Orange County’s coronavirus metrics continue to fall, with the region inching closer to the next reopening tier that would allow an easing of business restrictions.

For the first time in months, Orange County’s testing positivity rate met the red, or second, tier requirements, decreasing from 9.4% last week to 7.8%; the county needs a testing rate of 5% to 8% to enter into the red tier.

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The region’s case rate, an adjusted measure that’s more closely watched to track which tier a county falls in, dropped this week to 20.7 per 100,000 residents from 29.7 last week.

This week’s case rate is also down significantly from the rate of 78.8 seen on Jan. 12, the highest figure to date.

Orange County needs a case rate of 4 to 7 needed for it to exit the most restrictive purple tier and into the second, or red, tier.

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