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    Home / College Guide / COVID-19: OC Colleges Respond to Omicron Variant
     Posted on Friday, January 14 @ 00:00:05 PST
    College

    COVID-19: 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 kemp@ocbj.com For more details on many of these reports, see individual story links and the Monday print edition of the Business Journal. HEALTHCARE The Orange County Health Care Agency s most recent data on Jan. 12 shows hospitalizations are at their highest since last February, with 1,072 new patients — 86% of whom are unvaccinated. COLLEGES source, the university said. – Audrey Kemp -- Jan. 6, 3:09 p.m. HEALTHCARE Local vaccinations continue to increase, with north of 2.3 million Orange County residents fully vaccinated as of Thursday, Orange County Health Care Agency data suggests. The number of booster recipients is also climbing, topping 900,000. HOSPITALS Hospitalizations are on the rise, with 724 current patients, representing the highest figure seen since last February. According to the Los Angeles Times, at least nine hospitals in Orange County have set up surge tents to increase capacity. OC deputy health officer Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong urged the public not to come to the emergency room for emergencies only, and not to go there to receive a coronavirus test.

    “Our hospitals are getting full,” Chinsio-Kwong told the Los Angeles Times. “Our ERs are getting full. So if you are looking for a test, if you have mild symptoms, please consider first a virtual appointment with your healthcare provider to not overwhelm the ERs even more because we really want ERs and urgent cares to really just take care of the urgent situations.” --Audrey Kemp -- Dec. 30, 1:35 p.m. HEALTHCARE The number of daily coronvirus cases in Orange County has risen over 300% in the last two weeks to 2,342, the Orange County Health Care Agency data reported on Dec. 27. That represents the highest spike of the year since January. Hospitalizations also appear to be on the rise, with 420 patients currently reported. That’s up from about 200 patients seen two weeks ago. “As we anticipated, Orange County COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising steeply due to increased gatherings and traveling over the holidays,” HCA Director and County Health Officer Dr. Clayton Chau said in a statement. “The risk of catching and spreading COVID-19 is extremely high during this time as more people are in close contact with one another,” Chau added. “We ask that you please continue to exercise precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including limiting or avoiding gathering with others if possible.

    ” ORAL TREATMENTS Also on Dec. 27, the OCHCA announced FDA emergency use authorizations (EUA) for oral agents to treat COVID-19, including Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s Molnupiravir. Patients eligible for Paxlovid or Molnupiravir must have mild to moderate COVID-19 and considered high-risk for developing severe disease, the agency said. -- Audrey Kemp -- Dec. 23, 2:45 p.m. HEALTHCARE The Orange County Health Care Agency reported 326 new daily infections on Dec. 21, up from a recent high of 143 seen last month. Hospitalizations have also risen about 28% since the beginning of December. OMICRON VARIANT On Dec. 17, the OCHCA reported the first confirmed case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in Orange County. The infected resident is a fully vaccinated adult male who had been traveling domestically outside of California, the agency said. “The Omicron variant is highly transmissable and has already been identified in the United States and many countries around the world,” Deputy County Health Officer Dr. Matthew Zahn said in a statement. “It’s important that we all do our part by following public health guidance to protect our loved ones and neighbors, especially those who are most vulnerable, during the holiday season.

    ” -- Audrey Kemp -- Dec. 16, 1:05 p.m. HEALTHCARE Coronavirus cases in California have risen by almost 50% in the last two-and-a-half weeks, the Los Angeles Times reports. To combat rising case rates, and slow the spread of the Delta and Omicron variants, the California Department of Public Health yesterday issued a statewide mask mandate for indoor public spaces through January 15, 2022, regardless of vaccination status. In Orange County alone, the OCHCA reported today 201 people currently hospitalized with coronavirus-related complications; 58 of whom are in the ICU. That’s slightly up from 176 hospitalizations reported earlier this month. BOOSTERS The CDC has also expanded eligible populations for the Pfizer booster vaccine to include ages 16 to 17, meaning individuals 16 and older may receive a booster six months after completing their primary vaccination series. “Although we don’t have all the answers on the Omicron variant, initial data suggests that COVID-19 boosters help broaden and strengthen the protection against Omicron and other variants,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. The number of Orange County residents who have received their booster dose climbed to 681,959 as of Thursday, up from last week’s total of 595,803.

    -- Audrey Kemp Dec. 9, 3:35 p.m. HEALTHCARE The Orange County Health Care Agency reported Tuesday 78 new daily cases – the lowest daily case rate seen since July. On Wednesday, 196 new hospitalizations were reported; 59 of those hospitalized were in the ICU. On average, 89% of all ICU admits are unvaccinated. The number of Orange County residents who have received a booster shot has climbed 15% since last week to 595,803. About 55% of that population is female. North of 220,000 children in Orange County between the ages of 5 and 17 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to-date; over 290,000 others in that age group are currently unvaccinated. --Audrey Kemp -- Dec. 2, 2:25 p.m. HEALTHCARE As of Wednesday, 513,825 Orange County residents have received their COVID-19 booster vaccine, according to data gathered by the Orange County Health Care Agency. That’s up about 35% from last week. Meanwhile, daily positive cases in the region have declined about 71% from a previous high of 308 seen three weeks ago. On Nov. 29, the World Health Organization designated a new COVID-19 strain – B.1.1.529, or the Omicron — as a “variant of concern.” While the Omicron variant is reported to have originated from South Africa, or even Europe , the CDC reported three cases of the Omicron in the U.

    S. this week. The first reported case was identified in California. “Although we are still learning about this new variant, it’s important to understand that new versions of the virus will continue to emerge as long as there are large proportions of people who are unvaccinated,” Deputy County Health Officer Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong said in a statement released by the OCHCA. On Dec, 1, 169 Orange County residents were reported being hospitalized with COVID-19-related complications – a 9% decrease from one week ago. According to Dr. Chinsio-Kwong, 90% of people hospitalized due to COVID-19 are unvaccinated. --Audrey Kemp -- Nov. 18, 1:35 p.m. HEALTHCARE The average number of cases for the week ended Nov. 9 was 261, or 37 cases per day, according to data gathered by the OCHCA. It reached a high of 4,836 last December. It reached a high of 4,836 last December. Covid-related hospitalizations in Orange County have climbed about 6% since the beginning of the month, with 208 new patients total and 49 in the ICU. Six new COVID-related deaths were also reported as of Wednesday, bringing the total death count to 5,659 since the pandemic began. BOOSTER SHOTS Despite FDA officials continuing to limit who can receive a coronavirus booster shot, a growing number of states are offering boosters to all adults to possibly circumvent another holiday spike.

    California was the first state to expand access when public health officials quietly issued a letter to local health jurisdictions and vaccine providers on Nov. 9. The letter stated, “Do not turn a patient away who is requesting a booster” if they are 18 or older and have waited the required six months after their second shot. As of Wednesday, 378,566 Orange County residents have received a booster shot. -- Audrey Kemp Nov. 11, 1:40 p.m. HEALTHCARE The Orange County Health Care Agency reported Nov. 8 an average of 72 daily cases. That’s down nearly 77% from the beginning of the month, and the lowest daily case rate seen since June. There were no updates reported Nov. 11 due to Veteran’s Day. VACCINES North of 110,000 children in California ages 5 to 11 have received their first vaccine dose as of Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Times. The number of fully vaccinated Orange County residents this week also surpassed 2.2 million, accounting for roughly 69% of the total population. -- Audrey Kemp -- Nov. 4, 3:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE An average of 201 cases was reported for the seven-day period ended Nov. 4, according to Orange County Health Care Agency data. Thats down about 26% from the previous weekly average.

