

Though coronavirus case figures have been steadily declining since hitting their peak in July, deaths attributed to the virus hit a new high in August.

The number of Orange County residents that have died as a result of COVID-19 surpassed 1,000 this week, with 362 deaths occurring in August.

That’s up 30% from July, and about 87% from June.

In the past two weeks, however, deaths are down 24% to 136 deaths, or about 10 each day on average.

Of the 1,018 total deaths in Orange County, 45% occurred in assisted living and skilled nursing facilities.

The state of California is most closely monitoring case and testing metrics for reopening guidelines, though it has said it would halt any reopening plans should hospitalization figures climb too high.

Average hospitalizations are down 11%, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

—Katie Murar

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Sept. 3 2:30 PM

GOVERNMENT POLICY/HEALTHCARE

Orange County is expected to move out of the most restrictive “purple” COVID-19 tier, put in place by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, and into the next “red” tier on Sept. 8.

If, and when, this occurs, it will mean fewer restrictions for Orange County businesses, such as new indoor operations and increased capacity.

Examples include:

• Restaurants, currently only open outdoors, can open indoors in the next tier with a max capacity of 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer.

• Shopping centers and retailers can up their capacity from 25% to 50%

• Nail and skin care salons, currently outdoors only, can open inside with modifications. Hair salons are currently able to open indoors.

• Gyms and fitness centers, currently only outdoors, will be allowed to open indoors with a max 10% capacity

• Movie theaters can open indoors with 25% capacity

• Schools, unable to open under the most restrictive tier, can open with 25% capacity in the new tier. The soonest local schools could open for in-person teaching is Sept. 22.

• Museums can open indoors with 25% capacity

• Non-essential offices must remain remote in the red tier

• Professional sports can open without live audiences and modifications

• Theme parks, like Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm, were not included in the business sector guidance list for any tier. It is possible the parks could reopen some outdoor operations in stages, though indoor rides are unlikely to be permitted.

San Diego is currently in the red tier; Orange County is expected to also move into the red tier on Sept. 8 when the state will assess counties’ numbers for the first time.

—Katie Murar

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Sept. 2, 3:20 PM

HEALTHCARE

New COVID-19 cases have dropped nearly 50% in the past two weeks over the prior two-week period.

There were 4,206 cases, or 300 average daily cases, reported in the two weeks ending Sept. 2, which is more than a 48% drop from the 6,225 cases, or 445 average daily cases reported in the prior two weeks.

Testing has also decreased in the county in the past two weeks, albeit at a lower rate.

There were 6,629 average tests conducted each day in the two weeks ending Sept. 2, which is down about 30% from the 8,846 tests handled the prior two weeks.

Orange County currently has a 5% positive testing rate, its lowest level since May.

—Katie Murar

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Sept. 1, 2:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

Orange County is on track to move into the next tier of the state’s monitoring system next week, which could result in fewer business restrictions and could enable in-person teaching later in the month.

The state unveiled it’s new color-coded, four-tiered monitoring system on Friday, with Orange County and 37 other state counties falling into the most restrictive purple category.

Counties are placed in this tier if they have more than seven new daily cases per 100,000 residents, and a testing percentage above 8%.

To enter into the red tier, counties must have four to seven daily new cases and a positive test rate between 5% and 8%.

Over the past week, Orange County had about 5.6 new daily cases per 100,000 residents and a 5% testing percentage. County health officials indicated OC is “on track to enter Red Tier on Sept. 8” when the state will assess counties’ numbers for the first time.

“Providing we meet Red Tier metrics at that time, there will be a 14-day wait for all K-12 schools to be eligible for reopening, which could happen on Sept. 22,” the OC Health Care Agency said Monday evening via Twitter.

Entering the red tier will also lead to increased capacity for businesses, such as restaurants, malls and salons.

—Katie Murar

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Aug. 31, 10:30 AM

GOVERNMENT/POLICY

California's new Blueprint for a Safer Economy COVID-19 monitoring system creates a new outline for business reopenings, with some changes that went into effect Monday.

To find out more about the status of a specific business sector, go here for a complete listing.

—Kari Hamanaka

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Aug. 31, 8:20 AM

RETAIL

South Coast Plaza is set to reopen its doors Monday at 11 following last week's revised tracking and business reopening plan from the state.

The guidance allows for indoor mall operations in Orange County to resume at 25% capacity. Common areas are to remain closed.

South Coast, OC's largest shopping center, said it reopens with more than 100 retailers. Some 20 of its restaurants are currently open for outdoor dining or to-go options.

The center's curbside pick-up program, SCP 2 Go, and The Pavilion open-air shopping suites remain open as alternative options for customers.

—Kari Hamanaka

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Aug. 28, 1:15 PM

HEALTHCARE

California is replacing its coronavirus monitoring list with a new tiered system that emphasizes a slower reopening timeline.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced the new program during a Friday press conference, when he was expected to, but did not, unveil new reopening guidelines following improving statewide COVID-19 metrics.

The new tiered system places more strict requirements on counties, expected to help prevent a new spike of cases and hospitalizations, like the one that occurred in July after the state last announced reopening plans.

There are four tiers: purple, representing widespread transmission; red, or substantial transmission; orange, or moderate; and yellow, or minimal. Each color represents how businesses can operate in each county, the governor said.

About 38 counties, including Orange County, representing 87% of California’s population have been placed in the most stringent “purple” tier.

Counties are placed in this tier if they have more than seven new daily cases per 100,000 residents, and a testing percentage above 8%.

To enter into the red tier, counties must have four to seven daily new cases and a positive test rate between 5% and 8%. The moderate tier is for counties with one to 3.9 new daily cases and a 2% to 4.9% testing rate; and the minimal tier is less than one daily new case and a positive testing rate below 2%.

Each county is required to stay in each tier for at least 21 days, and they must maintain the next tier’s metrics for two straight weeks in order to move out of their current tier, and enter into reopening phases.

After a county moves from one tier to another, there is an additional two-week waiting period before schools can open.

In the past week, Orange County had about 9.6 new daily cases per 100,000 residents, and an average testing percentage of 6%.

The state will assess counties’ numbers each week, starting Sept. 8.

—Katie Murar

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Aug. 27, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

New COVID-19 cases dropped 9% in Orange County in the last week.

There were 2,523 new cases, or 360 each day on average, reported in the county in the week ending Thursday, down from 2,765, or 395, from the week prior.

Today marks the fifth consecutive day that the county has remained off the state’s COVID-19 watch list, due to falling cases, positive testing rate, hospitalizations and other metrics.

The county’s case rate—or average new cases over two weeks—is currently 82.1 per 100,000 residents, below the county threshold of 100 per 100,000 residents.

The state also tracks whether counties have seen a greater than 10% increase in the three-day average of hospitalized patients. As of Friday, OC’s average is down 0.3%.

Orange County currently has a 5% positive test rate, lower than the state’s threshold of 8%.

The county must now maintain these lower coronavirus metrics for two weeks; after that, it could be cleared to resume in-person teaching with new social distancing protocols after Labor Day weekend.

Each district has the final say in reopening schools.

—Katie Murar

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Aug. 26, 12:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

Dr. Clayton Chau has been selected as Orange County’s chief health officer, replacing Nichole Quick, who resigned in June following severe public pushback due to a face mask order she issued in late May.

Chau has been the acting county health officer since June 9 when Quick stepped down, and was named director of the OC Health Care Agency on May 4, a post he will maintain along with the health officer title.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors made the unanimous decision on Tuesday.

Chau worked for the HCA’s Behavioral Health Services team from 1999 to 2012, and was most recently chief clinical and strategy officer for Mind OC, the nonprofit arm of Be Well OC.

—Katie Murar

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Aug. 25, 3:15 PM

HEALTHCARE

Orange County continues to post a declining case rate on the third day off the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list.

The county’s case rate—or average new cases over two weeks—fell below the state department’s threshold of 100 per 100,000 residents in the past week, hitting a new low of 83.3 on Tuesday since June.

There have been 347 average daily cases reported in the past week, down about 8% from the week prior.

The state also tracks whether counties have seen a greater than 10% increase in the three-day average of hospitalized patients. As of Friday, OC’s average is down 3%.

Orange County currently has a 5.3% positive test rate, lower than the state’s threshold of 8%.

The county must now maintain these lower coronavirus metrics for two weeks; after that, it could be cleared to resume in-person teaching with new social distancing protocols after Labor Day weekend.

Each district has the final say in reopening schools.

—Katie Murar

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Aug. 25, 1:15 PM

HEALTHCARE

The County of Orange said it will launch a second drive thru super-site for COVID-19 testing at the OC Fair & Event Center, beginning Aug. 26.

The announcement comes six weeks after the county launched its first super-site at the Anaheim Convention Center, which oversees about 1,200 tests per day.

The new site will also prioritize testing for people with symptoms; people in contact with known COVID-19 patients; healthcare workers and first responders; long-term care residents and employees; and essential workers including teachers.

The county said it expects wait times to be no more than 30 minutes and results will be delivered within 24 to 48 hours.

The new site will operate Mondays through Fridays between 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

OC residents who meet the Public Health criteria can register online starting today at 360clinic.fulgentgenetics.com.

Questions can be directed to 360 Clinic representatives at (800) 446-8888.

More information about testing sites can be found at ochealthinfo.com/covidtest.

—Jessie Yount

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Aug. 24, 8:45 AM

HEALTHCARE

Orange County has been removed from California’s COVID-19 watch list after weeks of improving metrics.

The California Department of Public has been monitoring several counties that had been reporting higher coronavirus metrics, with Orange County placed on the list at the end of June.

The county’s removal was prompted by weeks of falling case numbers, positive testing rate, hospitalizations and other metrics, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

The county must now maintain its lower coronavirus metrics for two weeks; after that, it could be cleared to resume in-person teaching with new social distancing protocols after Labor Day weekend.

Each district has the final say in reopening schools.

Other changes could follow, like an easing of restrictions on restaurants, malls, gyms and salons, should Governor Gavin Newsom decide to update the state mandate, which was most recently posted on July 13.

—Katie Murar

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Aug. 21, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

Orange County could be removed from the state’s COVID-19 watch list as soon as this weekend following days of falling case numbers and other metrics, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

If the county is removed from the state monitoring list—put in place by the California Department of Public Health to track how counties are faring with the virus—it could be cleared to resume in-person teaching by the second week of September.

The state has been monitoring Orange County’s case rate—or average new cases over two weeks—its positive testing rate, hospitalization figures and other coronavirus metrics since June.

All of these metrics have been improving since Wednesday.

The county currently has a case rate of 95.6 per 100,000 residents, which is below the state department’s threshold of 100 per 100,000 residents, and lower than Wednesday’s rate of 98.6.

The state also tracks whether counties have seen a greater than 10% increase in the three-day average of hospitalized patients. As of Friday, OC’s average is down 2.3%.

Orange County currently has a 5.5% positive test rate, lower than the state’s threshold of 8%.

—Katie Murar

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Aug. 20, 3:20 PM

HEALTHCARE

Orange County’s coronavirus case rate has fallen below the threshold put in place by the California Department of Public Health to track how counties are faring with the virus for the second consecutive day.

The county currently has a case rate, or average new cases over two weeks, of 96.6 per 100,000 residents, which is below the state department’s threshold of 100 per 100,000 residents, and lower than Wednesday’s rate of 98.6.

Orange County has seen a case rate over 100 since June, when the state placed the region on its monitoring list as a result of rising cases, hospitalizations and a positive test percentage.

A declining case rate suggests the county could be removed from the state watch list.

OC’s hospitalizations and positive testing rate also continue to fall below state thresholds.

The state tracks whether counties have seen a greater than 10% increase in the three-day average of hospitalized patients. As of Thursday, OC’s average is down 3.3%.

Orange County currently has a 5.7% positive test rate, lower than the state’s threshold of 8%.

—Katie Murar

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Aug. 20, 9:05 AM

RESTAURANTS

Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp. said it will reveal a new restaurant design concept centered around digital improvements.

Taco Bell Go Mobile restaurants will boast smaller footprints, curbside pick-up, employees taking drive-thru orders on tablets, two drive-thru lanes and restaurant kitchens synced with the Taco Bell app.

The restaurant operator said some of these features have been implemented at existing Taco Bells and reported a trim of more than 15 seconds off drive-thru experiences since the first quarter of this year.

Taco Bell Go Mobile is expected to make it's debut in first-quarter 2021.

—Kari Hamanaka

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Get the latest OC business and Coronavirus updates

Aug. 19, 2:45 PM

HEALTHCARE

Orange County’s coronavirus case rate has fallen below the threshold put in place by the California Department of Public Health to track how counties are faring with the virus.

The county currently has a case rate, or average new cases over two weeks, of 98.6 per 100,000 residents, which is below the state department’s threshold of 100 per 100,000 residents.

Orange County has seen a case rate over 100 since June, when the state placed the region on its monitoring list as a result of rising cases, hospitalizations and a positive test percentage.

San Diego county was removed from the watch list on Tuesday, a few days after the region’s case rate fell below the state threshold of 100 per 100,000 residents.

OC’s hospitalizations and positive testing rate also continue to fall below state thresholds.

The state tracks whether counties have seen a greater than 10% increase in the three-day average of hospitalized patients. As of Wednesday, OC’s average is down 3.9%.

Orange County currently has a 5.9% positive test rate, 2.1 points lower than the state’s threshold of 8%.

—Katie Murar

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Aug. 19, 2:50 PM

HEALTHCARE

As San Diego county is removed from the state’s COVID-19 watch list, Orange County could be next, as the region continues to post improving metrics about two months after being placed on the watchlist.

The state had paused monitoring counties as a result of ongoing testing database glitches, but recently resumed the list after the issues and backlog were fixed.

San Diego county was removed from the watch list on Tuesday, a few days after the region’s case rate fell below the state threshold of 100 per 100,000 residents.

Orange County was placed on the state watch list on June 29, primarily as a result of increasing cases and hospitalizations.

In the month leading up to the state’s move to place the county on the monitoring list, there were 7,141 new cases reported to the county, which was nearly double the 3,671 cases reported in the month prior.

In the month ending Aug. 18, there were 15,201 new cases reported. That’s down 23% from the month ending July 18.

The county currently has a case rate of 106.4 per 100,000 residents, which is based on new cases over 14 days, with a three-day lag.

The county is also seeing improvements in two other metrics: hospitalizations and the positive testing rate.

The state tracks whether counties have seen a greater than 10% increase in the three-day average of hospitalized patients. Currently, OC’s average is down 4.8%.

Orange County currently has a 6.2% positive test rate, 1.8 basis points lower than the state’s threshold of 8%.

—Katie Murar

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Aug. 18, 1 PM

MEETINGS & EVENTS

Laguna Beach-based La Vida Laguna, an organizer of corporate teambuiding events for companies, said it created a new division focused on planning outdoor events.

The Active Outdoor Meetings group will help companies create teambuilding exercises that take place outdoors in tandem with activities such as hiking or kayaking.

The move is a response to the shifts taking place within businesses as they adapt to remote work and other changes resulting from the pandemic.

—Kari Hamanaka

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Aug. 17, 2:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

The Orange County Health Care Agency said it has caught up with a case backlog after resolving state reporting issues.

The California Department of Public Health had been experiencing delays and glitches in the state’s electronic laboratory COVID-19 reporting system, known as the CalREDIE Electronic Laboratory Reporting system.

The system was fixed as of last week.

As of last Wednesday, the county’s case count is up to date, the OC agency said on its website, with 43,925 cumulative cases as of Monday.

There were 485 average daily cases reported in the week ending Monday, an increase of 25% from the week prior, likely due to the logging of new cases that were part of the backlog.

No new deaths were reported Monday, with 810 total deaths in the county. There were 86 new deaths in the past week, up slightly from 73 in the week prior.

—Katie Murar

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Aug. 14, 2:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 continue to decline since hitting a peak last month, with significantly fewer average daily patients in recent weeks.

There were 497 average daily hospitalizations in the two weeks ending Aug. 13, which is down 25% from the prior two-week period when there were 661 average daily hospitalizations; and down 26% from the two-week period ending July 16.

Daily COVID-19 hospitalizations hit a peak of 722 COVID-19 patients on July 14, likely prompted by the uptick in June cases caused by crowds and gatherings around Memorial Day weekend, as well as graduation parties, Father’s Day celebrations and other social activities throughout the month.

That figure dropped to 436 as of Thursday, according to the county’s 33 reporting hospitals.

ICU patients hit a high of 245 on July 15. That figure has decreased about 38% to 152 ICU patients as of August 13.

—Katie Murar

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Aug. 13, 2:50 PM

HEALTHCARE

There have been 151 deaths attributed to coronavirus in the past two weeks, which is flat from the two weeks prior, when there were 149 new deaths.

Nearly half of those 151 new deaths—11 per day on average—have come from Anaheim and Santa Ana, which continue to experience higher case and death rates than the rest of the county.

In the past two weeks, Anaheim and Santa Ana have reported about 2,680 new COVID-19 cases, representing 45% of all new Orange County cases in that time frame.

The two cities have 15,369 cumulative cases, representing 36% of total Orange County cases, and 382 deaths, representing 50% of the total 769 deaths in the county.

About 44% of all OC deaths have come from assisted living and nursing home facilities.

Anaheim has 542 nursing home cases and 93 nursing home deaths; Santa Ana has 384 nursing home cases and 75 deaths.

Other notable North County hotspots including Orange, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove and Fullerton which have 148 deaths in total.

—Katie Murar

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Aug. 12, 2:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations appear to continue to be on the downswing in Orange County about a month after hitting its peak, according to University of California-Irvine research.

New COVID-19 cases have been declining after hitting a high in July, when Orange County and Los Angeles were hit harder than other California counties.

Now, the county appears to be among the lowest again in terms of cases, as it also sees continuing declines in hospitalizations.

The UCI database, released this week, shows comparisons between five California counties: Orange, Los Angeles, Alameda, San Diego and Santa Clara.

Orange County is just behind Los Angeles when it comes to new daily deaths, and ICU patients.

There were 6,551 new COVID-19 cases reported to the Orange County Health Care Agency in the past two weeks, which is down 21% from 8,241 cases in the two weeks prior, and down 48% from the two weeks ending July 15, when there were 12,618 new cases reported.

—Katie Murar

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Aug. 11, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

The California Department of Public Health says it has fixed issues with the state’s electronic laboratory COVID-19 reporting system, which has been experiencing delays and glitches over the past month or so.

The program, known as the CalREDIE Electronic Laboratory Reporting system, plays a large role in reporting new coronavirus cases and tests in Orange County. Recent glitches have caused lower figures across the two metrics.

The issues have “been addressed and the system is now performing as expected,” the state health department said Monday. “The entire backlog has been completely eliminated, and new cases attributed to the backlog will be reported over the next few days.”

The county saw a surge in new cases and tests Tuesday—1,051 cases and 13,839 tests—which is likely due to the previous backlog.

The county currently has 41,578 cumulative cases and 498,642 tests done to date.

—Katie Murar

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Aug. 11, 12 PM

RESTAURANTS

Sol Mexican Cocina in Newport Beach has notched sales growth, despite restrictions placed on business operations in response to the pandemic.

The concept has converted its patio space to accommodate outdoor dining and also bolstered off-premise services in the way of to go, delivery and curbside.

