Orange County remains in red tier after small spike in COVID-19 cases

Orange County will not see any further reopenings this week, as the region remains in the red tier of the state's COVID-19 reopening framework.
SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Orange County will not see any further reopenings this week, as the region remains in the red tier of the state's COVID-19 reopening framework.

The county was on track to move up from the red tier to the less restrictive orange tier of the state's color-coded tracking system. But the region did not advance on Tuesday, remaining in the red tier.

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The next chance to advance to the next tier would be mid-October.

The case rate per 100,000 people is expected to be a little above 4, the ceiling for the orange tier, Orange County CEO Frank Kim said.

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It's possible it was a "holiday spike" related to Labor Day as county officials still work to discourage get-togethers among friends and extended family, Kim said.

The small spike in cases per 100,000 people "doesn't signify something terrible in the community," Kim said.

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"When you get down to around 3.5 to 4 cases per 100,000 that's very small," Kim said.



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Kim said it is difficult to track down the source of outbreaks given the small sample size. However, he did say young adults renting out vacation residencies is an issue.

Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett said there is concern about a see-sawing back and forth between the red and orange tiers, because if the county has to step back a tier that locks it into place for at least three weeks even if the metrics match a less-restrictive tier.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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