    PEDIATRIC VACCINES The OCHCA also announced Nov. 3 it is preparing to roll out Pfizer vaccines for Orange County’s children ages 5 to 11. The announcement came after the Western States Scientific Safety Review and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) approved the use of a pediatric vaccine. According to the FDA, clinical trials demonstrated the vaccine to be 90.7% effective at preventing symptoms of COVID-19 among children in this age group. -- Audrey Kemp -- Oct. 28, 3:50 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County saw an 8% jump in the past week to 355 new daily cases, according to Wednesday’s report from the Orange County Health Care Agency. The number of total hospitalizations appears to be ticking back up as well, with five more reported cases from one week ago. BOOSTER SHOTS The OCHCA also announced Oct. 25 it has started offering booster shots of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines to certain populations, following recommendations from the Western States Scientific and Safety Review Workgroup, the CDC and the FDA. Booster doses are expected to become available at various pharmacies and healthcare providers throughout Orange County. The agency highly encouraged three groups who received the Moderna to get a booster within six months: individuals ages 65 and older; individuals 18 years and older residing in long-term care settings; and individuals between age 50 and 64 with underlying medical conditions or at high risk due to social inequities.

    Recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine ages 18 and older should receive a booster dose at least two months after their first shot, the agency added. -- Audrey Kemp -- Oct. 21, 2:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE Coronavirus cases in Orange County continue to decrease, with an average of 120 cases reported each day, according to OC Health Care Agency Data. That’s nearly half of the daily average seen earlier this month. The number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 have also decreased by 85% in the last month as the number of fully vaccinated Orange County residents approaches 2.2 million. FDA regulators Wednesday issued emergency use authorization for a mix-and-match booster shot for Johnson & Johnson and Moderna recipients, making clear that people do not have to get a third dose that matches their primary series. The announcement follows last month’s approval of a Pfizer booster. -- Audrey Kemp Oct. 14, 2:36 p.m. HEALTHCARE The decision will now go to the Food and Drug Administration, which is expected to make a final ruling in the coming days. The half-dose booster would be administered nearly six months after the second dose for eligible adults, which include those 65 and older, those with preexisting medical conditions and those working in high-risk professions.

    The same groups became eligible last months for a Pfizer-BioNTech booster. Roughly 2 million Orange County residents have received two doses of either Pfizer or Moderna to-date. -- Audrey Kemp Oct. 7, 1:15 p.m. HEALTHCARE Coronavirus cases in Orange County continue to decrease, with an average of 220 cases reported each day this week, according to OC Health Care Agency data. That’s nearly half of the daily average seen two weeks ago and is down from the recent peak of 800 average cases seen in mid-August. Hospitalizations also are on the decline, with about 220 patients with 54 in the ICU as of Wednesday, which is down from about 600 patients, including 60 in the ICU, in August. Pfizer is currently seeking FDA approval for the use of its vaccine in children ages 5 to 11. That dose would be about one-third the dosage currently given to teens and adults, the company said. An independent panel is slated to debate the evidence on Oct. 26. If approval is granted, shots could begin within a matter of weeks for the roughly 28 million children in that age group nationwide. -- Audrey Kemp HEALTHCARE, POLICY The rule, which has yet to be drafted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, will also require vaccinations for federal workers, contractors and health care workers.

    About 53% of Americans are fully vaccinated. About 2.04 million Orange County residents are fully vaccinated to date. August 26, 4:15 p.m. HEALTHCARE Local vaccinations continue to increase each week, with almost 2 million residents and workers fully vaccinated as of Thursday. State and OC officials expect these figures to continue to climb amid rising case figures, as many businesses enforce vaccine and mask mandates. Coronavirus cases have been surging over the past two months but recently showed signs of decline, according to Orange County Healthcare Agency data. There were about 695 cases reported each day on average last week in Orange County, down from about 750 the week prior. Cases still mark the highest case figures seen since February, when cases were coming down from the all-time high of 3,500 seen in January. --Katie Murar -- August 12, 3:15 p.m. HEALTHCARE As more businesses consider requiring vaccinations amid rising COVID-19 cases, state officials expect vaccine rates will increase as a result. School staff, for example, will be required to get vaccinated or submit to weekly coronavirus testing, and many local hospitals and other healthcare venues are also requiring vaccination verification or a negative COVID-19 test.

    “We think this will do exactly what it’s intended to do and that is to encourage people to get vaccinated,” Governor Gavin Newsom said during a recent news conference. Coronavirus cases have been increasing over the past two months, with north of 700 cases reported each day on average last week in Orange County. That’s up from about 520 and 331 in the two weeks prior, and marks the highest case figures seen since February, when cases were coming down from the all-time high of 3,500 seen in January. North of 1.9 million Orange County residents have been fully vaccinated to date, representing more than 70% of the region’s eligible population. That’s up slightly from last week. --Katie Murar -- August 5, 3:15 p.m. HEALTHCARE Coronavirus cases continue to increase in Orange County, with north of 500 cases reported each day on average last week. That’s up from about 327 and 216 in the two weeks prior, and marks the highest case figures seen since February, when cases were coming down from the all-time high of 3,500 seen in January. North of 1.9 million Orange County residents have been fully vaccinated to date, representing more than 70% of the region’s eligible population.

    That’s up slightly from last week. --Katie Murar -- July 29, 2:40 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County COVID-19 cases continue to climb each week, coming off the lows seen in recent months. There are north of 300 cases being reported each day on average, up from about 200 average cases last week, and up from the recent low of 30 seen last month. Hospitalizations also continue to see increases, with 236 patients as of Wednesday. That’s up from 149 last week, and from about 50 last month. Almost 1.9 million Orange County residents have been fully vaccinated to date, representing more than 70% of the region’s eligible population. That’s up from about 1.88 million last week. --Katie Murar -- July 22, 3:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE The Orange County Health Care Agency has returned to posting daily COVID-19 figures amid new increases of case counts and hospitalizations. There are north of 200 cases being reported each day on average, up from about 120 average cases last week, and up from the low of 30 seen a month ago. It’s still significantly lower than the 3,500 cases seen during the county’s winter surge, and from the 800 average cases seen a year ago. Hospitalizations are also seeing increases, with 149 patients as of Wednesday.