June, its first full month in operation since reopening, saw sales up 17%. The growth continued in July with sales up 7% from the year-ago period.

—Kari Hamanaka

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Aug. 11, 10 AM

RETAIL

The Shops at Mission Viejo has moved some of its retailers outdoors for a marketplace as more mall owners get creative about shopping, with the state's temporary closure of indoor malls remaining in place.

The Mission Viejo mall's outdoor market is being held Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 27. It includes retailers such as Macy's, Tesla, J. Jill and Athleta.

The market is located in the parking lot on the P.F. Chang's and Islands side of the center.

—Kari Hamanaka

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Aug. 10, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

The University of California-Irvine, which has been privately tracking and analyzing local coronavirus figures since the onset of the pandemic, has released a public online database about the virus in the county that provides comparisons with neighboring California counties.

The website shows hospitalized patients with COVID-19, intensive care unit patients, new daily cases and new daily deaths caused by the disease, and provides comparisons between Orange County and Alameda, Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Clara counties.

This is the first website to provide county-to-county comparisons of key coronavirus statistics, according to UCI.

“Southern California residents may think that Los Angeles County is still an outlier in terms of being affected by the coronavirus spread, but the displayed trends clearly show that L.A. and Orange counties recently have become much closer to each other in some of the COVID-19 metrics,” Minin said.

The charts indicate Orange County, which initially fared relatively well by all COVID-19 metrics and saw a later spike in June that put it in a similar situation as Los Angeles, has seen another drop in cases and hospitalizations in the past month.

The database joins that of the Orange County Health Care Agency, which has been providing public updates since March, and pulls data from the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange (CalREDIE); public health investigators; the California Health and Human Services Data Portal; and the State of California.

The UCI website says it receives data from the California Open Data Portal.

—Katie Murar

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Aug. 7, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 have been decreasing steadily after hitting a peak in mid-July.

There were 537 average daily hospitalizations in the week ending August 6, down from 641 and 681 in the two weeks prior.

It’s also down about 22% from the 692 average daily hospitalizations hit in the week ending July 16, the highest to date.

Daily COVID-19 hospitalizations hit a peak of 722 COVID-19 patients on July 14, likely prompted by the uptick in June cases caused by crowds and gatherings around Memorial Day weekend, as well as graduation parties, Father’s Day celebrations and other social activities throughout the month.

That figure dropped to 517 as of Thursday, according to the county’s 33 reporting hospitals.

ICU patients hit a high of 245 on July 15. That figure has decreased about 28% to 177 ICU patients as of August 6.

—Katie Murar

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Aug. 6, 12:10 PM

RETAIL/GYMS

Renaissance ClubSport in Aliso Viejo has made use of its outdoor real estate to relocate its gym facilities.

Equipment, classes, massages through the spa, restaurant and childcare facilities are now all being offered outside. A dedicated area of the gym's parking lot has been revamped into "The Garage" for strength training workouts.

—Kari Hamanaka

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Aug. 6, 9:45 AM

RETAIL

South Coast Plaza is set to debut on Friday the latest upscale amenity at the Costa Mesa shopping center with its by-appointment suites, called The Pavilion.

The open air Pavilion offers in-person shopping from more than 100 South Coast Plaza boutiques.

The Pavilion is located on the second floor of the center's North parking structure.

—Kari Hamanaka

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Aug. 5, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

While positive COVID-19 cases reported to the county appear to be on the decline in recent weeks, the Orange County Health Care Agency continues to report glitches in the reporting of tests and cases, leading to potential inaccuracies.

This is the second week in a row that the county has noted that the CalREDIE electronic laboratory reporting system has been experiencing technology issues, which may have resulted in lower daily COVID-19 positive cases received and tests reported recently.

The county has also issued alerts recently regarding the delay and duplication of tests. Last week, this resulted in the removal of more than 1,300 tests; and on Monday, a glitch resulted in a backlog of tests that added 17,133 tests to the system.

Of the 444,757 cumulative tests to date, 38,131 have tested positive, or 8.6%. The positive test rate has been declining in recent weeks.

—Katie Murar

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Aug. 4, 2:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

The percentage of Orange County residents testing positive for coronavirus appears to be on the decline.

In the past week, about 8% of residents that tested for COVID-19 tested positive, according to tests and cases reported to the Orange County Health Care Agency in that time frame.

That percentage is down from 11.7% the week prior, and from 11.5% in the week ending July 21.

There were 38,066 cumulative COVID-19 cases in Orange County as of Tuesday, with 439,682 tests, for a total positive testing rate of 8.7%.

—Katie Murar

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Aug. 3, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

There were 682 average daily COVID-19 hospitalized patients in the two weeks ending August 2, which is up slightly from the 681 average daily patients in the prior two weeks.

Meanwhile, ICU patients have been on the decline, with 217 average daily patients in the ICU compared with 230 in the prior two weeks.

New COVID-19 cases in Orange County have appeared to be on the decline in recent weeks as well, but reporting and testing glitches and delays have made it challenging to track trends.

The county announced another testing glitch on Monday which resulted in a backlog of tests that were uploaded today, adding 17,133 tests to the system and bringing the total tests count to 435,927.

—Katie Murar

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Aug. 3, 7:45 AM

APPAREL/RETAIL

Costa Mesa-based Vans Inc. took a hit in its fiscal first quarter, although the longer term outlook for the business remains on course.

The brand's revenue fell 52% for the quarter ended June 27 with the overall active division, of which it is a part, off 54% to $571.3 million.

Digital helped during the quarter with the Vans app notching double-digit download growth.

—Kari Hamanaka

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July 31, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

North Orange County cities continue to experience higher case and death rates from COVID-19 than their South County counterparts, according to data from the OC Health Care Agency.

The death count is even more drastic than the case differences between the two regions, with North County representing about 90% of all deaths in Orange County.

Anaheim and Santa Ana continue to have the highest coronavirus case and death figures, including the highest concentration of nursing home cases and deaths.

The two cities have 13,023 cumulative cases, representing 36% of total Orange County cases, and 314 deaths, representing 51% of the total 618 deaths in the county.

Anaheim has 497 nursing home cases and 86 nursing home deaths; Santa Ana has 377 nursing home cases and 58 deaths.

Other notable North County hotspots including Orange, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove and Fullerton which add another 100 deaths.

In total, North County has approximately 562 deaths.

In contrast, the city with the most deaths in South County is Newport Beach, with eight deaths or 0.9 deaths per 10,000 residents; Laguna Hills and San Juan Capistrano have the most deaths per capita, with 1.6 and 1.1 deaths per 10,000 residents, respectively.

There are 36,196 total cases and 618 total deaths in the county, including 289 from nursing home and assisted living facilities.

—Katie Murar

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July 30, 3:55 PM

HEALTHCARE

Recent coronavirus figures reported by the Orange County Health Care Agency may be unreliable due to technology glitches and a lag in lab reports, according to the agency and the California Department of Health.

Over the past few days, the state health department has issued an alert that there has been an issue processing electronic labs, which may have resulted in fewer tests and cases.

And on Thursday, the county health department said a technology glitch caused a recent duplication of tests, which resulted in the removal of more than 1,300 tests today.

The reporting of testing and cases is already volatile in nature, as explored previously by the Business Journal, with the county noting that new case figures can fluctuate greatly based on delays in reporting.

The county posts the number of positive cases reported to the agency that day, which is not an accurate indication of new case trends, as those figures could pertain to dates from more than one month ago.

It’s not fully clear what causes longer-than-typical reporting delays, but it’s likely in part due to the various ways in which the county receives data; sometimes it’s through a straightforward digital communication, other times it’s by phone, physical mail, or even fax machines.

—Katie Murar

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July 30, 3 PM

RESTAURANTS

El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: LOCO) beat consensus estimates for its June quarter on both revenue and net income.

The restaurant operator, with more than 475 company-owned and franchised locations, recorded revenue of $99.6 million, beating analyst estimates of $95.9 million.

The company's net income for the quarter totaled $5.5 million coming in above estimates of $1.6 million.

Meanwhile, the positive same-store sales trend from the June quarter, continues into the current quarter with comparable sales to date up 2.8%.

—Kari Hamanaka

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July 29, 3:20 PM

HEALTHCARE

As new COVID-19 cases continue to decline in recent weeks, deaths caused by the virus have risen slightly over the same time period.

There were 589 average daily cases in Orange County in the two weeks ending Wednesday, which marks a 35% drop from the two weeks prior when there were 901 cases reported each day on average.

Meanwhile, there were nine deaths reported each day on average in the past two weeks, which is up slightly from eight reported in the two weeks prior and seven reported in the two weeks ending June 17.

There have been 587 deaths to date; nearly half of those have occurred in the past six weeks. Almost half of all deaths have been attributed to assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

There are 35,272 cumulative coronavirus cases in Orange County; 74% of all cases have occurred in the past six weeks.

—Katie Murar

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July 28, 3:24 PM

HEALTHCARE

There were 622 average daily cases in Orange County in the two weeks ending Tuesday, which marks a 29% drop from the two weeks prior when there were 877 cases reported each day on average.

The decrease in new local cases marks a continuation of case declines for the county, which saw cases surge at the start of the summer.

Though testing has declined in recent weeks as well, it has not done so at the same rate as the case decreases.

There were about 5,353 tests conducted each day on average in the two weeks ending Tuesday, down about 18% from the 6,514 tests done on average in the prior two-week period.

The percentage of positive cases are also on the decline, with 11.6% of residents testing positive for coronavirus in the past two weeks, down from 13.4% the week prior.

—Katie Murar

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July 27, 2:50 PM

HEALTHCARE

After experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases at the start of the summer, Orange County now appears to be seeing fewer cases.

In the two weeks ending Monday, the county had 9,391 new cases, or about 671 cases per day on average. That’s down about 30% from the 12,191 new cases in the two weeks prior, or 871 each day on average.

The uptick in cases in June was attributed to crowds and gatherings around Memorial Day weekend, as well as graduation parties, Father’s Day celebrations and other social activities throughout the month. 

The state has since tightened restrictions around restaurants, salons and barbershops, which are currently only permitted to operate outdoors. The OC Health Care Agency and local hospitals have also gotten more aggressive in urging residents to wear masks, especially in areas where social distancing isn't possible.

There are 34,646 cumulative cases in Orange County to date.

—Katie Murar

--

July 27, 1:40 PM

RESTAURANTS

Costa Mesa-based Lazy Dog Restaurants LLC said it added TV dinners to its menu as the chain continues to remain innovative on takeout options amid the pandemic.

A dozen restaurants currently offer the six different TV dinners options, with plans to roll the meals out companywide.

The meals are priced at $10 each and come with an entree, side and dessert.

—Kari Hamanaka

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July 24, 4:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

After a surge in cases earlier this month, positive COVID-19 cases in the county are falling.

There were 721 cases per day on average in the week, down from 808 cases per day last week and 982 cases per day the week before that.

The OC Health Care Agency also recently started tracking COVID-19 cases in children between the ages of 0 and 17 by city.

There have been 1,970 positive cases in children, or about 6% of cases countywide. The majority of those cases are occurring in Anaheim and Santa Ana, as are cases in adults.

Those two cities combined make up 36% of cases in Orange County. Anaheim has 5,708 cases, or 159 cases per 10,000 residents. Santa Ana has 6,272 cases, or 186 cases per 10,000 residents.

Orange County has a total of 33,358 cases and 556 deaths to date.

—Jessie Yount

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July 24, 10:30 AM

AUTOMOTIVE

Rivian Automotive LLC updated the market on new timing for the deliveries of its inaugural vehicles.

The electric automaker, which continues to grow its presence in Irvine, said production in its Illinois plant is returning and delivery of its R1T truck is now expected in June 2021. That will be followed by the release of its R1S SUV in August of that year.

Rivian, which has raised more than $5 billion to date, was temporarily forced to shutter its operations as a result of the pandemic and said in April it was reworking its release schedule.

—Kari Hamanaka

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July 23, 4:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

After a worrisome surge in COVID-19 cases at the beginning of the summer, the county is experiencing fewer reported cases. 

The OC Health Care Agency reported 678 cases per day on average in the week, significantly down from 912 cases per day last week and 921 cases per day the week before that, ending July 9.

The decline in the past week comes after the county had seen cases increase at a much more rapid pace in recent months than in the first three months of the virus in the county.

Between March and May, there were about 6,100 cases reported in Orange County. Since the start of June, those case counts have more than quadrupled, with 26,548 new cases reported in the past seven weeks.

The uptick in cases in June was attributed to crowds and gatherings around Memorial Day weekend, as well as graduation parties, Father’s Day celebrations and other social activities throughout the month. 

The state has since tightened restrictions around restaurants, salons and barbershops, which are currently only permitted to operate outdoors. The OC Health Care Agency and local hospitals have also gotten more aggressive in urging residents to wear masks, especially in areas where social distancing isn't possible.

Fewer residents appear to be testing positive for coronavirus, with a 12.6% average positive rate in the week ending 23.

There are 32,648 cumulative cases in Orange County to date.

—Jessie Yount

--

July 23, 2:45 PM

RESTAURANTS

Lake Forest-based Del Taco Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: TACO) said it's seeing improvement in same-store sales. That, combined with cost-cutting measures throughout the pandemic, is allowing it to now also turn its focus to ramping up efforts around its brand.

That's expected to come in the form of more menu additions as well efforts in the social and digital channels, CEO John Cappasola noted in a statement on the company's June quarter results.

Del Taco reported revenue down 13.9% from the year-ago period to $104.6 million for the three months ended June 16. The company recorded a net loss of $600,000, which compares to net income of $2.1 million a year earlier.

—Kari Hamanaka

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July 23, 2:05 PM

RESTAURANTS

BJ's Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: BJRI) CEO Greg Trojan applauded the creativity of restaurant teams in adapting to shifting operating environments in response to the pandemic in the company's update on its second quarter.

"The entrepreneurial spirit of our restaurant operators was on full display as teams acted swiftly to create welcoming and comfortable outdoor seating areas around the perimeter of our restaurants as well as under large and lighted tents in our parking lots," the CEO said in a statement describing how workers pivoted when some states ordered indoor operations of various business to close back up again more recently.

The Huntington Beach-based restaurant operator recorded $128 million in revenue, down 57.5% from the year-ago period. It had a net loss in the quarter of $29 million as compared with $14.2 in income a year ago.

—Kari Hamanaka

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July 23, 8:40 AM

AUTOMOTIVE

Genesis Motor America said sales for its first-ever SUV, the GV80, would be pushed back to the fall in the U.S.

The vehicle was originally slated to become available this summer, along with the G80 sedan.

However, the automaker said matters related to COVID-19 have pushed the timing out.

—Kari Hamanaka

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July 22, 1:45 PM

RESTAURANTS

The digital channel for Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) continued to surge as consumers rely on low- to no-contact meal solutions amid the pandemic.

Digital grew 216.3% in the quarter ended June 30, making up 60.7% of sales during the period. The company attributed the run up to more advertising, expanded digital offerings in Canada and partnerships with third-party delivery services.

The digital news also came with the company's results for the second quarter, which beat on both revenue and profit.

—Kari Hamanaka

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July 22, 1:25 PM

HEALTHCARE

As Orange County faces a summer surge in new COVID-19 case counts that far outpaces the first three months of the virus in the county, some cities are feeling those increases more than others.

Between March and May, there were about 6,100 cases reported in Orange County. Since the start of June, those case counts have nearly quadrupled, with 24,876 new cases reported in the past seven weeks.

Some cities, like Irvine, have seen their case counts jump by more than 70% in the past month when compared with March through May.

Other cities seeing higher-than-typical case surges in recent weeks include Costa Mesa, with 777 new cases in the month ending July 21, representing 79% of the city’s total cases.

Newport Beach and Laguna Beach both saw early jumps in case counts as a result of increased access to testing. For Newport Beach, that surge has been more pronounced in recent weeks, while Laguna Beach’s increase has been less noticeable.

About 74% of Newport Beach’s total 725 cases have occurred in the past month; in Laguna Beach, it’s about half of the city’s 114 cases.

Other south county cities have also seen recent surges, such as Ladera Ranch, Laguna Hills and Laguna Niguel; all three cities have seen their case totals at least quadruple in the past month.

OC hotspots Anaheim and Santa Ana have not seen quite as drastic of a jump; the two cities have 11,139 cumulative cases and about 64% of those cases have occurred since the start of June.

—Katie Murar

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July 22, 9:55 AM

AUTOMOTIVE

The parent of Irvine-based Mazda North American Operations said it plans to ramp factory production back up to pre-COVID levels in August.

The automaker cited strong sales in the U.S. and a rosy outlook on projected demand as the reason for the ramp.

Mazda North American oversees the automaker's business in the U.S. and Mexico. The division counts roughly 620 dealers in its fold.

—Kari Hamanaka

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July 21, 3:07 PM

HEALTHCARE

After seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases at the start of the summer, the county appears to be experiencing a decline in new cases.

There were 4,856 new cases reported by the OC Health Care Agency in the past week, or 694 cases per day on average, which is down from 7,228 cases, or 1,032 average cases, in the week ending July 14.

The figure is also down slightly from 5,049 cases, or 721 average daily cases reported in the week ending July 7.

The decline in the past week comes after the county had seen cases increase at a much more rapid pace in recent months than in the first three months of the virus in the county.

Between March and May, there were about 6,100 cases reported in Orange County. Since the start of June, those case counts have more than quadrupled, with 24,876 new cases reported in the past seven weeks.

Fewer residents appear to be testing positive for coronavirus, with a 13.5% average positive rate in the week ending 21, down from 14.6% the week prior.

There are 30,976 cumulative cases in Orange County, with 366,584 tests done to date.

—Katie Murar

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July 21, 10 AM

SERVICES/BEAUTY

Salons and barbershops received guidance from the state on how they can resume business outdoors, a week after indoor operations in several counties were ordered closed.

The guidance, which can be found here, details safety practices and measures for the industry.

Last week indoor operations of salons and barbershops in some 30 counties, including Orange and Los Angeles, were ordered closed as a precautionary move in response to rising COVID-19 cases counts.

—Kari Hamanaka

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July 20, 2:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

Irvine, a city that saw early increases in COVID-19 cases before flattening in later months, has seen a new surge in cases in recent weeks, this time much more prominent than before.

The city, which counts a population of 280,202 and is considered a business and education hub with the Irvine Business Complex and the University of California-Irvine, has 1,000 total cases, or 36 cases per 10,000 residents.

Nearly 74% of those cases have occurred in the month ending July 20.

Most cities are seeing new surges in case counts, as countywide figures increase at a much more rapid pace in the past two months than in the first three months of the virus in the county.

Between March and May, there were about 6,100 cases reported in Orange County. Since the start of June, those case counts have nearly quadrupled, with 23,786 new cases reported in the past seven weeks.

Newport Beach, also a city that saw initially higher cases due to increased testing access before dropping off, has had 526 new cases in the month ending July 20, which, like Irvine, represents nearly three-fourths of the city’s total cases. It currently has 719 cases, or about 82 cases per 10,000 residents.

—Katie Murar

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July 20, 10:20 AM

RESTAURANTS

Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp. said it plans to revamp its menu come August.

Orange County's No. 1 restaurant operator said the changes come as it looks to shore up efficiencies in its kitchen amid shifts in how its locations operate as a result of the pandemic.

The company said it will remove a dozen items from its menu, effective Aug. 13.

