New tiered system emphasizes slower reopening approach

New tiered system emphasizes slower reopening approach

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.

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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%.

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