    That’s up from about 50 last month. About 1.88 million Orange County residents have been fully vaccinated to date, representing more than 70% of the region’s eligible population. That’s up from about 1.85 million last week. --Katie Murar -- July 15, 3:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE Nearly 70% of Orange County’s eligible population has received the vaccine, with north of 1.85 million adults vaccinated to date. Vaccine adoption has plateaued in recent weeks, and as coronavirus mandates are lifted, health officials are urging local residents to get vaccinated to mitigate virus transmission. “Each individual that isn’t vaccinated is at risk of severe disease that could spread and potentially develop a variant,” said Bernadette Boden-Albala, dean of the public health school at the University of California, Irvine. Local case counts are starting to show signs of increases. There have been about 120 cases reported on average in the past two weeks, up from the lows of 30 cases seen in the second week of June. The county is faring better than other Southern California counterparts, with Los Angeles seeing north of 1,000 new cases each day, up from around 200 cases a month ago. --Katie Murar -- July 8, 3:30 p.

    m. HEALTHCARE The county indicates north of 1.8 million OC residents are fully vaccinated as of July 7, having received both doses of Pfizer and Moderna, or the single Johnson & Johnson dose. That represents about 57% of the total population, though the total vaccination figure tops 65% when excluding ineligible residents. This week’s figure is up from about 1.78 last week, and 1.73 the week prior. A state dashboard indicates more than 3.5 million vaccine doses have been distributed to date in the county. About 40,000 vaccines have been administered in the past week, or nearly 5,714 per day. Vaccine distribution has largely plateaued in recent weeks as a majority of Orange County residents have received at least one dose. --Katie Murar -- July 1, 3:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE The county indicates about 1.78 million OC residents are fully vaccinated as of June 30, having received both doses of Pfizer and Moderna, or the single Johnson & Johnson dose. That represents about 56% of the total population, though the total vaccination figure is higher when excluding ineligible residents. This week’s figure is up from about 1.73 last week, and 1.68 the week prior. A state dashboard indicates almost 3.

    5 million vaccine doses have been distributed to date in the county. About 60,000 vaccines have been administered in the past week, or nearly 8,571 per day. That pace is down more than 30% in the past week. Vaccine distribution has largely plateaued in recent weeks as a majority of Orange County residents have received at least one dose. --Katie Murar -- June 25, 2:45 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County has administered about 3.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses according to new California Department of Public Health data Friday. About 90,000 vaccines have been administered in the past week, or nearly 12,900 per day. That pace is down about 10% in the past week. Vaccine distribution has largely plateaued in recent weeks as a majority of Orange County residents have received at least one dose. The county indicates about 1.73 million OC residents are fully vaccinated as of June 23, having received both doses of Pfizer and Moderna, or the single Johnson & Johnson dose. That represents about 55% of the total population, though the total vaccination figure is higher when excluding ineligible residents. This week’s figure is up from about 1.68 last week. --Katie Murar -- June 24, 2:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE The county indicates about 1.

    73 million OC residents are fully vaccinated as of June 23, having received both doses of Pfizer and Moderna, or the single Johnson & Johnson dose. That represents about 55% of the total population, though the total vaccination figure is higher when excluding ineligible residents. This week’s figure is up from about 1.68 last week. A state dashboard indicates about 3.4 million vaccine doses have been distributed to date in the county. Most OC residents have received at least one vaccine dose. --Katie Murar -- June 23, 3:30 p.m. TOURISM Disneyland, the region’s top employer before the pandemic, has yet to bring back more than half of its 32,000 local employees. About 15,000 employees are currently working at the resort, local reports indicate. The Anaheim resort, which includes two theme parks, three hotels and the Downtown Disney retail area, all closed on March 14, 2020, and reopened at the end of April 2021. According to the Orange County Register, Disneyland expects to hire about 1,000 more employees this summer. --Katie Murar -- June 22, 3:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE The OC Health Care Agency has launched a new mobile COVID-19 vaccination service in which groups can request on-site vaccinations via the county’s Othena app.

    Individuals, employers and businesses can apply for the free mobile vaccination service on the Othena app or website, and a community liaison will work with the group to plan a location and time for the event. At least 50 patients are preferred for each event, and a climate-controlled location is required. The OC HCA launched the new program in part to help Orange County reach its goal of at least 70% of residents vaccinated by July 4. Nearly 70% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, reports indicate. --Katie Murar -- June 21, 3:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE The Orange County Health Care Agency has begun to scale back on posting COVID-19 data after more than a year of reporting daily updates for case figures, deaths, hospitalizations and other pandemic metrics. Earlier this month, the OC HCA stopped posting case count data on weekends; beginning next month, the agency will update data once per week on Tuesdays by 5 p.m. The county will continue to track COVID-19 metrics using the state’s electronic laboratory reporting system, known as the CalREDIE Electronic Laboratory Reporting system, but will only update figures once per week starting July 1. There were about 33 cases reported each day on average in the past week, and there are currently 54 hospitalized patients, including 14 in the ICU.

    --Katie Murar -- June 18, 3:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County has administered north of 3.3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses according to new California Department of Public Health data Friday. About 100,000 vaccines have been administered in the past week, or nearly 14,300 per day, up about 25% from last week. Vaccine distribution has largely plateaued in recent weeks as a majority of Orange County residents have received at least one dose. The county indicates about 1.68 million OC residents are fully vaccinated as of June 16, having received both doses of Pfizer and Moderna, or the single Johnson & Johnson dose. That represents about 53% of the total population, though the total vaccination figure is higher when excluding ineligible residents. This week’s figure is up from about 1.62 last week. --Katie Murar -- June 16, 2:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE The county indicates about 1.68 million OC residents are fully vaccinated as of June 16, having received both doses of Pfizer and Moderna, or the single Johnson & Johnson dose. That represents about 53% of the total population, though the total vaccination figure is higher when excluding ineligible residents. This week’s figure is up from about 1.

    62 last week. A state dashboard indicates about 3.2 million vaccine doses have been distributed to date in the county. Most OC residents have received at least one vaccine dose. --Katie Murar -- June 15, 3:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County businesses are back to pre-pandemic normalcy as the region reopened its economy on Tuesday along with the state. Retailers, gyms, movie theaters, bars, restaurants, places of worship and other businesses and venues are able to return to full capacity while mask mandates will be scrapped for the most part. The state’s color-coded tier system is no longer in effect, and the county will scale back on reporting coronavirus figures in the coming months. The region’s reopening bodes well for consumer confidence among many sectors, specifically the tourism industry, with Visit Anaheim announcing new events and conventions for the city following the easing of state guidelines. “The reopening of California has allowed our industry to take a giant step toward recovery,” said Jay Burress, president & CEO of Visit Anaheim. “After 15 months, events are once again occupying the halls of the Anaheim Convention Center and bringing in much-needed business to our hotels, restaurants and attractions.

    ” The destination marketing organization said it has booked 55 events for the remainder of 2021, representing more than $231 million in local economic impact. The events are expected to draw in close to 200,000 visitors. --Katie Murar -- June 14, 3:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County is preparing to reopen its economy along with the state on Tuesday, with local businesses able to end capacity restrictions and mask requirements in most cases. The state on June 15 will officially scrap its color-coded tier system that was first implemented in August. Businesses like retailers, gyms, movie theaters, bars, restaurants and places of worship can return to full capacity. Those who are fully vaccinated in California will not need to wear a mask in most settings, save for some crowded outdoor and indoor events. Some restrictions will also stay in place for large gatherings, such as concerts, sporting events, meetings and conventions. Disneyland and California Adventure, currently operating at 35% capacity, announced this week that they will no longer require face coverings for fully vaccinated guests starting June 15, when the theme parks return to full capacity. The resort said it will not require proof of vaccination, with guests self-attesting they are in compliance prior to entry.