—Kari Hamanaka

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July 20,9:50 AM

AUTOMOTIVE

The Automobile Club of Southern California said it plans an additional round of insurance premium refunds to policyholders on account of the pandemic's ongoing impact to driving.

The refunds, totaling $59 million, are expected to go out in August. That follows nearly $92 million in refunds mailed out to policyholders in May as a result of less driving and claims due to COVID-19.

—Kari Hamanaka

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July 17, 2:45 PM

HEALTHCARE

Anaheim and Santa Ana continue to account for a large portion of the county’s new coronavirus cases.

The two cities represented more than one-third of all cases reported in the past week, with nearly 10,200 cumulative cases, representing 36% of the 28,300 total cases in Orange County.

The two cities have the county’s highest cases per capita, with 158 cases per 10,000 residents in Santa Ana and 135 per 10,000 residents in Anaheim.

These two hotspots have received special focus from the county as of late, with an increase mobile testing facilities and increased education efforts, such as the Latino Health Equity Initiative, a recently launched effort aimed at advocating health and increasing awareness in these cities which have higher-than-average Latino populations as well as increased community spread.

Other hotspots include Los Alamitos, with 120 cases per 10,000 residents, and La Habra, with 102 cases per 10,000 residents.

Nursing facilities account for nearly half of the cases in Los Alamitos, attributing to the higher per capita rate, though La Habra has only four cases from nursing homes, out of a total of 648 cases.

—Katie Murar

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July 16, 2:50 PM

HEALTHCARE

There were 751 new COVID-19 cases reported to the county on average each day for the week ending July 16, which is up slightly from the 741 reported the week prior.

These cases did not necessarily occur during these dates, but were reported to the county from testing labs during that time frame.

Anaheim and Santa Ana account for one-third of the cases reported in the past week, with more than 10,000 cumulative cases, representing 36% of the 27,904 cases in Orange County. Irvine has 907 cases, or 3% countywide.

There have been 466 deaths to date, half of which are from assisted living and nursing facilities. Santa Ana and Anaheim represent 53% of the county’s deaths from these facilities, and half of total deaths.

There have been 334,011 cumulative tests recorded to date, with a 14.5% average positive testing rate in the week ending July 16.

—Katie Murar

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July 16, 8:52 AM

RETAIL

Tilly's Inc. (NYSE: TLYS) provided the market with an update on its store fleet and business as a result of the latest closure order for California, where about half of its brick-and-mortar business is generated.

The company had nearly all of its store fleet reopened before shuttering 28 of its stores that were located in indoor malls in response to the state's July 13 announcement closing the indoor operations of several businesses.

The company said traffic into the reopened stores is down 27% so far in the second quarter. Same-store sales for the same period were off 4.4%.

Declines were seen in both mall and off-mall locations, the retailer reported.

Tilly's is set to release its second-quarter results ending in August in September.

—Kari Hamanaka

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July 16, 8:20 AM

MANUFACTURING

Apparel firm ML Kishigo continues to make face coverings for its customer base of essential workers amid a growth spurt that's pushed it into larger headquarters.

The company has relocated from Santa Ana to Fountain Valley, where it now occupies a 53,000-square-foot facility.

ML Kishigo makes safety apparel and accessories for workers. It has been producing face coverings since the start of the pandemic.

—Kari Hamanaka

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July 15, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

The Business Journal’s daily COVID-19 update story posted Tuesday featured data from the county that indicated new cases in Orange County may be declining, based on a seven-day average published in a chart indicating daily cases by testing date.

The county has specified that figures in this chart can fluctuate based on delays in reporting, and thus only provides the seven-day average in the week ending about 10 days prior to the current date.

For example, on Wednesday, the county said there were 592 average daily coronavirus cases reported in the week ending July 6, the most recent available day, which is down from 770 in the week prior.

While the county disclaimed that these figures are still subject to change, the inaccuracies may be greater than initially thought due to even longer testing and reporting delays.

In an email to the journal, Scott Bartell, a public health and statistics professor with the University of California-Irvine, noted that specimen testing, case reporting and data recording by the county health agency can take three weeks or more.

Thus, “the number of new cases shown by specimen date will always appear to be declining in recent weeks in any county, regardless of whether average daily coronavirus cases are actually declining, increasing, or stable over time.”

Each day, the county posts the number of positive cases reported to the agency that day, which is also not an accurate indication of new case trends, as those figures could pertain to dates from more than one month ago.

It’s not fully clear what causes longer-than-typical reporting delays, but it’s likely in part due to the various ways in which the county receives data; sometimes it’s through a straightforward digital communication, other times it’s by phone, physical mail, or even fax machines.

—Katie Murar

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July 14, 3:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

While Orange County continues to report surges in coronavirus cases, the Health Care Agency has clarified that the cases reported each day do not necessarily pertain to the prior 24-hour period due to delays in lab reporting.

The cases are instead allotted to the date on when the individuals tested positive, and published to a chart on the new county database rolled out last month.

The chart indicates that average daily coronavirus cases are on the decline.

There were 612 average daily cases reported in the week ending July 5, the most recent available day due to the fluctuating case numbers as mentioned above, which marks an 18% decline from the 745 average cases reported in the week ending June 28, when the county appeared to hit a new peak.

These figures are still subject to change as the county inputs new data.

Average deaths also appear to be on the decline.

In the two weeks ending July 10, there were about 6.5 deaths reported each day on average, which was nearly half the 12.3 deaths reported in the two weeks prior.

There are 26,120 cases and 215 deaths to date; 5% of cases and 53% of deaths are from assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

—Katie Murar

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July 14, 1:40 PM

RESTAURANTS

Temporary restaurant closures as a result of the pandemic took a toll on Kura Sushi USA Inc.'s (Nasdaq: KRUS) quarterly results.

The company's 25 restaurants were closed for most of its third quarter ended May 31, during which time it saw revenue down 83% to $2.8 million.

The company also swung to a loss of $9.2 million as compared with the year-ago period.

—Kari Hamanaka

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July 13, 3:45 PM

HEALTHCARE

After weeks of gains, average daily hospitalized COVID-19 patients have shown decreases in recent days.

As of Sunday, there was a 0.5% dip in three-day average hospitalized patients in Orange County.

There are currently 675 patients, including 233 ICU patients, hospitalized from coronavirus in Orange County.

Cases have surged in Orange County in the past month, with 14,095 new cases reported in the four weeks ending July 12, nearly triple the 5,365 cases reported in the four weeks ending June 14.

The percentage of positive COVID-19 tests in Orange County jumped to 14.6% on Sunday, with an average of 14.5% of those tested in the past week testing positive, compared with 12.4% for the week prior.

Two new deaths were reported Sunday, bringing the county total to 423; more than half of those deaths have come from nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

There are 24,715 total COVID-19 cases in Orange County; about 5% of those cases are from nursing homes.

—Katie Murar

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July 13, 1:15 PM

HEALTHCARE

California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered closures Monday for several sectors that had been reopening in recent months amid COVID-19 increases in the state.

The statewide closures include indoor operations for venues like restaurants, wineries, movie theaters and museums across the state, while about 30 counties, including Orange County, will also be required to suspend indoor operations for fitness centers, malls, salons, places of worship and personal care services.

—Katie Murar

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July 13, 8:50 AM

RESTAURANTS

Irvine-based Kura Sushi USA Inc. said its CEO, COO and CFO are taking temporary pay cuts in response to COVID-19 on its operations.

The reductions began July 1 and are in effect for six months.

—Kari Hamanaka

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July 10, 3:15 PM

HEALTHCARE

Northern Orange County cities continue to have the bulk of COVID-19 cases and deaths, far outpacing South County.

This is led by Santa Ana and Anaheim, which continue to have the highest coronavirus case and death figures, including the highest concentration of nursing home cases and deaths.

The two cities have 8,312 cumulative cases, representing 37% of total Orange County cases, and 212 deaths, representing 51% of the total deaths in the county.

Anaheim has 408 nursing home cases and 61 nursing home deaths; Santa Ana has 289 nursing home cases and 58 deaths.

Together, the two cities represent 54% of all nursing home cases in the county, and 58% of all nursing home deaths.

There are 22,650 total cases and 412 total deaths in the county, including 221 from nursing home and assisted living facilities.

On a per capita basis, Los Alamitos has the most deaths, with nearly 14 deaths per 10,000 residents, all of them due to an outbreak at a nursing home facility.

Anaheim and Santa Ana have 2.7 and 3.4 deaths per 10,000 residents, respectively.

There are fewer deaths among the south county cities, with San Juan Capistrano having the most with 0.8 deaths per 10,000 residents.

—Katie Murar

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July 9, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

Average daily hospitalized COVID-19 patients surged 28% in the past week in Orange County, with 638 average daily patients in the week ending July 8, compared with 500 for the week ending July 1.

ICU patients are also increasing, albeit at a slower clip, with 211 patients each day on average in the week ending July 8, up 18% from the week prior.

The county currently has about 37% ICU capacity.

26 new deaths were reported Thursday, including nine nursing home residents. That brings the county total to 402; more than half of those deaths have come from nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

There are 21,517 total COVID-19 cases in Orange County; 6% of those cases are from nursing homes.

Anaheim and Santa Ana have the largest number of deaths from nursing facilities with 111 deaths, representing more than half of total deaths from nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the counties.

The two cities have 192 cumulative deaths to date.

—Katie Murar

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July 8, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

The portion of Orange County’s coronavirus deaths coming from nursing and assisted living facilities has been steadily rising in recent months.

To date, there have been 208 coronavirus deaths attributed to assisted living and nursing facility residents, representing 55% of the 376 total deaths.

That figure has climbed from 42% since the start of June, and from about 20% since the start of May.

Anaheim and Santa Ana have the largest number of deaths from nursing facilities with 111 deaths, representing more than half of total deaths from nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the counties.

The two cities have 192 cumulative deaths to date.

Los Alamitos has the greatest rate of nursing home cases, with 57 cases per 10,000 residents, trailed by Anaheim and Santa Ana with 11 and 8.4 nursing home cases per 10,000 residents, respectively.

There are 20,225 cumulative cases in the county, including 1,267 nursing and assisted living residents.

Seven new coronavirus deaths were reported Wednesday, including 3 nursing facility residents.

The number of people testing positive for the virus in the county continues to rise, with a nearly 15% positive testing rate on Wednesday.

—Katie Murar

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July 7, 4:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

As new COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Orange County, most predominately in North County cities, deaths appear to be on the downward trend.

Orange County had 0.6 deaths each day on average for the week ending July 7, down from two and five in the two weeks prior, respectively.

Three new coronavirus deaths were reported Tuesday, while the number of people testing positive for the virus in the county continues to rise, with a 14.2% positive testing rate on Tuesday.

There have been 369 deaths to date, including 205 assisted living and nursing facility residents.

Cities in northern OC continue to have the most cases and deaths, led by Santa Ana and Anaheim. On a per capita basis, Los Alamitos has the most deaths, with nearly 12 deaths per 10,000 residents. Santa Ana, with the second highest death rate per capita, has about 3 deaths per 10,000 residents.

—Jessie Yount

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July 6, 3:45 PM

HEALTHCARE

No new coronavirus deaths were reported Monday, while the number of people testing positive for the virus in the county continues to rise.

The percentage of positive COVID-19 tests in Orange County jumped to 14% today, with an average of 12% of those tested in the past week testing positive.

There have been 270,659 cumulative tests, with 17,882 testing positive to date, including 1,220 skilled nursing facility residents, 406 Orange County jail inmates and 111 individuals experiencing homelessness.

There have been 366 deaths to date, including 191 skilled nursing residents. More than 75% of all deaths are among those aged 65 years and above.

The percent of ICU beds currently available ticked up in the past week, from about 36% to nearly 42%. There’s been an 10% increase in 3-day average hospitalized patients, just slightly above the state threshold of 10%.

—Katie Murar

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July 2, 2:45 PM

HEALTHCARE

The percentage of positive COVID-19 tests in Orange County jumped to 12% on Thursday, with an average of 9.7% of those tested in the past week testing positive.

The county recently said that it had erroneously reported 30,000 additional coronavirus tests between April 28 and June 3 that were actually antibody tests, which may have previously given Orange County a lower percentage of positive tests. Those tests have since been removed.

Antibody, or serology, tests differ from the coronavirus test, or PCR test, because it only checks for previous, not current, infection.

There have been 248,028 cumulative tests, with 15,065 testing positive to date, including 1,197 skilled nursing facility residents, 403 Orange County jail inmates and 108 individuals experiencing homelessness.

The percent of ICU beds currently available continues to shrink with 36% capacity; there’s been an 11.4% increase in 3-day average hospitalized patients.

Nine new deaths were reported Thursday, bringing the total to 354, including 181 skilled nursing residents. More than 75% of all deaths are among those aged 65 years and above.

Northern county cities continue to have the bulk of cases and deaths, led by Santa Ana and Anaheim. On a per capita basis, Los Alamitos has the most deaths, with nearly 12 deaths per 10,000 residents, which is likely due to an outbreak at a skilled nursing facility.

—Katie Murar

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July 1, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

The percentage of positive COVID-19 tests continues to rise in Orange County, with an average of 9.2% of those tested in the past week testing positive, up from 6.7% and 5.9% from the weeks prior.

There have been 241,027 cumulative tests to date, with 14,413 testing positive, or 5.9%.

There’s been a 9% increase in 3-day average hospitalized patients, with ICU beds shrinking to 38.2% capacity from 41% on Monday.

Five new deaths were reported Wednesday, bringing the total to 345, including 177 skilled nursing residents. More than 75% of all deaths are among those aged 65 years and above.

Northern county cities continue to have the bulk of cases and deaths, led by Santa Ana and Anaheim. On a per capita basis, Los Alamitos has the most deaths, with nearly 12 deaths per 10,000 residents, which is likely due to an outbreak at a skilled nursing facility.

There are fewer deaths among the south county cities, with San Juan Capistrano having the most with 0.5 deaths per 10,000 residents.

—Katie Murar

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July 1, 1:30 PM

RETAIL

Goodwill of Orange County said its fleet of 24 stores have reopened.

The doors had been closed since March 18 when the state rolled out its stay-at-home order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The stores reopened with a number of health and safety measures in place, including Plexiglass at the cash registers, one-way aisles, contactless donation drop-offs and limiting the number of shoppers in store.

—Kari Hamanaka

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July 1, 1 PM

GOVERNMENT/POLICY

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday some restrictions to be rolled back out for businesses such as restaurants and bars in an effort to tamp down on the spread of COVID-19.

The order, effective immediately, impacts 19 counties, including Orange and Los Angeles.

It calls for the shuttering of bars. Indoor operations at places such as restaurants, wineries and movie theaters have also been ordered to close.

—Kari Hamanaka

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June 30, 1:20 PM

RESTAURANTS/FOOD

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) said it launched a virtual farmers market with the goal of helping farms offset losses from the pandemic.

The Chipotle Virtual Farmers' Market, built off the Shopify e-commerce platform, rolls out with the storefronts of four businesses and lets them sell directly to consumers.

The marketplace is the latest effort in the chain's push to back local farms. The company said it's so far donated more than $500,000 to the National Young Farmers Coalition.

—Kari Hamanaka

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June 29, 4:30 PM

GOVERNMENT/POLICY

An uptick in coronavirus-related hospitalizations in Orange County has the state now monitoring OC.

It's one of 19 counties being watched by health officials in hopes of stemming case counts and hospitalizations through a number of measures. This follows the mandatory closure of bars in several California counties over the weekend, including Los Angeles County.

State health officials are now working with local governments on how to stem the spread, prepare for a possible surge at the hospital level and continued communication encouraging physical distancing and limiting gatherings.

—Kari Hamanaka

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June 29, 3:30 p.m.

HEALTHCARE

A new database introduced last week by the Orange County Health Care Agency suggests the percentage of those testing positive for COVID-19 each day in the county has jumped to 9.3% from 6.9% two weeks ago.

Of the 223,363 cumulative tests, 13,064 have tested positive to date, including 1,131 skilled nursing facility residents, 395 jail inmates and 111 people experiencing homelessness.

Four new deaths were reported Monday, bringing the total to 330, including 171 skilled nursing residents. More than 75% of all deaths are among those aged 65 years and above.

Northern county cities continue to have the bulk of cases and deaths, led by Santa Ana and Anaheim.

Hospitalization rates have jumped nearly 12% in the past three days, with 485 patients and 175 ICU patients. There are currently about 41% of ICU beds currently available.

—Katie Murar

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June 29, 11:30 AM

AUTOMOTIVE

The Orange County Auto Show has been canceled for this year as a result of COVID-19. The annual event had originially been planned for Sept. 24-27 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Show officials said they expect the event to return in 2021.

—Kari Hamanaka

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June 25, 2:20 p.m.

HEALTHCARE

Orange County hit a new record in average coronavirus cases for the second day in a row, with 327 cases reported each day on average in the past week, up from 192 the week prior and from the prior high of 273 set in the week ending June 24.

The county has 11,511 cumulative cases to date, with 231,902 tests conducted. The percentage of those testing positive is increasing, with a nearly 5% positive testing rate.

Total deaths in the county surpassed 300 on Thursday, with seven new deaths reported. About 51% of deaths have come from skilled nursing facilities.

There are 394 cases currently hospitalized, including 147 ICU patients. In the week ending June 23, there have been 349 daily hospitalizations on average, up from 311 and 294 in the preceding two weeks.

—Katie Murar

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June 25, 10:15 a.m.

TOURISM

Anaheim’s Disneyland Resort has delayed its proposed reopening date of July 17 after a rise in coronavirus cases prompted the state to push back reopening guidelines for theme parks.

A new reopening date has not yet been set for the park, which has been shuttered since March 14.

—Katie Murar

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June 24, 3:30 p.m.

HEALTHCARE

Orange County coronavirus cases continue to climb higher, with 274 average daily cases reported in the week ending June 24, up from 210 the prior week.

26 new deaths were reported Wednesday, bringing the county total to 299 deaths, including 152 skilled nursing facility residents.

In the past week, the county, once among the lowest for COVID-19 in the state, has surpassed several neighboring counties in new cases, deaths and hospitalizations.

Some county officials have pointed to increased testing figures as a reason for higher cases, but in recent weeks, case surges have far outpaced the number of tests conducted.

For the two weeks ending June 23, there were 3,910 tests done each day on average, up nearly 5% from the 3,735 tests done in the prior two weeks.

Meanwhile, new cases during that time have jumped 55%.

There have been 227,962 tests to date, with 11,016 testing positive, or 4.8%.

Orange County had 485 hospitalizations and 174 ICU patients as of June 24, according to a state database, which is up by 26.3% and 5.5% in the past two weeks, respectively.

The county has nearly 40% of ICU beds available and 65% of ventilators, according to the same state database, which tracks some 6,034 hospital beds.

—Katie Murar

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June 23, 3:40 p.m.

TOURISM

John Wayne Airport continues to feel effects of the coronavirus, reporting a 91% drop in May traffic following a 97% decrease in April and a 63% decrease in March.

Year-to-date traffic is down 54% to 2 million; flights are down 28% for the first five months to 89,554.

—Katie Murar

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June 23, 2:45 p.m.

HEALTHCARE

There were 256 average daily coronavirus cases reported in the past week, up from 205 last week, according to the OC Health Care Agency.