    --Katie Murar -- June 11, 12:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County has administered north of 3.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses according to new California Department of Public Health data as of Friday. About 80,000 vaccines have been administered in the past week, or nearly 11,400 per day, about the same distribution as the week prior. That’s down from about 250,000 doses per week last month. The county indicates more than 1.6 million OC residents are fully vaccinated as of June 9, having received both doses of Pfizer and Moderna, or the single Johnson & Johnson dose. That’s up slightly from a week ago. --Katie Murar -- June 10, 3:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE The number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 is down by more than 60% in the past month. There were 66 deaths reported by the Orange County Health Care Agency in the past month, which is down from 167 the month prior. There have been about 2 deaths reported each day on average in the past week. That’s down from about 70 deaths reported each day on average during the pandemic’s peak in January. --Katie Murar -- June 9, 3:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE There were about 25 COVID-19 cases reported each day on average in the past week, among the lowest levels since the onset of the pandemic.

    That’s down drastically from the peak of about 3,500 average cases seen in January. The last time case counts were this low was during the third week of March 2020 when the virus first starting ramping up in Orange County, shortly after the shelter-in-place mandate. There are about 50 current hospitalized patients and 7 in the ICU, down from the peak of 2,259 and 550 in January. --Katie Murar -- June 8, 2:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County’s case rate fell once again to new lows ahead of the state’s planned reopening next week. --Katie Murar -- June 7, 3:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE North of 70% of California’s adult population has received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to state officials. What’s more, the state has one of the lowest coronavirus transmission rates in the nation. Just California and Vermont are considered to have low levels of community coronavirus transmission, according to a recent assessment by the Centers for Disease Control. Governor Gavin Newsom recently said California’s state of emergency order would extend beyond the reopening on June 15, allowing him and other officials to impose new rules and restrictions. --Katie Murar -- June 4, 4:00 p.

    m. HEALTHCARE Orange County has administered nearly 3.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses according to new California Department of Public Health data as of Friday. About 80,000 vaccines have been administered in the past week, or nearly 11,400 per day. Vaccine pace has slowed in recent weeks, with this week’s rate down about 20% from the week prior, and down from about 250,000 doses per week last month. The county indicates almost 1.6 million OC residents are fully vaccinated as of June 2, having received both doses of Pfizer and Moderna, or the single Johnson & Johnson dose. That’s up slightly from a week ago. --Katie Murar -- Coronavirus cases continue to hit new lows each week in Orange County with about 30 average cases reported each day on average last week. June 2, 4:15 p.m. HEALTHCARE About 57% of California’s population has received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, while 44.3% of residents are fully vaccinated, according to Bloomberg’s vaccination dashboard. That’s up from 41.7% a week ago. California is tops among U.S. states for its vaccine pace, with about 160,000 doses administered each day; that figure is down about 38% from last week. Orange County has administered the third most doses to date, trailing Los Angeles and San Diego.

    --Katie Murar -- June 1, 3:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County’s coronavirus metrics once again hit new lows last week, with its case rate falling below one for the first time. The region had 0.9 new cases per 100,000 residents last week, down from 1.3 and 1.5 in the two weeks prior. This marks the third week Orange County has been in the least restrictive yellow tier. The county’s test positivity rate is also at its lowest point to date at 0.6%, down from 0.8% the week prior. OC’s health equity rate, which measures positive test rates in harder-hit neighborhoods, is at 0.7%, flat from last week. --Katie Murar -- May 28, 3:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County has administered nearly 3.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses according to new California Department of Public Health data as of Friday. About 100,000 vaccines have been administered in the past week, or nearly 14,000 per day. That’s consistent with the vaccine pace in recent weeks, but is down from a month ago, when about 250,000 vaccine doses were given per week. The county indicates north of 1.5 million OC residents are fully vaccinated as of May 26, having received both doses of Pfizer and Moderna, or the single Johnson & Johnson dose.

    That’s up from about 1.4 million a week ago. --Katie Murar -- May 26, 3:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE Coronavirus case rates are remaining low throughout Orange County, specifically in former hot spots in North County. Cities like Anaheim and Santa Ana were considered among the hardest-hit communities during the peak of the pandemic; the county introduced health equity measures in October to address the issues facing disadvantaged neighborhoods, and more closely monitor case and testing rates to make sure these areas do not lag behind the overall county. As vaccines continue to roll out and virus transmission reaches new lows, the majority of cities throughout OC have seen fewer than three cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks. This includes Anaheim, Santa Ana, Brea, Buena Park and Costa Mesa, all harder-hit cities that at one point saw case rates in the double digits. --Katie Murar The same goes for coastal cities like Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, with average case rates of 1.9 and 3 per 100,000 residents, respectively, over the past two weeks. -- May 25, 3:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County’s coronavirus metrics once again hit new lows last week, with its case rate falling to 1.

    3 cases per 100,000 residents from 1.5 and 1.8 in the two weeks prior. This marks the second week Orange County has been in the least restrictive yellow tier. The county’s test positivity rate is at its lowest point to date at 0.8%, while the health equity rate, which measures positive test rates in harder-hit neighborhoods, is at 0.7%. Both are down from 0.9% in the week prior. --Katie Murar -- May 24, 3:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE California is still on track to reopen its economy on June 15, marking an almost full return to normalcy since the onset of the pandemic last year. State officials recently provided some guidance for what this reopening will look like, including an end to capacity restrictions for businesses like retailers, gyms, movie theaters, bars, restaurants and places of worship, as well as an end to social distancing. Those who are fully vaccinated in California will not need to wear a mask in most settings, save for crowded outdoor and indoor events. Some restrictions will also stay in place for large gatherings, such as concerts, sporting events, meetings and conventions. Vaccine and negative COVID-19 test verifications will be required for indoor events with more than 5,000 attendees and will be recommended for outdoor events with more than 10,000 people.

    Angel Stadium will return to full capacity on June 17, but guests will be required to wear a mask unless they provide proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. The same goes for theme parks like Disneyland Resort, which fall under the outdoor mega event category. Disneyland and California Adventure, currently operating at 35% capacity, will be able to return to full capacity next month. --Katie Murar -- May 21, 2:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County has administered nearly 3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses according to new California Department of Public Health data as of Friday. About 200,000 vaccines have been administered in the past week, up from about 100,000 in the week prior. The county indicates north of 1.4 million OC residents are fully vaccinated as of May 19, having received both doses of Pfizer and Moderna, or the single Johnson & Johnson dose. That’s up from nearly 1.3 million a week ago. --Katie Murar -- May 20, 4:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE Coronavirus hospitalizations continue to decrease in Orange County with 75 patients as of Thursday, marking the lowest level since the onset of the pandemic. That’s down from nearly 90 at the start of this month, and from about 200 patients a year ago.

    It’s also off significantly from the peak of 2,259 hospitalizations in the first week of January. There were about 22 ICU patients as of Tuesday, down from 120 a year ago. --Katie Murar -- May 19, 3:20 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County officially entered the least restrictive yellow tier on Wednesday, representing the lowest coronavirus transmission seen in the region since the onset of the pandemic. Businesses are now able to reopen more fully by increasing capacity and operations. This includes area tourism driver Disneyland Resort, which reopened on April 30 at 25% capacity. The resort’s two theme parks can increase occupancy to 35% in the yellow tier. The county can also expand capacity at restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, sports venues and other businesses. Bars that do not serve food, currently only able to operate outdoors, can reopen indoors at 25% capacity. The color-coded reopening guidelines were first implemented in August, and could be scrapped as soon as next month as the state aims to fully open its economy on June 15. --Katie Murar -- May 18, 3:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County is on track to enter the least restrictive yellow tier this week, with its case rate falling to 1.

    5 cases per 100,000 residents from 1.8 the week prior. After being in the orange tier since March 29, the county met yellow tier metrics for the first time last week. The two other metrics monitored by the state have been within yellow tier requirements for several weeks. The county’s test positivity rate is at its lowest point to date at 0.9%, while the health equity rate, which measures positive test rates in harder-hit neighborhoods, is also at 0.9%. OC is expected to enter into the yellow tier on Wednesday, paving the way for fewer business restrictions. --Katie Murar -- May 17, 3:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE Nearly 40% of Orange County residents are fully vaccinated against coronavirus, according to a recent update by the OC Health Care Agency. The county indicates nearly 1.3 million OC residents were fully vaccinated as of May 9, having received both doses of Pfizer and Moderna, or the single Johnson & Johnson dose. About 91% of the county’s population have received at least one shot of the vaccine, according to California Department of Public Health data as of Monday. --Katie Murar -- May 14, 1:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County has administered nearly 2.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses according to new California Department of Public Health data as of Friday.

    About 100,000 vaccines have been administered in the past week, marking a slower vaccine distribution pace compared to prior weeks. Still, north of 800,000 vaccines—including first and second doses—have been distributed since April 15, when all Orange County adults and workers became eligible. The OC Health Care Agency also provides vaccination figures; however, that website is updated once per week, compared to the state’s daily update, and also reflects a greater lag in the time it takes for information to be entered, according to the county. The county indicates nearly 1.3 million OC residents are fully vaccinated as of May 9, having received both doses of Pfizer and Moderna, or the single Johnson & Johnson dose. That’s up from nearly 1.2 million a week ago. May 13, 10:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE Hoag Hospital will begin offering COVID-19 vaccines to travelers at John Wayne Airport today. The Fly Well Clinic, located post-security in Terminal B across from Gate 10, also provides urgent care, telehealth consultations and vital screenings. In addition, Hoag is hosting rapid COVID-19 testing for all airport visitors at pre-security in Terminal B on the Departure Level. “It’s so important that people get vaccinated against this deadly virus, and the Fly Well Clinic and the Rapid Testing Clinic are important new resources for helping us reach out to the community in a number of ways to ensure everyone receives care when and where they need it, including vaccinations, Marcy Brown, senior vice president and chief hospital operations officer at Hoag, said in a statement.

    To learn more, call the Hoag Fly Well Clinic at 949-557-0667. --Jessie Yount -- May 12, 3:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE There have been about 36 coronavirus cases reported each day on average in Orange County in the past week, which is down from 54 the week prior. That’s the lowest case figure the county has seen since April 2020. Cities in the county that have historically been hit harder by COVID-19 have continued to far better in recent weeks, such as Anaheim and Santa Ana. Anaheim has had 1.5 new cases per 100,000 residents reported in the past two weeks; Santa Ana has had less than 1 average new cases. That’s down from 2.8 and 2.2 in the prior two weeks, respectively. May 11, 3:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County met yellow tier metrics for the first time last week, paving the way for the county to more fully reopen its economy. Orange County’s case rate fell to 1.8 cases per 100,000 residents from 2.4 the week prior; if the case rate stays below 2 this week, it could enter the least restrictive reopening tier as soon as next week. Los Angeles became the first Southern California county to enter the yellow tier last week; nine counties in total have entered the yellow tier. OC has been in the orange tier since March 29.

    In the yellow tier, the county can expand capacity at restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, sports venues and other businesses. Theme parks, like Disneyland, can increase capacity from 25% to 35%. Bars that don’t serve food, currently only able to operate outdoors, can reopen indoors at 25% capacity. The color-coded reopening guidelines were first implemented in August, and could be scrapped as soon as next month as the state aims to fully open its economy on June 15. --Katie Murar -- May 7, 3:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County has administered nearly 2.7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses according to new California Department of Public Health data as of Friday. Almost 700,000 vaccines—including first and second doses—have been distributed since April 15, when all Orange County adults and workers became eligible. The OC Health Care Agency also provides vaccination figures; however, that website is updated once per week, compared to the state’s daily update, and also reflects a greater lag in the time it takes for information to be entered, according to the county. The county indicates nearly 1.2 million OC residents are fully vaccinated as of May 2, having received both doses of Pfizer and Moderna, or the single Johnson & Johnson dose.

    May 6, 3:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE As appointments for vaccinations drop across the county, OC is preparing to shutter its remaining mass vaccination sites. Disneyland was the first vaccine POD—or point of dispensing—site to close on April 30, the same day the theme park reopened for guests. Now, OC will close its remaining four POD sites at the Anaheim Convention Center, Soka University, OC Fair & Event Center and Santa Ana College. Those locations will close on June 6, with the last first-dose Moderna appointments to be offered May 8, and the last first-dose Pfizer appointments to be offered May 15. All Orange County residents and workers have been eligible for the vaccine since April 15. Demand for inoculations have dropped significantly since the end of last month, OC officials indicate. Vaccinations will now primarily be distributed through pharmacies, doctor’s offices and mobile vaccine clinics. --Katie Murar -- May 5, 3:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE Coronavirus hospitalizations fell below 100 this week for the first time in nearly a year, according to data from the Orange County Health Care Agency. There were 89 patients hospitalized with coronavirus on Tuesday, May 4, marking the lowest level since the onset of the pandemic in March.

    That’s down from about 200 patients on May 4, 2020, and is off significantly from the peak of 2,259 hospitalizations in the first week of January. There were about 25 ICU patients as of Tuesday, down from 71 a year ago. --Katie Murar -- May 4, 3:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County’s case rate dipped to 2.4 cases per 100,000 residents from 2.6 and 2.8 the two weeks prior, putting the county closer to meting yellow tier requirements. The county has been in the orange tier for seven weeks straight. If the region’s case rate falls below 2, it can enter into the least restrictive yellow tier, allowing for additional easing of business restrictions. The two other metrics monitored by the state have been within yellow tier requirements for several weeks. The county’s test positivity rate declined slightly this week to 1.3%, while the health equity rate, which measures positive test rates in harder-hit neighborhoods, is at 1.4%, down from 1.9% the week prior. The yellow tier would allow most businesses to increase indoor capacity. Theme parks in the state, like the recently reopened Disneyland, would be allowed to bump up occupancy from 25% to 35%. --Katie Murar -- May 3, 3:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County has administered north of 2.

    5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses according to new California Department of Public Health data as of Monday. The figure, which includes a combination of first and second doses, is up nearly 30% from two weeks ago. OC has administered about 550,000 vaccinations in the past two weeks, ahead of the 475,000 administered in the two weeks prior. The OC Health Care Agency also provides vaccination figures; however, that website is updated once per week, compared to the state’s daily update, and also reflects a greater lag in the time it takes for information to be entered, according to the county. The county indicates nearly 1.1 million OC residents are fully vaccinated as of last week, having received both doses of Pfizer and Moderna, or the single Johnson & Johnson dose. --Katie Murar -- April 30, 1:05 p.m. EDUCATION Chapman University said Friday it will require students, faculty and staff coming to campus in the fall to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. The Orange-based institution joins UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton in the planned requirement, which is contingent upon full FDA approval of one or more vaccines and includes accommodations for religious and medical reasons. “Our goal is to move toward a Chapman Experience that is closer to what we had before the pandemic, with only minimal social distancing, our facilities being open, the ability to move freely around campus, where guests are also welcome,” Chapman President Daniele Struppa said in a statement on Friday.