There were 3,777 average daily tests done in the week ending June 22, down from 3,953 for the prior week. About 223,700 tests have been conducted to date, with 10,737 people testing positive, or nearly 4.8%.

Of the total cases, 1,079 are from senior living facilities, and 389 are from Orange County jails; new cases from jails have significantly dropped off in the past several weeks.

Four new deaths were reported Tuesday, including three from skilled nursing facilities, with 273 deaths to date, including 138 from skilled nursing facilities.

Santa Ana and Anaheim had a combined 675 new cases in the past week, or about 96 per day.

—Katie Murar

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June 22, 2:45 p.m.

HEALTHCARE

There were 270 average daily coronavirus cases reported in the past week, up from 182 last week, according to the OC Health Care Agency.

Average COVID-19 cases hit a new peak in the week ending yesterday, with 275 cases reported each day on average.

There were 3,454 average daily tests done in the week ending June 21, down from 3,871 for the prior week. About 217,700 tests have been conducted to date, with 10,595 people testing positive, or nearly 4.9%.

Of the total cases, 1,047 are from senior living facilities, and 389 are from Orange County jails; just three new cases have been reported from OC jails in the past week.

No new deaths were reported Monday, with 269 deaths to date, including 135 from skilled nursing facilities.

Los Alamitos has the highest cases per capita, with 75 cases per 10,000 residents, which city officials have attributed to a single nursing home that has generated most of the city’s confirmed infections.

For the week ending June 20, the last day hospital data was available, there were 330 hospitalizations on average each day, up from 301 the week prior.

—Katie Murar

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June 19, 1:30 p.m.

About 213 average daily coronavirus cases were reported in the past week, matching the prior peak reached on June 17, according to the OC Health Care Agency.

Cumulatively, 9,576 people have tested positive, or 4.7% of all taking the test.

One of the reasons for the increase in positive cases is the number of people being tested. About 3,331 tests are being conducted daily in the past week, compared with 2,045 daily tests in the week ended April 30. To date, 202,884 people have been tested in Orange County.

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June 19, 10:30 a.m.

Orange County’s unadjusted unemployment rate rose to 14.5% in May from a revised 13.8% in April as the coronavirus continued to have an effect, according to the state Employment Development Department. A year ago, the unemployment rate was 2.4%.

Even though the unemployment rate rose, the county still added 13,900 jobs.

—Peter J. Brennan

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June 18, 3:45 PM

PERSONAL SERVICES

Orange County personal services will be allowed to reopen Friday in news announced today by the OC Health Care Agency.

Businesses allowed to reopen include tattoo parlors, nail salons, piercing studios and massage therapy. Businesses that plan to reopen must follow guidelines outlined by the state, which can be found here.

— Kari Hamanaka

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June 18, 2:50 PM

RESTAURANTS

At least four Orange County restaurants have temporarily closed to undergo deep cleaning and staff testing as businesses seek to stem the spread of COVID-19. HQ Gastropub in Huntington Beach, The Boiling Crab in Santa Ana, Javier's in Newport Beach and A Restaurant in Newport Beach all confirmed to guests they were temporarily closing their doors to undergo heavy disinfecting and staff testing.

The Orange County Health Care Agency works with businesses that report a positive COVID-19 test result and, on a case-by-case basis, may mandate a temporary closure and staff testing. HCA told the Business Journal it does not confirm or deny details related to cases at specific businesses.

— Kari Hamanaka

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June 18, 1:35 PM

HEALTHCARE

About 195 new coronavirus cases were reported daily in the past week, the first such decline in the prior five days, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

The average positive daily results during the past seven days peaked yesterday at 213.

--Peter J. Brennan

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June 18, 1:27 PM

GOVERNMENT

Governor Gavin Newsom ordered Californians to wear masks, saying a growing body of scientific research has shown that people with no or few symptoms of COVID-19 can still spread the disease.

"Science shows that face coverings and masks work," Newsom said in a statement. The governor didn't cite any particular study in his press release.

"Simply put, we are seeing too many people with faces uncovered – putting at risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease,” he said.

The order conflicts with Orange County health officials who said masks were a recommendation, not an order. Sheriff Don Barnes has previously said his force will not become “the mask police.”

--Peter J. Brennan

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June 17, 1:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

There were 214 average daily coronavirus cases reported in the past week, the second consecutive day in which average daily cases for the preceding seven days surpassed 200.

Wednesday’s average figure is up from 160 last Wednesday, and 144 for the week ending June 3.

There were 3,164 average daily tests done in the week ending June 16, down from 3,548 for the prior week. About 193,405 tests have been conducted to date, with 9,197 people testing positive, or 4.8%.

Of the total cases, 1,003 are from senior living facilities, and 387 are from Orange County jails; just three new cases have been reported from OC jails in the past week.

Ten new deaths were reported Wednesday, including seven from senior living facilities, bringing the total to 243 deaths.

Santa Ana, Anaheim and Los Alamitos continue to have the highest cases per capita.

For the week ending June 15, the last day hospital data was available, there were 303 hospitalizations and 141 ICU patients on average each day, up from 294 and 133 the week prior.

— Katie Murar

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June 17, 12:00 PM

TOURISM

Monarch Beach Resort, one of many Orange County hotels shuttered in recent months as a result of COVID-19, will reopen Thursday.

The 400-room Dana Point hotel has new safety measures that are certified by the California Hotel & Lodging Association, with employees required to wear masks and undergo daily temperature checks.

— Katie Murar

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June 16, 2:20 PM

HEALTHCARE

Average daily coronavirus cases reported in Orange County surpassed 200 for the first time, with 207 average cases for the week ending June 16.

That’s up from 157 during the week prior, and 141 for the week ending June 2.

For the five weeks ending June 16, Irvine had 113 new cases, which is almost double the 61 cases reported for the five weeks ending May 12.

Los Alamitos, Santa Ana and Anaheim continue to represent the most cases per capita, with 83, 57 and 48 cases per 10,000 residents, respectively.

There were 2,720 average daily tests done in the week ending June 15, down from 3,584 for the prior week. Nearly 187,130 tests have been conducted to date, with 8,999 people testing positive, or 4.8%.

Of the total cases, 964 are from skilled nursing facilities, and 387 are from Orange County jails.

There were 12 deaths reported Tuesday, all of which came from skilled nursing facilities, with 233 deaths to date, half of which from nursing facilities.

— Katie Murar

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June 15, 2:45 PM

HEALTHCARE

No new coronavirus deaths were reported Monday, the first time since last Monday, while average daily cases rose to a new high of 184 in the last week from 159 for the week ending June 8.

There were 2,743 average daily tests done in the week ending June 14, down from 3,629 for the prior week. Nearly 184,500 tests have been conducted to date, with 8,759 people testing positive, or 4.7%.

Of the total cases, 887 are from skilled nursing facilities, and 387 are from Orange County jails. About 85 new cases have come from nursing facilities in the past week, as well as 19 deaths. There have been 221 deaths to date, including 104 nursing facility residents, or 47%.

Santa Ana, Anaheim and Los Alamitos continue to have the highest cases per capita, while Placentia represents a growing hotspot, with nearly 30.2 cases per 10,000 residents, up from 27.7 a week ago.

For the week ending June 13, the last day hospital data was available, there were 301 hospitalizations and 144 ICU patients on average each day, up from 285 and 135 for the week prior.

— Katie Murar

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June 15, 2:30 PM

FITNESS, RETAIL

24 Hour Fitness Worldwide Inc. plans to shut seven Orange County clubs – including its well-known Lakeshore Towers facility alongside the 405 freeway in Irvine -- after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as a result of the coronavirus.

The seven shut locations are Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Laguna Hills, Westminister, Anaheim’s Garden Walk, the Irvine Spectrum Sport and the Lakeshore Towers Ultra Sport on Irvine’s Von Karman Avenue.

— Peter J. Brennan

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June 15, 11:45 AM

TOURISM & MARKETING

IMG confirmed this year's Vans U.S. Open of Surfing is canceled in a move to stem the spread of COVID-19. The nine-day event was originally slated to take place across nine days in Huntington Beach beginning Aug. 1.

It is expected to return to Huntington Beach next year.

— Kari Hamanaka

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June 12, 2:15 PM

HEALTHCARE

There have been 166 new coronavirus cases reported each day on average in the past week, up just slightly from 165 the week prior, and 139 for the week ending May 29.

There were 2,828 average daily tests done in the week ending June 11, down from 3,705 for the prior week. About 174,298 tests have been conducted to date, with 8,153 people testing positive, or 4.7%.

Of the total cases, 866 are from senior living facilities, and 385 are from Orange County jails; just five new cases have been reported from OC jails in the past week.

Eight new deaths were reported Friday, including four from senior living facilities, bringing the total to 210 deaths.

Santa Ana, Anaheim and Los Alamitos continue to have the highest cases per capita, while Placentia represents a growing hotspot, with nearly 29 cases per 10,000 residents, up from 25.6 a week ago.

For the week ending June 10, the last day hospital data was available, there were 295 hospitalizations and 139 ICU patients on average each day, up from 279 and 123 for the week prior.

— Katie Murar

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June 11, 2:45 PM

HEALTHCARE

Orange County is taking steps to enter its third phase of reopening as a result of the region’s lower per capita case and death rates, according to the county Health Care Agency.

Additional businesses, such as movie theaters, gyms, and wineries, as well as schools, day camps and campgrounds will be allowed to reopen in the county based on an order effective tomorrow.

Orange County has a death rate of 6.3 deaths per 100,000 residents, nearly half the state’s rate of 12.2 deaths per 100,000 residents; and an infection rate of nearly 250 cases per 100,000 residents, about 28% lower than the state rate of 347 cases per 100,000 residents.

Face masks will no longer be required in public, but still strongly recommended, according to Orange County Health Care Agency Director Dr. Clayton Chau, who is also serving as the interim public health officer in the wake of the resignation of Dr. Nichole Quick, who stepped down earlier this week after facing pushback over the mandate, first issued in late May.

There have been 184 new coronavirus cases reported each day on average in the past week, up from 147 the week prior, and 131 for the week ending May 28.

There were 3,163 average daily tests done in the week ending June 10, down from 3,631 for the prior week. About 172,072 tests have been conducted to date, with 7,987 people testing positive, or 4.6%.

Of the total cases, 846 are from senior living facilities, and 385 are from Orange County jails. Four new deaths were reported Thursday, including two from senior living facilities, bringing the total to 202 deaths.

For the week ending June 9, the last day hospital data was available, there were 294 hospitalizations and 142 ICU patients on average each day, up from 280 and 129 for the week prior.

— Katie Murar

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June 11, 12 PM

RESTAURANTS

BJ's Restaurants Inc. updated investors on its business Thursday as it continues to reopen dining rooms. The Huntington Beach-based company said it has been able to reopen 178 dining rooms after having to temporarily shutter that side of the business in response to COVID-19.

More recent protests and related curfews that had been rolled out in some cities contributed to what's so far been a decline in current quarter restaurant sales. Still, the company said it expects business to turn cash flow positive as more reopenings occur.

— Kari Hamanaka

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June 10, 3:55 PM

HEALTHCARE

There have been 162 new coronavirus cases reported each day on average in the past week, up from 145 the week prior, and 132 for the week ending May 27.

There were 3,118 average daily tests done in the week ending June 9, down from 3,637 for the prior week. About 168,158 tests have been conducted to date, with 7,737 people testing positive, or 4.6%.

Of the total cases, 833 are from senior living facilities, and 384 are from Orange County jails. 13 new deaths were reported Wednesday, including six from senior living facilities, bringing the total to 198 deaths.

Orange County has a death rate of 1.7 deaths per 100,000 residents in the past two weeks, lower than the state’s rate of 2.2 deaths per 100,000 residents, according to a state database.

For the week ending June 8, the last day hospital data was available, there were 294 hospitalizations and 146 ICU patients on average each day, up from 279 and 120 for the week prior.

— Katie Murar

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June 10, 3:20 PM

TOURISM

Disneyland Resort proposed plans Wednesday to reopen the Anaheim theme park, hotels and Downtown Disney shopping district starting next month, pending government approvals.

Downtown Disney is slated to begin reopening first on July 9, followed by the phased reopening of Disneyland and California Adventure on July 17.

— Katie Murar

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June 10, 12:30 PM

RETAIL

South Coast Plaza said it will reopen its doors Thursday, after nearly three months of being temporarily closed.

The shopping center, which originally closed in March in response to the state's stay-at-home order, reopens with 100 of its retailers and restaurants. More businesses are expected to reopen over the next several weeks, the center said.

— Kari Hamanaka

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June 9, 3:15 PM

HEALTHCARE

Dr. Nichole Quick, who has been the subject of public criticism due to a face mask order she mandated in late May, resigned Monday evening as Orange County’s chief health officer.

The Orange County Medical Association released a Tuesday statement regarding the resignation, saying it is “appalled at the personal threats and willful ignorance by some members of our community that ultimately led to her resignation.”

— Katie Murar

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June 9, 3:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

Average daily coronavirus cases appear to be trending down, with Tuesday marking the third day in a row that the trailing seven days represented a decrease in new cases over the preceding day.

About 160 new coronavirus cases were reported each day on average, which is down from the average of 180 reported Saturday, though it’s up from the week prior, when 145 average daily coronavirus cases were reported for the week ending June 2.

There are 7,614 cases reported to date, which include 821 senior living residents and 384 jail inmates. Just five cases have come from Orange County jails in the past week.

Nearly 165,000 tests have been conducted to date; among those tested, 4.6% have been positive, down from 4.8% the prior week.

Cases from Anaheim and Santa Ana continue to increase on a weekly basis, with 475 reported in the past week, up from 451 the week prior.

There were 35 deaths reported in the past week, up from 19 the week prior, with 185 deaths occurring to date. About 46% of total deaths have been in senior living facilities.

For the week ending June 7, the last day hospital data was available, there were 290 hospitalizations on average each day, up from 280 for the week prior.

— Katie Murar

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June 8, 3:07 PM

HEALTHCARE

No deaths from the coronavirus were reported for the past 24 hours, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

This is the fourth time in the past 30 days where no deaths were reported. Altogether, 177 people, including 85 in nursing homes, have died in Orange County from the virus. About 77% of the deceased were over 65 years old.

The number of new cases today fell to 113, down from the highest ever spike of 294 on June 5 and 271 on June 6. The average number of new daily cases for the week ended today was 161, compared with 147 a week ago. Orange County has conducted 161,547 tests to date.

— Peter Brennan

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June 8, 9:00 AM

REGULATORY

California counties continue phased reopening of business, with hotels, gyms and bars the latest wave to reopen this week. The latest guidance also includes campgrounds, RV parks, racetracks, family entertainment centers, museums, galleries, zoos, aquariums, and wineries.

— Kari Hamanaka

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June 5, 3:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

Nearly 4.6% of Orange County residents have tested positive for the coronavirus to date, lower than the statewide percentage of 5.5%.

Orange County has tested 2,986 people each day on average in the week ending June 4, down from 3,23 tests the week prior, according to the Health Care Agency, which has said testing figures can be volatile, and daily figures are sometimes amended at later dates.

About 5% of people tested positive in the past week, up from 4% the week prior. In the past 10 days, 4.5% tested positive, up from 4.2% from the prior 10 days.

There were 169 new coronavirus cases reported each day on average in the last week, up from 143 reported the week prior.

For the week ending June 3, the last day data was available, there were 279 hospitalizations on average each day, up slightly from 271 for the week prior.

There were nine deaths reported Friday, including eight from skilled nursing facilities. There are 174 deaths to date, including 84 senior living residents and no jail inmates.

— Katie Murar

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June 4, 3:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

There were 152 average daily coronavirus cases for the week ending June 4, up from 135 for the week ending May 28, and from 120 for the prior week.

Testing figures have decreased in the past week, with 3,061 tests conducted each day on average compared with 3,306 the week prior.

The Orange County Health Care Agency said testing figures can be volatile, and decreases or fluctuations in the number of people tested is largely a result of demand, and whether residents are choosing to get tested or not.

The county is more closely examining case figures and hospitalizations; the latter has increased to 280 hospitalizations for the week ending June 2, the last day data was available, from 266 the prior week, while ICU patients have increased to 129 from 117.

The cities with the highest cases per capita are Los Alamitos with 73 cases per 10,000 residents; Santa Ana with 39; and Anaheim with 33.

There were seven new deaths reported Thursday, including six senior living residents, bringing the total to 165 deaths, including 76 senior living residents and no jail inmates.

There have been 6,783 cases to date in the county, nearly 17% of which have come from senior living facilities and Orange County jails.

— Katie Murar

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June 3, 4:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

New coronavirus cases ticked up for the week ending June 3, with 151 average cases reported each day, up from 135 from the week prior.

Eight new deaths were reported Wednesday, seven of which came from senior living facilities. There have been 158 deaths to date, about 44% of which were senior living residents.

About 140,843 of the county’s 3.2 million residents have been tested to date, with 4.7% testing positive in total. There are 6,678 total Orange County cases, including 746 senior living residents and 379 jail inmates.

Hospitalizations appear to be flattening, with 279 hospitalizations reported as of Monday, which marked the third consecutive day in which the preceding seven days marked a decline from the day prior.

— Katie Murar

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June 3, 2:50 PM

RETAIL

Irvine-based Tilly's Inc. (NYSE: TLYS) said 160 of its 239 stores have so far been reopened as states' ease COVID-19 restrictions.

The chain said the stores in operation are so far seeing traffic down 34% for the current August quarter, with same-store sales up 1.2%.

The update also came with results for the company's first quarter ended in May, which saw misses on both the top and bottom lines.

— Kari Hamanaka

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June 2, 3:15 p.m.

HEALTHCARE

Fewer Orange County residents appear to be testing positive for coronavirus, even on lower testing figures, according to the health care agency.

About 2,675 tests were conducted each day on average in the past week, down from 3,533 tests the week prior. Meanwhile, fewer people tested positive during that time frame, with 3.2% testing positive in the past week, down from 4.8% the week prior.

About 136,100 of the county’s 3.2 million residents have been tested to date, with 4.2% testing positive in total.

There were 151 new coronavirus cases reported each day on average for the week ending June 2, down from 155 the week prior.

There are 6,574 total Orange County cases, including 717 senior living residents and 379 jail inmates. There have been 150 deaths to date, including 63 senior living residents and no jail inmates.

Residents in senior living facilities have represented nearly 15% of new cases in the past week, and 52% of new deaths.

— Katie Murar

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June 1, 3:45 p.m.

HEALTHCARE

There were 152 new coronavirus cases reported each day on average for the week ending June 1, up from 148 the week prior.

About 2,550 tests were conducted each day on average in the past week, down from 3,449 tests the week prior.

About 132,075 of the county’s 3.2 million residents have been tested to date, with 4.9% testing positive, down slightly from the week prior.

There are 6,474 total Orange County cases, including 665 senior living residents and 377 jail inmates.

New deaths continue to slow, with 16 new deaths reported in the past week, less than half the 43 deaths reported the week prior. There are 147 deaths in the county to date, including 61 senior living residents and no jail inmates.

Garden Grove saw a jump in new cases in the past week, increasing 25% to 350. Anaheim and Santa Ana continue to represent the bulk of new cases, generating 45% of the county’s total in the past week.

— Katie Murar

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June 1, 10:00 a.m.