    “Models estimate that we need to have the vast majority of our community vaccinated for that to become a reality. Chapman, with 9,761 students, is planning a full return to in-person instruction in the fall with no options for 100% virtual learning. April 29, 3:30 p.m. EDUCATION California State University and the University of California said they plan to require faculty, staff and students accessing campus this fall to be immunized against COVID-19. The requirement is still in the planning stages and is conditional upon full approval of one or more vaccines by the Food and Drug Administration, the university systems said. Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine are preparing to resume in-person instruction in the fall after a year of remote operations. UC Irvine has 36,303 students and 25,827 employees; Cal State Fullerton has 41,408 students and 5,000 employees. --Jessie Yount April 28, 3:15 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County’s case rate dipped to 2.6 cases per 100,000 residents from 2.8 the week prior, keeping the region within orange tier metrics for the sixth consecutive week. The county’s test positivity rate remained flat at 1.4%, meeting the least restrictive yellow tier’s requirements of less than 2% for the fifth week.

    OC has also met yellow tier requirements for the third coronavirus monitoring metric, the health equity rate, which measures positive test rates in harder-hit neighborhoods. That figure is at 1.9%. OC needs fewer than 2 new daily cases per 100,000 residents to enter into the least restrictive yellow tier, though if the state continues with its strong vaccination pace, specifically for harder-hit communities, the state could drop its color-coded tier system and fully reopen by June 15. For now, businesses are restricted to orange tier guidelines. --Katie Murar -- April 27, 2:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE Following new mask guidelines issued Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, federal officials said individuals who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus do not need to wear masks outdoors save for large gatherings. The update is both a step closer to getting “life in America closer to normal” by July 4, President Biden said, and a push to those who have yet to receive the vaccine. Masks are no longer needed for vaccinated individuals if they’re outside alone—like on a hike or bike ride—or in small gatherings, but will still be required at outdoor concerts, sporting events and other venues, like Disneyland Resort, which reopens on Friday.

    The Orange County Health Care Agency is continuing to urge those who have yet to schedule their vaccine appointment to do so, with “hundreds of vaccination appointments available through Thursday this week at several point-of-dispensing (POD) locations throughout OC,” the organization said on Monday. --Katie Murar -- April 26, 3:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE There have been about 78 coronavirus cases reported each day on average in the past week, which is down from 84 the week prior. Meanwhile, there have been about 5 COVID-19 deaths reported each day on average, down from 8 the week prior, and from 9 two weeks ago. Cities in the county that have historically been hit harder by COVID-19 have continued to far better in recent weeks, such as Anaheim and Santa Ana. Anaheim has had 2.8 new cases per 100,000 residents reported in the past two weeks; Santa Ana has had 2.2 average new cases. That’s better than some coastal cities, like Laguna Beach and Newport Beach, which have seen 7 and 3.7 new cases per 100,000 residents in the past two weeks, respectively. --Katie Murar -- April 23, 3:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE Almost one million Orange County residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 according to the OC Health Care Agency.

    About 900,000 residents and local workers have been fully inoculated across all three vaccination platforms currently available in the county. That’s up from 750,000 last week. The actual vaccination figure is expected to be higher, as the county’s database reflects a lag in the time it takes for information to be entered. A state database, which is updated daily, indicates about 2.3 million vaccination doses have been administered to date, up from about 2 million the week prior. The county is administering an average of 250,000 vaccinations per week. --Katie Murar -- April 22, 3:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE The Anaheim Convention Center is set to hold its first event in more than a year this weekend, with recent state guidelines allowing certain events and meetings for counties in the orange tier. The convention center has been shuttered for events, meetings and conventions since February 2020, and has since served as a mass vaccination and COVID-19 testing site. Following recent guidelines that allow indoor, low-contact recreational sports as part of California’s orange reopening tier, the Orange County Sports Commission has booked an event to take place at the convention center between April 23 and April 25.

    Starpower Talent will host the dance competition event that’s slated to bring 500 people to the center, the largest exhibition facility on the West Coast. “When California released reopening guidelines for outdoor and indoor youth and recreational adult sports, Orange County Sports Commission remained steadfast in its efforts to continue to attract and book business,” said Jay Burress, OCSC president and CEO of Visit Anaheim. “The amateur sports market has proven to be resilient in the wake of a pandemic.” --Katie Murar -- April 21, 12:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE Providence said today it will open two free mass vaccination clinics to the public in partnership with Edwards Lifesciences Corp. and the cities of Irvine, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa and Tustin. The clinic at the Edwards Lifesciences site opens today and was made possible through a $500,000 donation and significant facility and staffing support from Edwards, according to Providence. A second clinic offering drive thru appointments will start vaccinations on Monday at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine. Vaccines are by appointment only and can be scheduled at myturn.ca.gov or by calling 1-833-422-4255. “Providence is committed to providing Orange County residents with access to the vaccine, particularly our most vulnerable communities that are bearing the brunt of this virus, and our strong partnerships are making that possible,” Erik Wexler, president of operations and strategy at Providence South said in a statement.

    Providence is a Renton, Wash.-based nonprofit health system that owns and operates St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, and Mission Hospitals in Mission Viejo and Laguna Beach. --Jessie Yount April 20, 3:15 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County’s case rate dipped to 2.8 cases per 100,000 residents from 3 the week prior, keeping the region within orange tier metrics for the fifth consecutive week. The county’s test positivity rate dipped from 1.6% to 1.4%, meeting the least restrictive yellow tier’s requirements of less than 2% for the fourth week. OC needs fewer than 2 new daily cases per 100,000 residents to enter into the least restrictive yellow tier, though if the state continues with its strong vaccination pace, specifically for harder-hit communities, the state could drop its color-coded tier system and fully reopen by June 15. For now, businesses are restricted to orange tier guidelines. --Katie Murar -- April 19, 3:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE There were about 113 coronavirus cases reported each day on average in Orange County in the past two weeks, down slightly from the 114 reported in the two weeks prior. There were 128 patients with COVID-19 in Orange County hospitals on Monday, up from 118 two weeks ago.

    ICU patients are flat at 22. About 2.1 million vaccine doses have been distributed in OC as of Sunday, according to a state database. That’s up from nearly 2 million doses on Thursday, when vaccines opened up to all adults in the state. --Katie Murar -- April 16, 3:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County has surpassed 2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses according to new California Department of Public Health data as of Friday. The figure, which includes a combination of first and second doses, is up nearly 18% from last week. OC has administered about 300,000 vaccinations in the past week, ahead of the 245,000 and 230,000 administered in the two weeks prior. The OC Health Care Agency also provides vaccination figures; however, that website is updated once per week, compared to the state’s daily update, and also reflects a greater lag in the time it takes for information to be entered, according to the county. The county indicates nearly 750,000 OC residents are fully vaccinated, having received both doses of Pfizer and Moderna, or the single Johnson & Johnson dose. That’s up from 600,000 last week. --Katie Murar -- April 15, 3:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE In the last major step to Orange County’s vaccine rollout, vaccinations opened up to all residents age 16 and older Thursday.