RETAIL

South Coast Plaza nixed plans to reopen today as a result of protests in and outside of the county over the weekend, which prompted an 8 p.m. curfew in Costa Mesa.

The mall has been closed since March 17 and has not set a new reopening date.

— Katie Murar

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May 29, 2:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

There were 148 new coronavirus cases reported each day on average for the week ending May 29, up from 115 the week prior, when cases appeared to be flattening.

Testing is up slightly this week, with 2,410 people tested each day on average, compared to 2,339 the week prior, but down from 2,687 for the week ending May 15.

About 116,279 of the county’s 3.2 million residents have been tested to date, with 5% testing positive, down slightly from the week prior.

There are 5,923 total Orange County cases, including 667 senior living residents and 375 jail inmates. More than 480 cases have come from Anaheim and Santa Ana in the past week, representing nearly half of the county total in that time frame.

There have been 27 new deaths in the past week, down from 34 deaths the week prior. There are 145 deaths in the county to date, including 60 senior living residents and no jail inmates.

About 41% of all deaths have been in senior living facilities; more than half of all deaths have been among people older than 75. People younger than 55 represent the smallest portion of deaths, about 14% in total.

— Katie Murar

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May 28, 3:00 PM

JOBS

The Orange County unemployment rate will average 8.2% this year and 6% in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic-caused recession, said California State University-Fullerton economist Mira Farka, in an increase over numbers forecast a little more than a month ago.

— Kevin Costelloe

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May 27, 3:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

There were 137 new coronavirus cases reported each day on average for the week ending May 27, down slightly from 138 the week prior.

Testing continues to pick back up, with 2,497 people tested each day on average in the past week, up from 2,123 for the week prior. About 109,000 of the county’s 3.2 million residents have been tested to date, with 5% testing positive.

There are 5,646 total Orange County cases, incduding 617 senior living residents and 369 jail inmates. More than 420 cases have come from Anaheim and Santa Ana in the past week, representing nearly half of the county total in that time frame.

Five new deaths were reported Wednesday, including two from senior living facilities, with 136 total deaths reported to date, including 54 senior living residents and no jail inmates.

Average daily hospitalizations for the week ending May 26 was 235, including 91 ICU patients, up from 222 and 82 for the week ending May 19. The county tracks data from 25 hospitals totaling 5,903 beds, including 1,024 recently added to account for COVID-19.

— Katie Murar

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May 26, 5:30 PM

TECHNOLOGY/TOURISM

BlizzCon, which consistently drew about 40,000 attendees to the Anaheim Convention Center in the fall, won’t be held this year due to effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Irvine-based Blizzard Entertainment Inc., a unit of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) in Santa Monica, is OC’s largest software maker by employee count, with about 2,800 local workers and its annual fanfest is one of the larger shows at the convention center.

— Kevin Costelloe

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May 26, 4:30 PM

TOURISM

John Wayne Airport continues to feel effects of the coronavirus, reporting a 97% drop in passengers last month to 25,313, following a 63% drop in March.

All flights to and from the airport fell 51% in April to 13,085 with general aviation declining 40% to 11,300 flights and 86% of all flight operations.

— Katie Murar

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May 26, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

There were 158 new coronavirus cases reported each day on average for the week ending May 26, up from 129 for the week prior.

Testing has also ticked up, with 2,294 people tested each day on average in the past week, up from 2,175 for the week prior.

There are 5,578 total Orange County cases, with 1,995 people having recovered as of Tuesday, according to the Health Care Agency, which started tracking recoveries today.

The total cases include 574 senior living residents and 366 jail inmates.

No new deaths were reported for the second day in a row, with 131 total deaths reported to date, including 52 senior living residents and no jail inmates.

Average daily hospitalizations for the week ending May 25 was 232, including 90 ICU patients, up from 221, and down from 94, for the week ending May 18. The county tracks data from 25 hospitals totaling 5,903 beds, including 1,024 recently added to account for COVID-19.

Cases surged in Santa Ana in the past week, with 257 reported, bringing its total to 1,032. Only 16 cases came from Santa Ana and Orange jails in the past week.

— Katie Murar

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May 26, 3:30 PM

SERVICES

Hair salons and barbershops may reopen for business in Orange County and other counties that have approved attestations from the state. The update was confirmed by Gov. Gavin Newsom at a COVID-19 update today.

It's the latest lift on business restrictions in California's phased reopening and follows OC's approved attestation Saturday, leading to the reopening of in-restaurant dining and in-store shopping with various health and safety protocols put in place.

— Kari Hamanaka

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May 26, 2:00 PM

RETAIL

South Coast Plaza will open June 1, a spokesperson for the center confirmed. OC's largest shopping center has been closed since March 17 and recently launched a coordinated curbside program for the more than 70 boutiques and over a dozen restaurants offering the service.

The news follows OC's approval on Saturday of moving into an expanded version of California's stage two reopening plan. That was later followed Monday by the Governor's approval of re-opening in-store retail shopping statewide, with local government approval.

— Kari Hamanaka

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May 26, 10:30 AM

RETAIL

Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG) opens its Orange County malls Tuesday.

That means the doors officially reopen at the Brea Mall, Shops at Mission Viejo and Outlets at Orange. The properties reopen with a raft of additional health and safety measures, Simon Property said.

The mall news follow the County's approval Saturday from the state to move into an expanded version of stage two reopening that includes in-store shopping and in-restaurant dining, with social distancing, face coverings and enhanced sanitation protocols in place.

— Kari Hamanaka

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May 23, 2:30 PM

GOVERNMENT & POLICY

Orange County's attestation has been approved by the California Department of Public Health, giving in-restaurant dining and malls the OK to reopen with modifications to building capacities and other health and safety guidelines outlined by the state.

The approval moves OC into an expanded version of Gov. Gavin Newsom's phased reopening of California.

The full guidelines by industry can be found here.

— Kari Hamanaka

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May 22, 2:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

Friday marked the first day in nearly two weeks that new coronavirus cases reported each day on average per week declined over the week prior.

There were 121 new coronavirus cases reported each day on average for the week ending May 22, down from 128 reported for the week ending May 15.

There were 108 new cases reported Friday, bringing the OC total to 4,941, which includes 559 senior living residents and 365 jail inmates.

Six deaths were reported today, five of which were from senior living facilities. There have been 118 deaths to date, including 45 senior living residents and no jail inmates.

Santa Ana and Orange, home to the jails included in the report, have 1,108 total cases, or 885 and 233, respectively. Cases in Santa Ana are up 30% from 683 cases last week; Orange is up 22% from 191 cases.

In order to take steps to reopen, fewer than 8% of residents are expected to test positive for coronavirus over a 7-day period. In the past week, just 3% of OC residents tested positive, down from 4.4% a week prior.

— Katie Murar

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May 21, 10:05 PM

JOBS

Orange County’s jobless rate jumped to 13.8% and the county lost more than 222,000 jobs in April, the first full month of the shutdown rules. OC’s rate was lower than the state and national unemployment figures.

After nine weeks of coronavirus effects on employment, about 39 million Americans are out of work, news reports today said.

— Peter J. Brennan

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May 21, 2:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

There were about 128 new COVID-19 cases reported each day on average in the past week, up just slightly from the 127 reported for the week ending May 14.

There were 115 new cases reported Thursday, bringing the OC total to 4,841, which includes 532 senior living residents and 364 jail inmates.

Fourteen deaths were reported today, the largest increase to date, including 10 from senior living facilities. There have been 112 deaths to date, including 40 senior living residents and no jail inmates.

Testing for the county has slipped in the past week, with 1,515 tests done last week, down from 2,613 tests the week prior.

In order to take steps to reopen, fewer than 8% of residents are expected to test positive for coronavirus over a 7-day period. In the past week, about 8.2% of OC residents tested positive, up from 4.7% a week prior when more tests were conducted.

Also, counties should report no greater than a 5% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations over a 7-day period. Hospitalizations have increased 5.6% in the past week in Orange County, with 247 cases hospitalized as of Wednesday, including 89 ICU patients based on data from 25 OC hospitals.

— Katie Murar

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May 21, 10:45 AM

RESTAURANTS

Taco Bell restaurants intends to boost its workforce by 30,000 this summer. Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp. said the hiring spree includes a collective effort across company-owned, licensed and franchised restaurants and will fill both new and existing positions.

The ramp comes as restaurant operators look to adapt to new guidelines that emphasize social distancing and increased sanitation measures as states and counties reopen for business.

— Kari Hamanaka

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May 20, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

New coronavirus cases in Orange County jumped for the week ending May 20, with 145 reported on average each day in the past week, up from 108 for the week ending May 13.

There were 249 new cases reported Wednesday, the highest daily increase yet, bringing the OC total to 4,742, which includes 514 senior living residents and 360 jail inmates

Huntington Beach, which has seen a surge in cases due to several outbreaks at senior living facilities, had 29 new cases reported in total in the past week, down slightly from 34 new cases in the week prior.

Ten new deaths were reported Wednesday, including seven from senior living facilities. There have been 98 deaths to date, including 30 senior living residents and no jail inmates.

According to Governor Gavin Newsom, California counties should report zero new deaths in two weeks before reopening.

Testing has slipped in the past week, with 1,449 reported each day on average, compared to 2,701 for the week prior.

Average daily hospitalizations for the week ending May 19 was 222, including 82 ICU patients, up from 206 and 81 for the week ending May 12. There are currently 253 cases hospitalized including 93 in intensive care units, based on data from 25 OC hospitals. The county tracks data from 25 hospitals totaling 5,903 beds, including 1,024 recently added to account for COVID-19.

— Katie Murar

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May 20, 2:40 PM

RETAIL

Shares of Irvine Western retailer Boot Barn Holdings Inc. (NYSE: BOOT) fell in after-hours trading on the company's results for its fiscal fourth quarter ended March 28.

The company, like many retailers, was hit hard by the impact of COVID-19. Most of its stores remained open during the pandemic, playing up essential gear, although those doors operated on fewer hours and saw less traffic.

Boot Barn did not provide guidance for the current quarter or full year, citing continued uncertainty around the pandemic's impact.

— Kari Hamanaka

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May 19, 2:45 PM

HEALTHCARE

New coronavirus cases in Orange County continue to increase on a weekly basis, with 132 reported on average each day in the past week, up from 104 for the week ending May 12.

There were 75 new cases reported Tuesday, bringing the OC total to 4,500, which includes 513 senior living residents and 350 jail inmates.

Los Alamitos currently has the highest cases per capita, with 54 cases per 10,000 residents. The North Orange County city currently has 63 cases out of 11,721 residents. The figure is up more than 50% from the week prior, when it had 41 total cases.

Tuesday was the second day in a row that no new deaths were reported. There have been 88 total deaths to date, including 23 senior living residents and no jail inmates.

Average daily hospitalizations for the week ending May 18 was 221, including 85 ICU patients, up from 198 and 77 for the week ending May 11, There are currently 229 cases hospitalized including 86 in intensive care units, based on data from 24 OC hospitals. The county tracks data from 25 hospitals totaling 5,903 beds, including 1,024 recently added to account for COVID-19.

— Katie Murar

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May 18, 3:35 PM

HEALTHCARE

New coronavirus cases in Orange County continue to increase on a weekly basis, with 131 reported on average each day in the past week, up from 105 for the week ending May 11.

Several North Orange County cities continue to serve as hotspots for new cases, with Anaheim, Santa Ana, Orange and Buena Park generating almost half of all new cases in the past week.

There were 59 new cases reported Monday, bringing the OC total to 4,434, which includes 461 senior living residents and 350 jail inmates.

No new deaths were reported Monday. There have been 88 total deaths to date, including 23 senior living residents and no jail inmates.

Testing has dipped in the past week, with 1,595 people tested each day on average, down from 2,715 the prior week, and 2,199 from the week prior.

About 80,500 of the county’s 3.2 million residents have received tests as of May 18.

In order to reopen, the county is expected to report 1.5 tests per 1,000 residents each day; for the week ending May 18, there were about 0.5 tests per 1,000 county residents conducted each day on average.

— Katie Murar

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May 18, 3:30 PM

PUBLIC POLICY

California Governor Gavin Newsom revealed additional lifts of business restrictions in the state's phased reopening during a press conference Monday.

The Governor said in-store retail, salons and live sporting events without on-site audiences could resume operations as early as the next few weeks, or right around early June, in most of the state's counties.

California is currently in a limited version of stage two that has allowed for curbside retail, childcare, logistics and manufacturing to reopen.

— Kari Hamanaka

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May 15, 2:45 PM

HEALTHCARE

New coronavirus cases in Orange County continue to increase on a weekly basis, with 131 reported on average each day in the past week, up from 99 for the week ending May 8.

There were 158 new cases reported Friday, bringing the OC total to 4,125, which includes 430 senior living residents and 335 jail inmates.

Four new deaths were reported Friday, all from senior living facilities. There have been 84 total deaths to date, including 21 senior living residents and no jail inmates.

Testing is also increasing, with 66,267 of the county’s 3.2 million residents receiving tests as of May 15.

In order to reopen, the county is expected to report 1.5 tests per 1,000 residents each day; for the week ending May 14, there were about 0.6 tests per 1,000 county residents conducted each day on average.

— Katie Murar

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May 15, 10:30 AM

HEALTHCARE

University of California-Irvine and the Orange County Health Care Agency will conduct serology testing of 5,000 area residents, the two organizations said. The data derived from testing is expected to guide businesses and other organizations in assessing and adapting to COVID-19.

— Peter J. Brennan

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May 15, 9:10 AM

APPAREL/RETAIL

Shares of VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC), the parent to Costa Mesa-based Vans Inc., took a tumble Friday on its disappointing results for the fourth quarter and uncertain outlook in the current quarter.

Vans sales were down 6% in the quarter ended March 28, but the business ended the full year up 10%.

— Kari Hamanaka

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May 14, 6:00 PM

TECHNOLOGY

Lantronix reported some growth as well as supply chain disruptions from COVID-19 in its most recent quarter. Revenue grew 34% year-over-year and beat analyst estimates.

— Kevin Costelloe

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May 14, 5:10 PM

RETAIL

South Coast Plaza has created a coordinated effort across its tenants offering curbside pick-up with SCP 2 Go. The pick-up program, which launches Friday at 11 a.m., allows for retailers and restaurants at the upscale center an organized and streamlined approach to curbside.

Customers order through a retailer, receive one of five color-coded areas to drive to for pick-up and wait in a numbered space for their order to be delivered to their vehicle.

More than 70 tenants are currently part of SCP 2 Go.

— Kari Hamanaka

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May 14, 3:45 PM

HEALTHCARE

New coronavirus cases in Orange County surged for the week ending May 14, with 129 reported on average each day, up from 102 for the week ending May 7.

Anaheim and Santa Ana continue to lead county increases. The two cities, which have a combined population of nearly 700,000, represented 44% of total new cases in the past week.

There were 229 new cases reported Thursday, the largest single-day increase to date; 36% of those new cases came from Santa Ana; 15% came from Anaheim.

There are 3,968 total OC cases, which includes 407 senior living residents and 331 jail inmates.

No new deaths were reported Thursday, with 80 total deaths to date; that figure includes 17 senior living residents and no jail inmates.

Testing is also increasing, with 61,619 of the county’s 3.2 million residents receiving tests as of May 14.

In order to reopen, the county is expected to report 1.5 tests per 1,000 residents each day; for the week ending May 13, there were about 0.5 tests per 1,000 county residents conducted each day on average.

— Katie Murar

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May 13, 3:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

There were 110 new coronavirus cases reported each day on average in the past week, up slightly from 107 for the week ending May 6, and 71 for the week prior.

There were 157 new cases reported Wednesday, bringing the county total to 3,749, which includes 400 senior living residents and 322 jail inmates.

Three new deaths were reported Wednesday, bringing the county total to 80; that figure includes 17 senior living residents and no jail inmates.

About 57,167 of the county’s 3.2 million residents have been tested to date.

— Katie Murar

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May 13, 10:20 AM

RESTAURANTS

A detailed set of guidelines from the state for in-restaurant dining was released for when counties get the greenlight to move on to an expanded version of stage two under Gov. Gavin Newsom's phased reopening. Orange County is not currently one of those.

When in-restaurant dining resumes, the experience will be different. Self-serve stations and tableside service are out. Shared items, such as condiments on tables, are to be sanitized after each use where single-serve containers can't be used.

A link to the full set of guidelines can be found here.

— Kari Hamanaka

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May 12, 3:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

There were 106 new coronavirus cases reported each day on average in the past week, up slightly from 104 for the week ending May 5, with inland cities continuing to drive increases.

Anaheim and Santa Ana generated almost half of new cases in the past week, while other inland cities in North OC, like Garden Grove and Orange, continue to represent hotspots.

Meanwhile, coastal cities that initially saw higher case counts continue to decrease on a weekly basis.

There are about 3,602 cases as of Tuesday, including 374 senior living residents and 259 OC jail inmates. There have been 77 deaths, including 18 senior living residents and no jail inmates.

About 54,769 of the county’s 3.2 million residents have been tested to date.

As of Monday, there were 230 current hospitalizations including 100 ICU patients. Average daily hospitalizations have increased from 189 to 198 for the week ending May 11, while ICU patients have also increased in that time frame from 61 to 77.

The county tracks data from 25 hospitals totaling 5,903 beds, including 1,024 recently added to account for COVID-19.

— Katie Murar

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May 12, 1:25 PM

RETAIL

Malls will operate in limited capacity when they do reopen, per the latest release of reopening guidelines from Gov. Gavin Newsom Tuesday.

Malls will be able to offer curbside service, with designated pickup areas suggested alongside signage encouraging social distancing. Facilities are advised to maintain no more than 50% capacity and shutter carousels and other children's play areas. Reopenings are contingent on individual county guidelines. Orange County is currently in a limited stage reopening, with malls not able to resume businesses until a later point in the phase.

— Kari Hamanaka

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May 12, 10:50 AM

MANUFACTURING

Red Digital Cinema Camera Co. has begun the process of slowly reopening its doors. The Irvine-based maker of professional cameras updated its customer base with the latest on its workforce, including the reopening of headquarters in a limited capacity.

The company said it expects to begin shipping orders at the end of this week, with returns beginning to be processed in about two weeks.

— Kari Hamanaka

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May 12, 9:00 AM

TECHNOLOGY

An Anaheim-based crowd-tracking technology firm was bought by a London-based company doing similar work. The local firm, iinside, is giving up its name; the London-based buyer, CrowdVision Inc., is moving its HQ to OC, according to the companies.

The combined company plans to offer crowd tracking—including its flow, motion, behavior, individual body temperatures, analytics—to airports, stadiums, casinos, transportation centers, malls, and other large venues.

— Kevin Costelloe

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May 11, 1:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

There were 111 new coronavirus cases reported each day on average for the week ending May 11, up from 100 for the week prior and 65 for the week ending April 20.

Nearly 30 new cases emerged from Newport Beach over the weekend, a city that had seen relatively few new cases in recent weeks, with the city attributing the case spikes to outbreaks at “local care facilities where patients and staff have tested positive.”

“We may have more cases as additional patients and staff are tested,” the city said in a statement.

There were 55 new cases and no new deaths reported Monday, with 3,557 cases and 76 deaths to date. More than 20% of the county’s deaths were from senior living facilities; about a quarter of OC deaths have occurred in the past week.

Anaheim has generated about 15% of new cases in the past week; Santa Ana has generated about 30% of new cases.