    Pfizer is the only vaccine authorized for ages 16 to 18, while the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines are authorized for ages 18 and older. The state has targeted a goal of June 15—eight weeks from now—for all residents who want the vaccine to be fully inoculated, paving the way for the economy to fully reopen. --Katie Murar -- April 14, 3:00 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County’s case rate is flat at 3 cases per 100,000 residents from the week prior, keeping the region within orange tier metrics for the fourth consecutive week. The county’s test positivity rate dipped from 1.7% to 1.6%, meeting the least restrictive yellow tier’s requirements of less than 2% for the third week. The state last week adjusted its color-coded tier system that would allow counties in the red, orange and yellow tier to increase indoor capacity for certain events, like concerts and weddings, starting April 15 if attendees show proof of full vaccination. The county does not yet have a “vaccination passport” system that would enable residents to easily show their vaccination status, but it has plans to test a pilot program this month. --Katie Murar -- April 13, 3:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE There are currently about 100 average cases being reported each day on average in Orange County, among the lowest levels the region has seen in the past year.

    As of the start of this month, there were about 108 cases reported each day on average, according to the OC Health Care Agency. The last time the county saw a figure that low was at the start of May of last year. The current average figure is down from the peak of 3,500 average cases seen in January, and from the prior summer surge last year, when nearly 900 cases were reported each day on average. Newport Beach appears to be experiencing a new slight surge in cases, with 6.6 new cases per 100,000 residents reported in the past two weeks. That’s the fourth highest level in the county; Los Alamitos has the highest number of new cases, with 7.9 per 100,000 residents. --Katie Murar -- April 12, 3:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County is planning to introduce a “digital passport” system that would show proof that residents have been vaccinated in order to gain entry to various group events, like conferences, concerts and sporting events. The county has yet to reveal plans for this system, but it intends on testing a potential program via Othena, the county’s vaccination application. The pilot program is expected to debut this month. --Katie Murar -- April 9, 12:30 p.m. HEALTHCARE Orange County has administered north of 1.

    7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to date, according to new California Department of Public Health data as of Friday. The figure, which includes a combination of first and second doses, is up nearly 16% from last week. OC has administered nearly 245,000 vaccinations in the past week, ahead of the 230,000 and 181,000 administered in the two weeks prior. The OC Health Care Agency also provides vaccination figures; however, that website is updated once per week, compared to the state’s daily update, and also reflects a greater lag in the time it takes for information to be entered, according to the county. The county indicates nearly 600,000 OC residents are fully vaccinated, having received both doses of Pfizer and Moderna, or the single Johnson & Johnson dose. --Katie Murar April 8, 11 a.m. HEALTHCARE California has slightly shifted its color-coded tier system by adjusting its case rate metrics, making it easier for regions like Orange County to enter the least restrictive yellow tier in which coronavirus transmission is considered minimal. Counties previously needed an adjusted case rate of fewer than 1 daily case per 100,000 residents to enter the yellow tier; the Orange County COVID-19 dashboard now shows that figure has inched up to fewer than 2 cases per 100,000 residents.

    The state’s move to ease yellow tier requirements could be related to the potential addition of a fifth green tier, which would allow fewer business restrictions once the county’s coronavirus transmission improves enough. Orange County is currently in the orange tier with a case rate of 3, up slightly from 2.8 last week. The county has already met the required testing positivity rate to enter the yellow tier. --Katie Murar -- April 7, 12:30 PM POLICY POLICY California could fully reopen its economy by June 15 pending vaccine supply and hospitalization rates, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced this week. The full reopening is contingent upon the state’s ability to vaccinate all adults who wish to be inoculated, and on hospitalization rates remaining low. The state could then move past its current color-coded tier system that was first announced in August and into a new phase that would allow the broadest business reopenings since the onset of the pandemic. Large indoor events that had yet to receive reopening guidelines, such as conventions, would be able to resume operations. The state’s mask mandate is expected to remain in place. --Katie Murar -- April 6, 3:15 PM TOURISM After more than a year of being shuttered due to the pandemic, Disneyland Resort in Anaheim said it will open up ticket sales to the public next week ahead of its planned April 30 reopening.

    In addition to purchasing tickets, reservations will be required for entry as Disney limits capacity in line with state guidelines. Customers with unused Disney tickets purchased before the pandemic can book their reservations starting April 12, and theme park ticket sales will open up to the public on April 15. Disney’s two theme parks—Disneyland and California Adventure—are expected to reopen at 25% capacity on April 30. The resort can increase that capacity to 35% should the region exit the orange tier and enter the yellow tier. To move into that least restrictive tier, in which coronavirus transmission is considered minimal, the county will need to have fewer than one average daily case per 100,000 residents; a positive test rate below 2%; and a health equity rate below 2.2%. --Katie Murar -- April 5, 3:15 PM HEALTHCARE Though vaccines won’t be available for all Orange County adults until April 15, they recently became available for those living in four zip codes of four ZIP codes of Santa Ana, Anaheim and Garden Grove. The focus is part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s effort to target areas most impacted by coronavirus such as these three OC cities, which includes the 92701 and 92703 ZIP codes in Santa Ana; 92805 in Anaheim; and 92844 in Garden Grove.

    Latino Health Access and OC Health Care Agency officials are working to educate residents about this expansion and set up vaccine sites at mobile vaccination pods and community centers, as well as two large-scale dispension sites in Anaheim at Disneyland Resort and the Anaheim Convention Center. April 2, 2:15 PM HEALTHCARE Orange County has administered north of 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to date, according to new California Department of Public Health data as of Friday. The figure, which includes a combination of first and second doses, is up nearly 18% from last week. OC has administered nearly 230,000 vaccinations in the past week, ahead of the 181,000 and 220,300 administered in the two weeks prior. The OC Health Care Agency also provides vaccination figures; however, that website is updated once per week, compared to the state’s daily update, and also reflects a greater lag in the time it takes for information to be entered, according to the county. The county indicates approximately 530,000 OC residents are fully vaccinated, having received both doses of Pfizer and Moderna, or the single Johnson & Johnson dose. April 1, 3:30 PM HEALTHCARE Orange County has once again expanded who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, this time opening up vaccinations to residents and workers age 50 and older.

    Only one more expansion is slated to follow, when OC will open up vaccines for all local adults starting April 15. Eligible residents can sign up for vaccine appointments via othena.com, which connects to the county’s mass vaccination sites, or at local pharmacy websites such as CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid. The county’s vaccine rollout is moving ahead of schedule due to expected increases in vaccine supply, with the state expected to get 3 million vaccines per week by the end of April. March 31, 3:55 PM HEALTHCARE As Orange County enters the orange, or third, tier, the region is closer than it has ever been to entering into the least restrictive yellow tier. An easing of business restrictions kicked in today, a day after OC showed a case rate of 2.8 daily cases per 100,000 residents, down from 3.5 from the week prior and once again meeting orange tier requirements. Based on current state guidelines, OC will need to remain in the orange tier for three consecutive weeks before moving into the next tier. To move into the yellow tier, in which coronavirus transmission is considered minimal, the county will need to have fewer than one average daily case per 100,000 residents; a positive test rate below 2%; and a health equity rate below 2.