Nearly 53,000 of the county’s 3.2 million people have been tested to date.

— Katie Murar

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May 8, 2:50 PM

HEALTHCARE

While average daily coronavirus cases on a weekly basis surpassed 100 once again, cases for the preceding seven days declined Friday for the second day in a row, with 103 cases reported each day for the week ending May 8.

The figure is up slightly from 98 for the week ending May 1, and 50 for the week ending April 24.

Hospitalizations are also on the rise, with 189 average daily hospitalizations for the week ending May 7, up from 170 for the week ending April 30. There has been a decrease in ICU patients in the past two weeks, from 65 to 64 for the week ending May 7. The county tracks data from 25 hospitals totaling 5,903 beds, including 1,024 recently added to account for COVID-19.

There were 153 new cases reported Friday and 5 new deaths, bringing the total to 71, including 16 senior housing residents.

There are 3,240 total cases in OC including 251 inmates at jails in Santa Ana and Orange, and 316 from senior housing facilities.

North of 46,400 people have been tested to date.

— Katie Murar

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May 8, 2:45 PM

RETAIL

Irvine retailer Tilly's Inc. (NYSE: TLYS) said it will begin opening some stores, roughly 26, at the end of next week as it updated investors Friday on its business. The 26 stores slated for reopening are located in Arizona, Utah, Florida and Texas.

Uncertainty on the timeline for openings of the bulk of the store fleet in California remains. Some 40% of the company's stores are located in the state, with those doors pulling in about half of the company's brick-and-mortar revenue last year.

Revenue across physical stores and digital for the retailer slumped 40.7% during its first quarter ended May 2 to $77.3 million.

— Kari Hamanaka

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May 7, 3 PM

GOVERNMENT

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced more specific guidelines for businesses as the state begins to slowly lift a stay-at-home order that's been in effect for nearly two months now.

The industry-specific guides, available on the state's Resilience Roadmap site, reiterate many of the protocols that have been in place for several weeks now, including frequent handwashing and social distancing.

Sectors such as manufacturing, logistics and retail (for curbside service only) are set to resume operations beginning Friday.

The business guidelines can be found by clicking here.

— Kari Hamanaka

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May 7, 2:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

Coronavirus cases in Orange County continue to increase with 104 reported each day on average in the past week, up from 80 and 56 from the two preceding weeks.

Weekly data suggested the county had experienced a dip in new cases for more than a week before they started to climb once more due to new increases from inland cities, as coastal cities that initially saw high per capita increases have been on the decline.

Anaheim, which represents about 10% of the county’s total population, represented 15% of new cases in the past week, while Santa Ana, Orange and Garden Grove also represent hot spots for new cases.

Hospitalizations are also on the rise, with 188 average daily hospitalizations for the week ending May 6, up from 165 for the week ending April 29. There has been a decrease in ICU patients in the past two weeks, from 65 to 62 for the week ending May 6. The county tracks data from 25 hospitals totaling 5,903 beds, including 1,024 recently added to account for COVID-19.

There are 3,092 total cases and 66 deaths to date in Orange County; north of 43,400 people have been tested to date. About two-thirds of the county’s deaths have happened in the past three weeks; 21 have occurred in the past seven days.

— Katie Murar

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May 7, 2:30 PM

RESTAURANTS

BJ's Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: BJRI) reported first-quarter results, missing consensus estimates on both revenue and earnings as the coronavirus tamped down on performance. The chain is slowly reopening locations in line with restriction lifts in individual states, with about 27% of its doors' dining rooms now open to handle a limited number of guests.

Despite the tough quarter, the company is steadfast on a longer term plan to grow the chain to at least 425 restaurants nationally.

— Kari Hamanaka

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May 6, 3:45 PM

HEALTHCARE

Average coronavirus cases reported daily for the preceding seven days surpassed 100 for the third day in a row, with 110 average cases reported for the week ending May 6, the highest to date.

It’s up from 71 cases reported the following week, and 54 for the week ending April 22.

Anaheim continues to represent the largest increases in cases with 18 average daily cases reported in the past week, while cases in Santa Ana reflect a decrease after the county pulled out cases reported Orange County jails and moved it to the “other” category, which has 218 cases.

Testing figures have also increased, with 1,240 people tested each day on average in the past week; up from 1,179 tests the week prior.

Hospitalizations are also on the rise, with 189 average daily hospitalizations for the week ending May 5, up from 161 for the week ending April 28. There has been a decrease in ICU patients in the past two weeks, from 65 to 61 for the week ending May 5. The county tracks data from 25 hospitals totaling 5,903 beds, including 1,024 recently added to account for COVID-19.

There are about 3,000 total cases and 65 deaths to date in Orange County; north of 39,000 people have been tested to date.

— Katie Murar

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May 6, 3:05 PM

TECHNOLOGY/FINANCE

Data analytics software maker Alteryx Inc. in Irvine said the coronavirus pandemic will hit its current quarter sales and it withdrew guidance for the year in a quarterly report today. It said revenue in this period will be between $91 million and $95 million, below analyst expectations of $108 million. Shares fell in after-hours trading.

— Kevin Costelloe

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May 5, 3:15 PM

HEALTHCARE

Coronavirus cases in Orange County continue to increase with 106 reported each day on average in the past week, up from 66 and 56 from the two preceding weeks.

Weekly data suggested the county had experienced a dip in new cases for more than a week before they started to climb once more due to new increases from inland cities, predominately Santa Ana and Anaheim, as cities that initially saw high per capita increases have been on the decline (see graph).

Anaheim and Santa Ana, which have a combined population of nearly 700,000, have reported 257 new cases in the past week; Laguna Beach and Newport Beach, with a total population of about 111,000, have reported just 8 new cases in the past week.

Other emerging hotspots are Orange and Garden Grove, which have reported 50 and 53 new cases in the past week.

Hospitalizations are also on the rise, with 187 average daily hospitalizations for the week ending May 4, up from 159 for the week ending April 27. There has been a decrease in ICU patients in the past two weeks, from 66 to 61 for the week ending May 4. The county tracks data from 25 hospitals totaling 5,903 beds, including 1,024 recently added to account for COVID-19.

There are 2,873 total cases and 61 deaths to date in Orange County; north of 39,000 people have been tested to date.

— Katie Murar

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May 5, 3:00 PM

TOURISM

Walt Disney Co.’s parks and resorts unit reported a 58% drop in operating income for the second quarter ending March 28 as impacts of the coronavirus pandemic took hold at international and domestic parks, including Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.

Revenue for the segment dropped 10% to $5.5 billion, while total revenue for the Burbank-based entertainment company rose 21% to $18 billion.

Disneyland Resort, OC’s largest employer with 32,000 workers, has been closed since March 14; a reopening date hasn’t been publicly set.

— Katie Murar

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May 5, 2:00

TECHNOLOGY

Irvine-based Blizzard Entertainment’s parent company saw an increase in first-quarter profit, aided by more people gaming at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI) net revenue declined but beat the company’s projections; net income rose 13% and handily beat analyst estimates.

— Kevin Costelloe

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May 4, 5:00 PM

RESTAURANTS

Del Taco Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: TACO) is looking ahead and sees its value and positioning as a QSR a boon with social distancing and contactless protocols to remain in place for the next several months.

The company delivered its COVID-19 business update alongside its results for its first quarter ended March 24. The company ended the quarter with revenue of $109.8 million and an adjusted net loss of $300,000.

— Kari Hamanaka

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May 4, 3:45 PM

HEALTHCARE

Coronavirus cases in Orange County continue to rise, with 102 reported each day on average in the past week, up from 65 for the week ending April 27.

Weekly data suggested the county had experienced a dip in new cases for more than a week before they started to climb once more due to new increases from inland cities, as well as an increase in testing conducted by HCA’s public health lab and local commercial testing labs.

Anaheim and Santa Ana had 33 new cases reported each day on average in the past week, making up about one-third of the county total.

The cities of Garden Grove and Orange also saw sharp increases in new cases in the past week, with 14 cases reported on average each day for the two cities.

More than 1,500 people were tested each day on average last week, up from the 1,083 for the week prior.

There are 2,819 COVID-19 cases in OC to date, with 37,050 tests done as of Monday.

— Katie Murar

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May 4, 1 PM

GOVERNMENT

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday the state would begin a gradual lift of restrictions on business operations later this week. The state is moving into phase two of a multi-stage approach to reopening the state. The lift, effective Friday, allows retailers offering curbside service, manufacturing and logistics companies to reopen Friday. Malls and restaurant dining rooms are to remain closed, along with offices where workers are able to work from home.

— Kari Hamanaka

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May 1, 2:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

Testing figures for coronavirus in Orange County once again reached a new high, with 1,720 people tested each day on average for the past week, more than double the previous high set the week prior.

There have been nearly 100 new coronavirus cases reported each day on average for the week ending May 1, also more than double the 50 reported cases for the week ending April 24.

Anaheim and Santa Ana represented half of new daily cases on average in the past week.

Average daily hospitalizations for the week ending May 1 was 170, up from 149 for the week ending April 24. There are currently 181 cases hospitalized including 61 in intensive care units, based on data from 23 OC hospitals. The county tracks data from 25 hospitals totaling 5,903 beds, including 1,024 recently added to account for COVID-19. 

There are 2,537 COVID-19 cases in OC to date, with 34,128 tests done as of Friday.

— Katie Murar

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May 1, 1:45 PM

RESTAURANTS

BJ's Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: BJRI) said it raised $70 million from Act III Holdings LLC and T. Rowe Price Associates, bolstering the company's liquidity as it looks to slowly reopen restaurants in states were stay-at-home orders have lifted.

BJ's CEO Greg Trojan in a statement called the capital, "invaluable as we re-open our dining rooms."

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 30, 4:15 PM

HEALTHCARE

Coronavirus cases continue to spike alongside sharp increases in testing figures.

There have been 84 cases reported each day on average in Orange County in the past week, up from 56 for the week ending April 23. Testing figures have more than doubled over that time period, with 1,500 people tested each day on average last week, up from the 700 for the week prior.

Anaheim and Santa Ana, which represent about 20% of the county’s population, represented more than a third average daily cases reported in the past week.

Weekly data suggested the county had experienced a dip in new cases for more than a week before they started to climb once more due to new increases from inland cities, as well as an increase in testing conducted by HCA’s public health lab and local commercial testing labs.

There are 2,393 COVID-19 cases in OC to date, with 31,500 tests done as of Thursday.

— Katie Murar

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April 30, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

KPC Health in Santa Ana said it will reopen four OC hospitals, in line with state and federal guidelines for going back to work. The four are in Orange, Santa Ana and Anaheim and produce about $367 million in annual net patient revenue. KPC Health said it expects growth in general healthcare as the sites reopen.

— A. Leigh Corbett

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April 30, 1:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

UCI Medical Center in Orange will be one of three Calif. sites for clinical trials of a drug to treat the coronavirus. Gilead Sciences in San Dimas makes remdesivir, originally developed to treat the Ebola outbreak and now thought to hold promise for COVID-19. The FDA and White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci have said publicly the drug could be helpful.

— A. Leigh Corbett

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April 30, 12:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

A device cleared by the FDA in 2019 to help diagnose respiratory illness could help COVID-19 patients. Device maker MediPines Corp. in Newport Beach has released guidelines on using its AGM-100, currently approved for some respiratory diagnostic needs, to check for severity of coronavirus symptoms by tracking oxygen saturation levels.

— A. Leigh Corbett

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April 30, 12:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

MemorialCare is testing its South County health system members at the site of the now-closed Saddleback Memorial San Clemente Hospital site. The facility closed in 2016. Testing for its patients with a prescription for the procedure takes place weekdays.

— A. Leigh Corbett

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April 29, 4:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

Coronavirus cases continue to spike alongside sharp increases in testing figures, with Anaheim and Santa Ana representing nearly half of average daily cases reported in the past week.

Average daily increases for the county in the past week was 73, up from 54 for the week ending April 22.

Weekly data suggested the county had experienced a dip in new cases for more than a week before they started to climb once more due to new increases from inland cities, as well as an increase in testing conducted by HCA’s public health lab and local commercial testing labs.

Nearly 1,400 people have been tested each day on average in the past week; that’s more than twice the previous high of 691 reached last week, in the seven days ending April 22.

There are 2,252 COVID-19 cases in OC to date, with almost 30,000 tests done as of Wednesday.

— Kate Murar

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April 29, 1:40 PM

TECHNOLOGY

Alteryx (NYSE: AYX) will hold its May 20 annual meeting virtually the company said. The data analytics software maker traded recently at a $7.5 billion market cap.

Several OC public companies, including its largest, Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE: EW) plan to hold annual meetings in similar fashion.

— Kevin Costelloe

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April 29, 1:30 PM

AUTOMAKERS

Ford Motor Co. confirmed its luxury badge Lincoln would not be moving forward with plans to build an electric vehicle on Rivian Automotive's platform. Rivian, which has a sizable R&D footprint in Irvine, was to supply its skateboard-like platform for the project.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 29, 12:30 PM

AEROSPACE/JOBS

Panasonic Avionics will lay off about 10% of its roughly 2,000 workers in Lake Forest, according to state filings. The WARN item said the permanent cuts take effect this month. The OC jobless rate is expected to rise over the next several months, according to research by California State University-Fullerton economists.

— Kevin Costelloe

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April 28, 7:30 PM

PUBLIC POLICY

The Orange County Board of Supervisors approved a set of guidelines for businesses as the state readies for a phased approach to reopening. The guidelines encourage practices such as social distancing, temperature checks prior to shift starts and frequent handwashing for workers interfacing with the public.

Gov. Gavin Newsom revealed on Tuesday a four-stage approach to lifting the state's March 19 stay-at-home order. The plan has the state currently in stage one with low-risk businesses set to reopen first in stage two. Large-scale public gatherings, such as concerts and sporting events with live audiences, will be the last to re-open under the plan.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 28, 4:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

Coronavirus case increases continue to be led by Santa Ana and Anaheim, which have represented nearly half of average daily cases reported in the past week.

Weekly data suggested the county had experienced a dip in new cases for more than a week before they started to climb once more due to new increases from inland cities, predominately Santa Ana and Anaheim.

Average daily increases for the county in the past week was 68, up from 56 for the week ending April 21.

Testing figures continue to show increases, with with 1,179 people tested each day on average, up from 644 for the prior week, and 524 for the week ending April 14.

There are 2,151 COVID-19 cases in OC to date, with 27,737 tests done as of Tuesday.

— Katie Murar

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April 28, 12:10 PM

TECHNOLOGY/FINANCE

CalAmp Corp. returned a $10 million SBA loan secured under the federal Paycheck Protection Program. The telematics software maker said new Treasury Dept. guidance suggested publicly traded firms might no longer qualify for the coronavirus pandemic support funding,

— Kevin Costelloe

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April 28, 10:10 AM

RESTAURANTS

Software maker Restaurant365 said its free lending help can help restaurant businesses gain access to capital. It works with a Utah-based lending platform to find sources and navigate programs, including, it said, the second round of SBA funding flowing from the coronavirus pandemic.

— Jessie Yount

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April 28, 9:40 AM

CHEMICALS

American Vanguard Corp. (NYSE: AVD) in Newport Beach revised a credit facility with Bank of the West and other lenders, giving it financial maneuverability as the coronavirus pandemic affects global operations. The chemicals maker expects a 4% dip in worldwide sales when it reports results May 11. Its recent market cap was about $454 million.

— Paul Hughes

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April 28, 8:40 AM

RETAIL

The parent to Costa Mesa-based Vans Inc. said it would continue paying store employees in North America pay through May 30. VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC) of Denver also said its distribution center workers in the U.S. and Canada would see pay boosts through July.

The apparel conglomerate, with a recent market cap of $23 billion, said it's 'cautiously optimistic' as it looks ahead to the reopening stores.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 27, 3:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

Testing for coronavirus in Orange County has spiked in the past week, with 1,083 people tested each day on average, up from 656 for the prior week, and 527 for the week ending April 13.

Average daily coronavirus cases have also spiked, with 68 reported each day in the past week, up from 56 for the week ending April 20.

Case increases in the past week are led by Santa Ana, which had an average of 20 cases reported each day; and Anaheim, with an average of 12 cases reported each day. The two cities make up about 20% of the county’s population, and nearly half of new cases in the past week.

There are 2,126 COVID-19 cases in OC to date, with 26,347 tests done as of Monday.

— Katie Murar

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April 27, 1:50 PM

FINANCE

Seven OC public companies sought $35 million in SBA loans under stimulus packages to support small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. The Treasury Dept. has in guidance on receiving funds asked companies with other sources of financing to give the money back.

— Kevin Costelloe

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April 27, 11:30 AM

TOURISM

Cancelation of this summer’s Orange County Fair is expected to result in an economic impact loss of up to $350 million, the event’s board said Monday.

The event brings nearly 1.3 million visitors a year—about 30% of the OC Fair & Event Center’s 4.3 million overall annual total across 150 events—and employs more than 13,000 part-time workers.

— Katie Murar

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April 24, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

Weekly figures for new coronavirus cases in Orange County once again dipped slightly lower, with 51 average cases reported each day in the past week.

While case jumps in cities like Anaheim, Santa Ana and Huntington Beach have resulted in higher average daily cases for the county in the past several days, cities that initially saw high per capita increases have been on the decline, like Newport and Laguna Beach.

— Katie Murar

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April 24, 12 PM

FINANCE

President Trump signed off on a $484 billion coronavirus relief package Friday. Some $310 billion of the aid will replenish the Paycheck Protection Program. Hospitals, COVID-19 testing and community banks will also benefit from this latest stimulus.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 24, 8:30 AM

RESTAURANTS

Del Taco Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: TACO) executives have agreed to salary reductions. That includes a 20% reduction for CEO and President John Cappasola and 15% for the company's CFO and COO.

The declines in comparable sales for BJ's Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: BJRI) continue to be steep but the peak was reached for the week ended March 24 when same-store sales were down 82%. Comparable sales were down 70% for the week ended April 21.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 23, 4:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

Orange County had 59 new coronavirus cases reported each day on average in the past week, up from 51 for the week ending April 16.

The county had about 1,830 cases as of Thursday, with nearly 21,000 people receiving tests.

— Katie Murar

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April 23, 3:30 PM

RESTAURANTS

BJ’s Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: BJRI) of Huntington Beach filed a shelf offering with the Securities & Exchange Commission Thursday. The prospectus noted 125 million in authorized common stock and 5 million in authorized preferred stock.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 23, 2:55 PM

HEALTHCARE

Dental laser maker Biolase Inc. (Nasdaq: BIOL) said it needs the $3 million SBA loan it received as part of a pandemic relief package but the U.S. Treasury Dept. has asked public companies to return their loans (see item below) by May 7.

— A. Leigh Corbett

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April 23, 2:30 PM

FINANCE

The Treasury Department updated its guidelines for the Paycheck Protection Program Thursday. More specifically, it addressed concerns that had been brewing in more recent days about the publicly-traded companies approved for loans under the program, now stating it is unlikely most public firms qualify to receive the aid. The updated guideline also sets out a May 7 deadline for which PPP loans to public companies are to be returned.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 23, 10:30 AM

PHILANTHROPY

Irvine non-profit Working Wardrobes has begun offering some of its workshops through webinars as it switches to more video aid in response to the pandemic.

Elsewhere, Irvine-based Golden State Foods and its non-profit GSF Foundation said it was rallying its regional divisions to focus on giving back at the local level.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 22, 4:15 PM

HEALTHCARE

Last week’s trend in which Orange County’s coronavirus curve started to bend downward has become more of a plateau, as cities that had fewer reported cases are seeing increases, while those with early per capita increases, like Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, have been on the decline.

Anaheim, Santa Ana and Huntington Beach generated the largest increases in the past week.

— Katie Murar

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April 22, 3:15 PM

RESTAURANTS/FINANCE

Irvine-based restaurant operator Kura Sushi USA Inc. said it would be returning $5.98 million provided through the Paycheck Protection Program. The company said in a filing with the Securities &Exchange Commission it hadn’t used any of the funding.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 22, 12:25 PM

JOBS

CSUF economists Anil Puri and Mira Farka said local unemployment could hit 17% and not decline to pre-pandemic levels until 2022. Unemployment in the second quarter, which ends June 30, will average 11.5%, their report said.

— Kevin Costelloe

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April 22, 10:15 AM

TOURISM

New impacts of coronavirus on Orange County’s airport have begun to emerge, with John Wayne Airport reporting a 63% drop in passengers last month to 338,000.

— Katie Murar

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April 22, 9:25 AM

APPAREL

Lake Forest collegiate and resort apparel company Uscape Apparel rolled out a new collection to benefit food banks amid the pandemic. All proceeds from the company’s Team Human collection will benefit food banks and the non-profit Feeding America. The pieces can be found at teamhumanu.com

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 20, 3:30 PM

PUBLIC HEALTH

The Orange County Board of Supervisors passed a rule Tuesday during a special meeting that requires cloth face coverings for workers interacting with the general public. The rule would impact employees at groceries, retail stores, pharmacies and gas stations among other businesses. The rule goes into effect Friday.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 20, 3:30 PM

TOURISM

Visit Anaheim said it has rebooked some events and signed new business that represents more than $475 million in local economic impact over the next several years.

The 10 bookings were aided by a $6.5 million grant to the group last month, part of the city of Anaheim’s $15 million Community and Economic Recovery Plan.

— Katie Murar

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April 21, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

There have been58 new coronavirus cases reported each day on average over the past week, up slightly from 53 for the week ending April 14.

The figure is down slightly from two weeks ago, when 60 new cases were reported on average for the week ending April 7.

— Katie Murar

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April 21, 1:25 PM

EDUCATION

California State University-Fullerton plans to begin its fall semester online and has asked faculty to prepare for this. The university, which serves about 40,000 students, said it could transition to in-person classes later in the semester.

— Jessie Yount

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April 21, 10:25 AM

RESTAURANTS

The National Restaurant Association is pushing for lawmakers to create a $240 billion grant program that would directly assist restaurateurs impacted by the pandemic’s hit to business operations. The association reported payrolls cut nationally by two-thirds, which equates to 8 million jobs. It also said a survey of 6,500 operators indicated 60% said existing federal aid programs would not be enough to maintain payrolls.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 21, 9:05 AM

PHILANTHROPY

Tilly’s Life Center, the Irvine non-profit started by retailer Tilly’s Inc. (NYSE: TLYS) co-founder Tilly Levine, has launched a virtual classroom. The 12-session program was created for teens and focuses on social and emotional awareness.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 21, 8:30 AM

APPAREL/RETAIL

The parent to Costa Mesa-based Vans Inc. revealed preliminary results for its fiscal year ended March 28. VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC) of Denver reported revenue off from a previous projection as the company also said it was looking to raise capital through a senior note offering.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 20, 3:55 PM

EDUCATION

CSUF officials said they expect the school to lose $18.4 million in revenue and from refunds due to the coronavirus pandemic. The university is one of California’s largest, with some 40,000 students.

— Jessie Yount

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April 20, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

There have been 59 new coronavirus cases reported each day on average over the past week, up slightly from 56 for the week ending April 13.

The figure is down slightly from two weeks ago, when 60 new cases were reported on average for the week ending April 6.

— Katie Murar

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April 20, 2:30 PM

GOVERNMENT

Brian Niccol and Emile Haddadhave been named to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s state task force addressing economic impact of the coronavirus.

They’re among 80 members of the advisory group that will meet to “develop actions government and businesses can take to help Californians recover as fast as safely possible from the COVID-19 induced recession”

— Katie Murar

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April 20, 10:30 AM

AUTOMOTIVE

Kia Motors America Inc. said it re-tooled a portion of its Georgia factory to make face shields. The Irvine-based automaker said the facility is capable of producing some 200,000 masks monthly. It’s paying company volunteers to assemble the face coverings.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 20, 10:15 AM

EDUCATION

OC universities and community colleges will get at least $168 million for student aid and coronavirus-related needs such as distance learning. Funds are available as part of $1.7 billion coming to the state via the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

— Jessie Yount

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April 20, 10:00 AM

HEALTHCARE

Sunday marked the seventh day in a row that the trailing seven days represented a decrease in new cases over the preceding week; 54 new coronavirus cases were reported each day on average, down from the 62 average daily cases reported for the week ending April 12.

— Katie Murar

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April 17, 15:50 PM

HEALTHCARE

Newport Beach-based Evolus Inc. reported job and expense cuts, temporary pay reductions for executives and board members, and the delay of a new product launch in Europe, according to an SEC filing Wednesday. The aesthetics medicine maker said it had about $100 million in cash or cash equivalents as of March 31.

— A. Leigh Corbett

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April 17, 2:10 PM

APPAREL

Apparel basics makerAST Sportswear Inc. will hold a drive-thru face mask giveaway Saturday from 10 AM to 2 PM. The company, which has been manufacturing face masks for hospital workers and first responders, said it will give away non-medical grade masks to the first 5,000 cars at the company’s Brea headquarters located at 2701 E. Imperial Highway.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 17, 1:35 PM

HEALTHCARE

In the past week, there were 54 new coronavirus cases reported each day on average in Orange County, marking the fifth day in a row that the trailing seven days represented a decrease in new cases over the preceding week. The figure is down from the 60 average daily cases reported for the week ending April 10.

— Katie Murar

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April 17, 12:20 PM

EDUCATION

The University of California campuses and medical centers took a $558 million hit in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, UC President Janet Napolitano said in a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Canceled housing and dining contracts, and costs related to cleaning and distance learning accounted for $310 million; the remaining $248 million came from UC’s health system, including cancelled elective procedures and COVID-19 preparedness and treatments.

— Jessie Yount

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April 17, 12:05 PM

TECHNOLOGY

French aerospace giant Safran Group laid off 83 employees and furloughed other employees at sites in Garden Grove, Brea, Cypress and Huntington Beach. Units affected make products related to in-flight entertainment, interiors, on-board water and waste management, safety equipment, fans and other components. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Huntington Beach-based Safran had about 2,800 OC employees.

— Kevin Costelloe

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April 17, 10:10 AM

JOBS

The county lost more than 13,000 jobs in March and its unemployment rate jumped to 3.6%. The state Economic Development Department said March numbers “predated many coronavirus-related business and school closures in the second half of the month, which means not all COVID-19 job impacts have been measured.

“We cannot quantify the effects of the pandemic on the job market in March, the state agency said.

— Peter J. Brennan

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April 17, 9:55 AM

TECHNOLOGY

Veritone Inc. (Nasdaq: VERI) got $6.5 million in SBA loans under a new federal program to help small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. Sunwest Bank lent the funds, which under certain conditions, including no layoffs as a result of COVID-19, do not have to be repaid. Loans are backed by the U.S. SBA.

— Kevin Costelloe

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April 17, 9:40 AM

RESTAURANTS

Huntington Beach-based BJ’s Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: BJRI) said in an SEC filing its CEO and other executives will take a 20% pay cut, with additional salary reductions for workers being paid $100,000 or more. The company also disclosed additional furloughs in the amount of about 200 restaurant managers and 40 headquarters workers. The company has also temporarily shuttered four of its restaurants.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 16, 4:25 PM

SERVICES

Anaheim-based Willdan Group (Nasdaq: WLDN) will furlough about 21% of its employees due to economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic and governor shutdown orders in New York and California. The engineering and consulting firm employed 1,451 as of Dec. 31.

The firm is freezing non-critical expenses, cutting some salaries, and withdrew its 2020 guidance. It’s scheduled to report results May 7.

Willdan said its financial position “remains strong, citing $16 million of net cash balance and $56 million in borrowing capacity as of April 14.

— Peter J. Brennan

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April 16, 1:45 PM

HEALTHCARE

In the past week, there were 51 new coronavirus cases reported each day on average in Orange County, marking the fourth day in a row that the trailing seven days represented a decrease in new cases over the preceding week.

The figure is down from the 60 average daily cases reported for the week ending April 9.

— Katie Murar

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April 16, 1:20 PM

EDUCATION

Chapman University said it lost $13.5 million in revenue for student refunds as COVID-19 disrupted the spring semester. Chapman’s endowment was more than $400 million prior to refunds and its net worth remains above $1 billion. If in-person classes don’t resume in the fall, the university estimated it could lose up to $90 million.

— Jessie Yount

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April 16, 11:50 AM

SERVICES

Costa Mesa-based Automotive Club of Southern California will refund $125 million in premiums to auto insurance policyholders because of reduced driving and other effects of COVID-19 and work and travel reductions. It also will offer free roadside assistance services for health workers and first responders, along with a $1 million donation to United Way.

— Jessie Yount

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April 16, 11:20 AM

FINANCE

Impac Mortgage Holdings (NYSE: IMH) hastemporarily halted its lending activity due to market uncertainty, and “to de-risk and to protect liquidity during this unprecedented time.;

The Irvine-based firm separately also said Orange County investor Richard Pickup is stepping down from the board of directors.

— Katie Murar

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April 16, 9:10 AM

FINANCE

The Small Business Administration said it is no longer accepting new applications for coronavirus-related funding, with the $376 billion appropriated to support small businesses through the pandemic officially run out. Lawmakers are now working out the details of another funding injection.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 15, 3:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

Orange County’s coronavirus figures continue to trend down on a weekly basis.

Wednesdaymarked the third day in a row that the trailing seven days represented a decrease in new cases over the preceding week.

In the past week, there have been 53 new cases each day on average, down from the 58 cases per day for the week ending April 8.

— Katie Murar

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April 15, 1:15 PM

AUTOMOTIVE

Irvine-based Mazda North American Operations said it will offer healthcare workers complementary oil changes beginning Thursday. The program, dubbed Essential Car Care, is not limited to Mazda vehicles and will be offered across the automaker’s participating dealers nationally.

The carmaker expects to spend $5 million at minimum on the initiative.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 15, 10:45 a.m.

TOURISM

Disneyland Resort isin negotiations on furlough agreements for union employees, which represent most of the company’s 32,000 worker count.

The company, the largest employer in Orange County, will furlough nonessential employees as a result of the “devastating impact; of COVID-19, beginning this Sunday, April 19.

— Katie Murar

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April 15, 10:30 AM

HEALTHCARE

Biomerica Inc. reported a slight decline in quarterly revenue and a slightly larger expansion of its net loss. The numbers don’t include results from its new test that could help mark antibodies to COVID-19 in a person’s blood, suggesting possible immunity.

Shares in the diagnostic test maker traded higher at midday in a down market.

The Business Journalprofiled the company in its Monday, April 13 print edition.

— A. Leigh Corbett

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April 15, 10:16 AM

SERVICES

Collector’s Universe (Nasdaq: CLCT) said it has access to about $37 million in cash and credit as it rides out the coronavirus pandemic. The collectibles authenticator has seen increases in some of its authentication work, primarily among dealers and higher-end collectors who could be seeking liquidity from their assets.

— Paul Hughes

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April 14, 3:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

The number of new coronavirus cases in Orange County continue to appear lower than previous days, with 23 cases reported Tuesday, following just nine new cases reported yesterday.

Today is the second day that the trailing seven days represented a decrease in new cases over the preceding week, furthering the notion that Orange County has reached its peak.

— Katie Murar

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April 14, 8:55 AM

TECHNOLOGY

Skyworks Solutions said preliminary quarterly results are in the range of its lowered expectations, issued in early March, and it suspended production through April at its Mexicali manufacturing plant at the direction of the government there. Its shares were trading about 3% higher Tuesday.

— Kevin Costelloe

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April 14, 7:20 AM

AUTOMAKERS

Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America Inc. increased its grants helping fund drive-thru COVID-19 testing at hospitals. The automaker said it donated some $4 million through its Hyundai Hope On Wheels non-profit to help fund testing at some 22 hospitals. That’s in addition to a donation of 65,000 COVID-19 tests to U.S. hospitals.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 13, 2:55 PM

HEALTHCARE

Nine new COVID-19 cases were reported in Orange County Monday. It’s the first time that the trailing seven days represented a decrease in new cases over the preceding week.

There are 1,283 cumulative coronavirus cases in Orange County to date.

Dr. Nichole Quick of the Orange County Health Care Agency saidthere aren’t specific factors that contributed to the relatively low case number, such as technical complications or a dip in testing figures.

— Katie Murar

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April 13, 1:25 PM

HEALTHCARE

The Orange County Health Care Agency said Monday there have been 1,283 cases of coronavirus in the county, up nine from yesterday. There have been 19 deaths total, with none reported Monday.

The increase is the lowest one-day total since mid-March.

— Katie Murar

April 13, 11:35 AM

HEALTHCARE

Advanced Sterilization Products in Irvine got FDA approval on a decontamination process for medical-grade N95 face masks. The company said 6,300 machines can each sterilize nearly 500 masks a day. The process converts converts a gas to a plasma to clean the masks.

— A. Leigh Corbett

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April 12, 9:15 AM

HEALTHCARE

The Orange County Health Care Agency said Sunday there have been 1,277 cases of coronavirus in the county, up 57 from yesterday. There have been 19 deaths total, with one reported Sunday.

About 13,500 people have been tested by HCA’s public health lab and local commercial testing labs, including a bit less than 250 test reports added yesterday.

Average daily case counts have been trending up over the past three weeks.

— Katie Murar

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April 11, 5:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

The Orange County Health Care Agency said Saturday there have been 1,221 cases of coronavirus in the county, up 85 from yesterday. There have been 18 deaths total, with one reported Saturday.

About 13,300 people have been tested by HCA’s public health lab and local commercial testing labs, including a bit more than 400 test reports added today.

Average daily case counts have been trending up over the past three weeks.

— Katie Murar

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April 10, 1:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

The Orange County Health Care Agency said Friday there have been 1,138 cases of coronavirus in the county, up 62 from yesterday. There have been 17 deaths total, with none reported Friday.

About 12,900 people have been tested by HCA’s public health lab and local commercial testing labs, including about 630 test reports added today.

— Katie Murar

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April 9, 4:30 PM

EDUCATION, GIVING

Chapman University students and faculty, and Lake Forest-based MatterHackers, are making 3D printed face shields for local healthcare workers. More than 1,000 have been delivered so far.

Boeing Corp. in Huntington Beach is also 3D printing such masks.

— Jessie Yount

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April 9, 3:55 PM

HEALTHCARE

The Orange County Health Care Agency said Thursday there have been 1,079 cases of coronavirus in the county, an increase of 67 over yesterday. There have been 17 deaths total, with none reported Thursday.

Weekly case counts have risen but the rate has slowed.

About 12,200 people have been tested by HCA’s public health lab and local commercial testing labs, including 450 test reports added today.

— Katie Murar

April 9, 3:30 PM

RETAIL

Irvine-based Boot Barn Holdings Inc. outlined measures being taken in response to the pandemic. These include a temporary 50% salary reduction for President and CEO James Conroy and a 25% reduction for senior executives. About 40% of its employees in stores, distribution centers and the main office have been furloughed.

The pandemic is expected to have a “material adverse impact” on financial results, Boot Barn said in an SEC filing. Its guidance for the year and quarter ended March 28 have been withdrawn as a result.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 9, 1:45 PM

TECHNOLOGY, TOURISM

Blizzard Entertainment said on its website the future of this year’ BlizzCon is uncertain and it may not have an answer for several months. The annual fan fest aimed at gamers draws tens of thousands to Anaheim Convention Center in late October.

— Kevin Costelloe

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April 9, 12:30 PM

EDUCATION, RESEARCH

Chapman President Emeritus James Doti, writing on COVID-19, reviews and analyzes the data and offers a call for good planning and action.

— OCBJ Staff

--

April 9, 9:30 AM

RESTAURANTS

El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. shares popped 25% on a business update for the Costa Mesa-based chain. Same-store sales for the quarter ended March 25 were off 1.5%. The company said it drew down on the remainder of a $150 million revolver, adding $34.5 million to its cash on hand.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 8, 3:30 PM

HEALTHCARE

The Orange County Health Care Agency said Wednesday there have been 1,016 cases of coronavirus in the county, an increase of 91 over yesterday. There have been 17 deaths total, including two on Wednesday.

About 11,800 people have been tested by HCA’s public health lab and local commercial testing labs, including 400 test reports added today.

— Katie Murar

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April 8, 3:15 PM

TECHNOLOGY

Data analytics software maker Alteryx Inc. (NYSE: AYX) could make its May 20 annual shareholder meeting a virtual affair but for now has scheduled an in-person gathering near its Park Place HQ. Chief Executive Dean Stoecker said the company is balancing shareholder health and travel planning, as well as public health guidelines.

— Kevin Costelloe

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April 8, 3:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

Medical facility REIT Healthpeak Properties Inc. (NYSE: PEAK) in Irvine gave additional information on its operations, including current future effects of the coronavirus on its business.

It said two weeks ago it had $3.3 billion in liquidity and could see delays in previously announced deals. In its comments today, Healthpeak said its senior housing segment is the most likely to see negative results of the pandemic. Life sciences and medical offices in some cases are brighter spots.

— A. Leigh Corbett

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April 8, 2:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

BioPhotas Inc. in Anaheim has designed a medical face shield it plans to produce; the company typically makes devices to treat, prevent or heal pain, wrinkles, acne and wounds. Direct-to-consumer sales are higher; revenue from professional sales, such as at clinics, are down. The company is getting creative with ways of serving clients and generating revenue and says it’s still hiring workers, though most current employees work from home these days.

— Jessie Yount

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April 8, 11:00 AM

EDUCATION, FUNDING

The research arm of the UC Office of the President has made $2 million in seed funding available to researchers and scientists for short-term, impact projects related to COVID-19. Individual grants of up to $25,000 are available.

— Jessie Yount

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April 8, 10:30 AM

HEALTHCARE

PharmaCyte Biotech Inc. licensed technology from China-based Hai Kang Life Corp. Ltd. to develop coronavirus test kits. PharmaCyte will pay Hai King monthly fees, as well as 10% of net sales if a product comes to market.

— A. Leigh Corbett

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April 8, 9:45 AM

REAL ESTATE

Foundation Building Materials (NYSE: FBM) expects a sales bump in the first quarter and declines after, as a result of the coronavirus work stoppage. It borrowed $120 million, from its credit line, to bolster its cash position.

— Katie Murar

--

April 8, 9:00 AM

AUTOMOTIVE

Irvine automaker Kia Motors America Inc. has extended the warranties for vehicle owners. Consumers with warranties set to expire between March and May now have until June 30 to have their vehicles serviced in light of the virus.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 8, 8:15 AM

MANUFACTURING

Count Smart Cups LLC among the growing list of local manufacturers using their production facilities to produce in-demand PPE and other low-supply items. The Mission Viejo beverage maker said it had switched most of its production to making hand sanitizer.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 7, 2:25 PM

HEALTHCARE

The Orange County Health Care Agency said Tuesday there have been 931 cases of coronavirus in the county, with 15 deaths total. This is up by 49 compared with Monday.

One new death was reported Tuesday after no new deaths Sunday or Monday. Three citiesIrvine, Newport Beach, Anaheimcombined for 252 of the 882 cases. Ten new cases were reported Tuesday for the three cities combined; the three have about 27% of all cases.

Nearly 11,300 people have been tested by HCA’s public health lab and local commercial testing labs, including 800 test reports added today.

— Katie Murar

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April 7, 2:15 PM

SCHOOLS, GIVING

Two JSerra Catholic High School figure skaters are sewing nonmedical protective masks for people to use during the coronavirus pandemic. Lleyden Collins and Morgan Horvath sew and deliver free masks based on need. Collins is the creative, Horvath handles deliveries since, “I’m old enough to drive.;

— A. Leigh Corbett

--

--

April 7, 1:30 PM

RESTAURANTS

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) said it launched a new e-gift card design aimed at benefiting healthcare workers. The company said it will donate 10% from sales of the specially designed card to Direct Relief, which delivers PPE to hospital and medical office employees.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 7, 10:45 AM

FOOD

West Coast Prime Meats in Brea lost 80% of its clients and 60% of its staff to COVID-19 effects, then pivoted to ecommerce, curbside pickup, and a home delivery test. The company distributes beef to higher-end restaurants

It was the ninth-fastest growing large private company in OC over two years, up 49% to $157 million in annual sales and 240 workers, at the end of 2019.

West Coast co-founders Craig Nickoloff and Bill Hustedt also started and sold the Claim Jumper chain.

— Paul Hughes

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April 7, 10:05 AM

APPAREL

VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC), the parent to Costa Mesa-based Vans Inc., reiterated to investors Tuesday it will continue paying its office and store workers in North America through May 3. Stores employees in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region will continue being paid their full pay, while office workers are receiving at least 95% of their pay.

Meanwhile, workers in Asia Pacific continue to receive their regular pay, with most stores having resumed operations.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 7, 9:40 AM

RESTAURANTS

Yard House USA Inc. parent Darden Restaurants Inc. said it struck a $270 million term loan agreement, bringing its cash reserves to over $1 billion. The company continues to keep about 99 percent of its restaurants open on a to-go basis.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 6, 4:25 PM

MEETINGS, EVENTS

San Juan Capistrano trade show and event organizer Emerald Holding Inc. updated investors Monday on its business in light of the pandemic. The company said it ended the first quarter with $150 million in cash, is relying on event cancellation insurance to offset losses and is carefully managing expenses.

The company’s so far seen 14 events postponed and 23 events cancelled, equating to about $128 million of 2019 revenue.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 6, 2:25 PM

RESTAURANTS

BJ’s Restaurants Inc. said it has temporarily laid off about 16,000 of its restaurant employees as a result of the impact to business from COVID-19. The workers, who were paid accrued vacation and sick time or emergency paid time off, are expected to be brought back to the company once sales recover. The company, with some 209 restaurants, also said it is not paying April rent on its buildings and is talking to landlords about future rent obligations.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 6, 12:15 PM

HEALTHCARE

The Orange County Health Care Agency said Monday there have been 882 cases of coronavirus in the county, with 14 deaths total.

No new deaths were reported either Sunday or Monday; one was reported Saturday. Three citiesIrvine, Newport Beach, Anaheimcombined for 242 of the 882 cases. The three have held steady the last two weeks with just under 30% of all cases.

Nearly 10,500 people have been tested by HCA’s public health lab and local commercial testing labs.

— Katie Murar

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April 5, 7:55 PM

HEALTHCARE

The Orange County Health Care Agency said Sunday there have been 834 cases of coronavirus in the county, with 14 deaths total.

No new deaths were reported Sunday; one was reported Saturday. Three citiesIrvine, Newport Beach, Anaheimcombined for 227 of the 834 cases.

Nearly 10,000 people have been tested by HCA’s public health lab and local commercial testing labs.

— Katie Murar

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April 3, 3:10 PM

HEALTHCARE

The Orange County Health Care Agency said Friday there have been 711 cases of coronavirus in the county, with 13 deaths total.

No new deaths were reported Friday; three cities—Irvine, Newport Beach, Anaheim—combined for 199 of the 711 cases.

Nearly 8,700 people have been tested by HCA’s public health lab and local commercial testing labs.

— Katie Murar

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April 3, 2:45 PM

HOSPITALITY, TOURISM

John Wayne Airport said air traffic declined 60% in March compared with the same period last year. Airport Director Barry Rondinella said reduced traffic affects all aspects of airport operations. JWA could be in line to receive funds from the recent relief stimulus package.

— Katie Murar

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April 3, 1:15 PM

RESTAURANTS

Irvine-based smoothie and juice chain Juice It Up said it expects to continue waiving the royalty and marketing fees for its franchisees at least through the end of this month. The company began cutting the fees in mid-March in response to the pandemic’s impact on business operations.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 3, 11:45 AM

EDUCATION

UCI Law students are doing more pro bono work amid the coronavirus crisis. About 30 have taken on new projects involving humanitarian parole requests; tracking city and county activity on homelessness and housing insecurity; and delivering legal documents to seniors.

— Jessie Yount

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April 3, 11:15 AM

APPAREL

Huntington Beach action sports apparel firm Boardriders Inc. announced a raft of measures taken in response to the pandemic, including furloughs, pay cuts, store closures and working from home. The company said it’s also now looking to preparing the business for the future, post-coronavirus.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 2, 4:50 PM

TOURISM

Some Disneyland Resort employees will be furloughed after April 18 as part of a companywide move by Burbank-based Walt Disney Co. Workers will remain employees, eligible for healthcare and part of the benefits from the recent $2T relief stimulus package.

The Resort, with two parks, three hotels, and a retail shopping layout, is the largest employer in OC with about 35,000 workers.

— Katie Murar

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April 2, 4:35 PM

HEALTHCARE

The Orange County Health Care Agency said Thursday there are 656 cases of coronavirus in the county, with 13 deaths reported; nearly 7,800 people have been tested by HCA’s public health lab and local commercial testing labs.

Three cities—Irvine, Newport Beach, and Anaheim—combined for 185 cases.

— Katie Murar

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April 2, 4:25 PM

EDUCATION

UCI will pay staff with no furloughs due to the coronavirus through at least June 30, a letter from the office of the UC system’s president said. The missive applies to all 10 UC schools.

UCI is the second-largest employer in Orange County with about 24,700 workers.

— Jessie Yount

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April 2, 3:10 AM

HOSPITALITY

Anaheim Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli will pay all 2,100 part-time staff of their sports and event companies, though venues are closed. The commitment applies to the Ducks and an affiliated developmental league hockey team in San Diego; the Honda Center; a restaurant across the street from the venue; and sports facilities and ice rinks.

— Katie Murar

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April 2, 10:30 AM

ECONOMY

Half of OC companies plan to cut jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic and a business expectations’ index plunged from 92.9 in the first quarter to 22.7, according to a report by CSUF’s Woods Center. A reading of 50 or more indicates belief in future economic growth.

— Kevin Costelloe

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April 2, 9:30 AM

RESTAURANTS

Lake Forest fast food operator Del Taco Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: TACO) has padded its cash reserves with the draw down of $50 million from a revolving credit line. The chain’s cash on hand now totals more than $56 million. That, among several other actions taken in response to the pandemic, had President and CEO John D. Cappasola saying the company is “well positioned for both the near term and when this crisis is firmly behind us”

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 1, 3:50 PM

HEALTHCARE

The Orange County Health Care Agency said Wednesday there are 606 cases of coronavirus in the county, with 10 deaths reported; nearly 7,300 people have been tested by HCA’s public health lab and local commercial testing labs.

About a quarter of the 606 cases are in Irvine, Newport Beach, and Anaheim.

— Katie Murar

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April 1, 3:40 PM

HOSPITALITY

Disney Parks, Anaheim hotels, and the city of Anaheim are donating and delivering products to hospitals and individuals in the city, using the resort transit system, as well as through U.S. groups nationally, as part of coronavirus pandemic efforts.

— Katie Murar

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April 1, 12:25 PM

NONPROFITS

Goodwill of Orange County has asked that people hold on to their donations until the organization’s stores and drop-off centers re-open. The group has seen a number of drop-offs to unattended facilities, with some of those items then taken or damaged by the weather.

— Kari Hamanaka

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April 1, 12:15 PM

EDUCATION

Chapman, UCI, and CSUF have canceled spring graduation ceremonies; the events will find a place on the calendar but no firm dates were given.

— Jessie Yount

March 31, 4:25 PM

NONPROFITS

United Way has collected about $1.1 million to-date for its coronavirus work to support low-income individuals, families at imminent risk of homelessness and current homeless populations. Its top requests are coming for basics: housing, food, utilities.

— Jessie Yount

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March 31, 4:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

The Orange County Health Care Agency said Tuesday there are 502 cases of coronavirus in the county, with seven deaths reported; nearly 6,700 people have been tested by HCA’s public health lab and local commercial testing labs.

The three cities with the most cases are Irvine, Newport Beach, and Anaheim.

— Katie Murar

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March 31, 1:55 PM

FOOD

Anaheim-based Fresh n’ Lean is ramping up hiring to accommodate increased demand stemming from the stay-at-home order prompted by COVID-19. The company aims to bring on some 75 workers and is nearly halfway there.

— Kari Hamanaka

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March 30, 5:05 PM

RESTAURANTS, TECHNOLOGY

ShiftPixy Inc. (Nasdaq: PIXY) in Irvine warned of effects the coronavirus could have on its tech-based temp services to restaurants in an SEC filing that also noted its aim to sell up to $23.4 million in common shares and warrants.

Shares were down 10% in intraday trading and 5% more after hours to a $5.5 million market cap. The firm did a 1:40 reverse stock split in December.

— Kevin Costelloe

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March 30, 4:25 PM

HEALTHCARE

The Orange County Health Care Agency said Monday there are 464 cases of coronavirus in the county, with four deaths reported; nearly 5,500 people have been tested by HCA’s public health lab and local commercial testing labs.

The three cities with the most cases are Irvine, Newport Beach, and Anaheim.

— Katie Murar

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March 30, 4:15 PM

MANUFACTURING

Count Irvine-based Kia Motors America Inc., St. John Knits of Irvine and Brea-based AST Sportswear among the latest local companies to help boost inventories of face masks and gowns to hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities. The carmaker delivered 500 N95 masks to UCI Medical Center; St. John and AST, are using their manufacturing facilities to make supplies on site.

— Kari Hamanaka

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March 30, 12:05 PM

HEALTHCARE

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. is pausing new enrollmentsin some clinical trials for mitral and tricuspid valve replacement products.

— A. Leigh Corbett

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March 30, 9:20 AM

RESTAURANTS

Taco Bell Corp. CEO Mark King penned another letter to consumers onwork the chain is doing in response to the coronavirus. The chain is giving $1 million to No Kid Hungry and using its food truck fleet to feed essential workers this week and giving surplus food to food banks.

— Kari Hamanaka

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March 27, 5:50 PM

RETAIL

Irvine retailer Tilly’s Inc. (NYSE: TLYS) said it furloughed non-management store associates and some workers at corporate and in its distribution center. Co-founder Hezy Shaked is no longer taking a paycheck, CEO Ed Thomas won’t get one in April and will take a temporary pay cut after April. Other execs will also see salaries cut.

The retailer also said it borrowed $23.7 million from its credit facility, adding to its $122.4 million of cash on hand.

— Kari Hamanaka

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March 27,4:40 PM

NONPROFITS

Working Wardrobes founder and CEO Jerri Rosen said her Irvine non-profit’s been forced to lay off most of its staff following a “double whammy” set of events. The organization lost its headquarters in a February fire, followed now by the impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak on operations.

The cuts leave Working Wardrobes with a staff of 10. Events and workshops will move online for now.

— Kari Hamanaka

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March 27, 3:15 PM

HEALTHCARE

The Orange County Health Care Agency said Friday there are 321 cases of coronavirus in the county, with three deaths reported; nearly 4,100 people have been tested by HCA’s public health lab and local commercial testing labs.

Three heavily trafficked cities reported the highest number of cases: Irvine, with 33; Newport Beach, with 32; and Anaheim, with 28.

— Katie Murar

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March 27, 2:55 PM

TECHNOLOGY

Software maker Restaurant365 laid off staff and delayed a funding round as it anticipates slowdowns by restaurant industry clients. Cuts came at its Irvine headquarters and in Austin, Texas. The company will also delay a new funding round.

— Jessie Yount

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March 27, 2:15 PM

TOURISM

Disneyland Resort is closed indefinitely; workers will be paid through April 18. The layout, with two parks, three hotels and a retail district, is OC’s largest employer.

— Katie Murar

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March 27, 2:05 PM

NONPROFITS

Orange County Community Foundation and several other charities have launched a resilience fund’ and raised $2 million in 10 days. Donations are still coming in; grants will go to help those affected by COVID-19.

— Jessie Yount

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March 27, 12:40 PM

TOURISM

John Wayne Airport closed its air traffic control tower after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus. Regional air traffic controllers are landing planes at a rate about one-third of standard levels and one runway is also shut down.

— Kevin Costelloe

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March 27, 12:25 PM

RESTAURANTS

A bevy of local chefs and others in the food industry have banded together to offer deliveries to urgent care and ER workers. Participants span the county, including a cafe, bread makers, and a family farm.

To Help: Email dee.breakofdawn@gmail.com

— Kari Hamanaka

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March 27, 12:05 PM

HOSPITALITY

Local hotels closed by the virus are issuing temporary layoff notices to workers, a state WARN report said. About 650 jobs are affected so far, with about half from Hyatt Regency Orange County, in Garden Grove, about a mile from Disneyland Resort.

— Katie Murar

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March 26, 3:55 PM

HEALTHCARE

The Orange County Health Care Agency said Thursday there are 256 cases of coronavirus in the county, with one death reported; 3,605 people have been tested by HCA’s public health lab and local commercial testing labs.

More than half of cases are in people aged 18 to 49; the individual who died was a man in his 70s.

— Katie Murar

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March 26, 2:45 PM

MEDIA &EVENTS

The Business Journal rescheduled three awards luncheons.

The Excellence in Entrepreneurship event will be Thursday, Aug. 20; the Women in Business honors is Wednesday, Sept. 9; the Family-Owned Business awards, will be Thursday, Nov. 19.

— Paul Hughes

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March 26, 12:45 PM

HEALTHCARE

Glaukos Corp. (NYSE: GKOS) issued an update on effects of the coronavirus on its business, including shorter manufacturing and assembly shifts and potential effects on its short-, near- and long-term results.

It withdrew annual guidance and said it had $183 million in cash and cash equivalents at year-end.

— A. Leigh Corbett

March 25, 4:05 PM

HEALTHCARE

The Orange County Health Care Agency said Wednesday there are 187 cases of coronavirus in the county, with the first death reported; 2,442 people have been tested by HCA’s public health lab and local commercial testing labs.

More than half of cases are in people aged 18 to 49; the individual who died was a man in his 70s.

— Katie Murar

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March 25, 3:40 PM

TOURISM

Two key Anaheim Convention Center are part of about 40 in coming months now cancelled as a result of the coronavirus. VidCon and WonderCon, part of a stable of entertainment-focused shows built up over the last several years in Anaheim, could be rescheduled for the fall.

— Katie Murar

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March 25, 9:55 PM

ARTS

Effects of the coronavirus are beginning to be felt further out, with the canceling of the remainder of the 2019-20 season of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. The affected performances could be rescheduled in the future, the organization said.

— Kevin Costelloe

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March 24, 3:00 PM

HEALTHCARE

Orange County Health Care Agency’s public health lab and commercial labs have tested 2,159 people and confirmed 152 cases of coronavirus, with no deaths reported.

Two-thirds of cases are in people aged 18 to 49.

The agency provides text updates in partnership with Pasadena-based Everbridge Nixle, an emergency notifications and community engagement company.

— Katie Murar

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March 24, 11:00 AM

HEALTHCARE

Healthpeak Properties Inc. (NYSE: PEAK) expects slower construction and dispositions due to effects of the coronavirus. The healthcare REIT said liquidity at the end of the current quarter will be about $3.3 billion. A dozen patients at its facilities are sick or have died from the virus.

— A. Leigh Corbett

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March 24, 10:35 AM

RESTAURANTS

The founders of Wahoo’s Fish Taco reiterated the company remains open for business, with take-out and delivery options through Door Dash and Grubhub. “The crisis remains fluid, so we will adapt accordingly as more information comes out,” the company said in a statement.

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March 24, 10:00 AM

HOSPITALITY

Some 44 hotels have temporarily closed in Anaheim as a result of coronavirus’ effect on tourism. Close to 40 groups have also canceled or postponed their business with the city, about half of which was planned for the Anaheim Convention Center.

— Katie Murar

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March 23, 4:00 PM

RESTAURANTS

BJ’s Restaurants Inc. on Monday said it will draw on its $250 million credit line, delay or cancel restaurant openings, trim expenses, and defer or suspend dividend payments, including one scheduled for tomorrow, March 24. The moves come to address the impact of the novel coronavirus on the company’s business.

BJ’s has 209 restaurants in 29 states and systemwide revenue of about $1 billion a year. It’s the third-largest restaurant chain based here after Taco Bell Corp. and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.

— Kari Hamanaka

March 23, 3:45 PM

TOURISM

Five hotels in Laguna Beach with a total of about 350 rooms have temporarily closed due to low occupancy levels and for safety precautions. The hotels expect to reopen in April or May.

— Katie Murar

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March 23, 10:45 AM

APPAREL

Costa Mesa-based Vans Inc. parent VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC) will draw $1 billion on a credit line, idle its brick-and-mortar retail fleet, and withdraw fiscal 2020 guidance. VFC is based in Denver. Its brands include Timberland and Dickies.

— Kari Hamanaka

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March 23, 9:00 AM

RESTAURANTS

Restaurant operators including Habit Burger Grill and El Torito are calling on consumers to participate in The Great American Takeout. The campaign is aimed at ramping take-out and delivery orders to support businesses affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic, with the kick-off March 24.

— Kari Hamanaka

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March 21, 4:50 PM

APPAREL

Costa Mesa action sports apparel company Volcom LLC has had to furlough most of its staff, according to a report from industry trade Shop-Eat-Surf.Volcom, OC’s 10th largest apparel company, furloughed 75% of its U.S. team and all of its European staff, the report said. The company did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Business Journal.

— Kari Hamanaka

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March 20, 10:30 AM

HEALTHCARE/TECHNOLOGY

Irvine business accelerator Octane rescheduled two health- and tech-related forums, from spring and early summer to late summer and early fall, in response to the coronavirus and an executive order from California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

— A. Leigh Corbett

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March 19, 10:30 PM

STATEWIDE

Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive stay-at-home order for Californians Thursday evening. Businesses such as gas stations, pharmacies, grocery and convenience stores, banks, laundromats or restaurants offering take out and delivery are exempt.

See related item here.