    2%. The county has already met one of those metrics, posting a positive testing rate of 1.7% last week. OC will also need to maintain yellow tier metrics for two consecutive weeks in order to enter that tier. In the yellow tier, most indoor businesses will be able to open with modifications such as social distancing, masks, and reduced capacity for less essential businesses. Bars, currently only able to open outdoors, can resume indoor operations at 25% capacity; operations still required to remain closed in the yellow tier include concert venues, conventions, festivals and night clubs. Large theme parks in the state, like Disneyland, can also reopen at 35% capacity, as opposed to 25% capacity in the orange tier. Only two counties in California have advanced to the yellow tier; the bulk of the state is in either the red or orange tier. March 30, 3:00 PM HEALTHCARE Orange County has met orange tier metrics for the second consecutive week, clearing the region to enter into the less-restrictive third tier this week. The county’s case rate dropped from 3.5 cases per 100,000 residents to 2.8 cases per 100,000 residents this week, maintaining the orange tier’s case rate requirements of less than 4.

    The county’s test positivity rate fell from 2.1% to 1.7%, meeting the least restrictive yellow tier’s requirements of less than 2% for the first time. In the orange tier, retail stores can operate at full capacity, most other businesses can bump up their indoor capacity, and bars can reopen for outdoor operations. Large theme parks in the state, like Disneyland, can also reopen at 25% capacity, as opposed to 15% capacity in the red tier. March 29, 2:30 PM HEALTHCARE The location is slated to open before Thursday, when residents age 50 and older become eligible for vaccines. Vaccines will then expand to all adult residents and workers on April 15. There are four other large Point-of-Dispensing sites in the county, including Disneyland Resort, Soka University, Santa Ana College and the Anaheim Convention Center. Local pharmacies such as Walgreens and CVS have also become large hubs for vaccines. March 26, 3:00 PM HEALTHCARE Orange County administered about 181,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses in the past week, down slightly from the 220,300 administered in the week prior, according to new California Department of Public Health data as of Friday. It’s still more than twice the amount administered in the two weeks prior.

    Almost 1.3 million vaccine doses have been given to date in the county, including a combination of first and second doses. OC has administered 403 vaccinations per 1,000 residents, in line with the statewide pace of 404 vaccinations per 1,000 residents. San Diego leads the state in vaccinations, with more than 1,000 residents vaccinated per 1,000 residents. March 25, 2:30 PM HEALTHCARE The state announced Thursday that California residents age 16 and older will be eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine on April 15, with residents age 50 and older able to receive get their vaccine starting April 1. This timeline is ahead of what officials originally projected due to expected increases in vaccine supply, with the state expected to get 3 million vaccines per week by the end of April. “We are even closer to putting this pandemic behind us with today’s announcement and with vaccine supplies expected to increase dramatically in the months ahead,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state health and human services secretary, in a Thursday statement. March 24, 3:00 PM HEALTHCARE If Orange County maintains its lower coronavirus case and test rate metrics, it could enter the orange tier, or tier three, as soon as next week, bringing with it additional business openings and fewer restrictions.

    Orange County’s case rate dropped from 4 cases per 100,000 residents to 3.5 cases per 100,000 residents this week, meeting the orange, or tier 3, case rate requirements of less than 4. Businesses currently closed but able to reopen indoors in the orange, or moderate, tier, include bars and wineries where no meals are provided, and bowling alleys, while most businesses will be able to increase their indoor capacity. Large theme parks in the state, like Disneyland, can also reopen at 25% capacity, as opposed to 15% capacity in the red tier. Businesses that must remain closed in the orange tier include clubs, live theaters, festivals, concert venues and conventions. March 23, 2:00 PM HEALTHCARE Orange County’s case rate dropped from 4 cases per 100,000 residents to 3.5 cases per 100,000 residents this week, meeting the orange, or tier 3, case rate requirements of less than 4. This is the first time OC has met orange tier metrics since the state restarted its tier monitoring system at the start of the year. The county’s test positivity rate remains in the orange tier at 2.1%. OC exited the most restrictive purple tier and entered the second, red tier on March 14; each county is required to stay in its respective tier for at least three weeks before being able to advance into a less restrictive tier.

    The region will also need to maintain orange tier criteria for two consecutive weeks in order to progress to the next tier. March 22, 3:40 PM HEALTHCARE Coronavirus cases continue to drop in Orange County, with average cases down 15% in the past week. There were 105 cases reported each day on average in the past week, down from 123 the week prior. Average cases are down about 43% in the past two weeks. As cases and testing positivity continues to drop in the county, vaccine counts continue to rise. OC has administered about 377 vaccinations per 1,000 residents, slightly ahead of the statewide pace of 375 vaccinations per 1,000 residents. March 19, 3:00 PM HEALTHCARE Orange County administered about 220,300 COVID-19 vaccine doses in the past week, nearly three times the 76,000 administered the week prior, according to new California Department of Public Health data as of Friday. North of 1.1 million vaccine doses have been given to date in the county, including a combination of first and second doses. OC has administered 351 vaccinations per 1,000 residents, slightly ahead of the statewide pace of 349 vaccinations per 1,000 residents. March 18, 2:00 PM HEALTHCARE Orange County has expanded vaccinations to include those age 16-64 with pre-existing medical conditions.

    Underlying conditions include cancer, pregnancy, heart conditions, severe obesity and type 2 diabetes among others. Vaccinations are available at regional super sites and smaller clinics; as of this week, the county said healthcare providers could use their clinical judgment to vaccinate patients with severe health conditions. Orange County surpassed 1 million vaccines administered earlier this week, with nearly 1.1 million doses given as of Thursday, according to a state database. March 17, 10 AM TOURISM Disneyland Resort in Anaheim will reopen on April 30 after being shuttered by the pandemic for more than a year. The two theme parks will reopen with limited capacity—15% if Orange County remains in the red tier, or 25% if the region moves into the third, orange tier by that time. The resort’s three theme parks will also reopen in a phased approach, with Disneys Grand Californian Hotel & Spa plans reopening first on April 29 with limited capacity. The Vacation Club Villas at that hotel will open May 2; while Disneys Paradise Pier Hotel and the Disneyland Hotel will reopen at a later date. More than 10,000 employees are in the process of returning to the park after being furloughed in recent months.

    News of Disneyland’s reopening comes about a week after Governor Gavin Newsom’s “Blueprint Refresh,” which allows theme parks in the state to reopen as soon as April 1 if the counties they are located in are in at least the second, or red tier. OC has been in the red tier since Sunday. March 16, 3:40 PM HEALTHCARE Shortly after advancing into the red tier ahead of schedule, Orange County is on track to enter into the third tier within the next month as the region’s case rate continues to drop each week. According to a Tuesday update by the OC Health Care Agency, the county currently has a case rate of 4 per 100,000 residents, down from 6 and 7.6 in the two weeks prior. This is just shy of the case rate of 3.9 needed to enter the third, or orange, tier. The county has been meeting orange tier metrics for testing positivity and health equity for several weeks, with a test positivity rate of 2.2% currently, down from 3.9 last week. If the county’s case rate drops into orange tier requirements next week, the county will need maintain that criteria for two consecutive weeks in order to progress into the next tier. March 15, 3:40 PM HEALTHCARE Orange County exited the most restrictive purple tier and entered the red tier, or tier two, on Sunday, allowing for an easing of business restrictions.

    The move comes a few days ahead of schedule, as the state met its goal of vaccinating two million residents in harder-hit communities. More Orange County businesses are now able to reopen indoors—such as movie theaters, museums, restaurants and gyms—as others can increase indoor capacity to 50%, including retailers and other essential businesses. The move into the red tier also paves the way for theme parks, such as Disneyland Resort, to reopen next month at 15% capacity. Businesses still restricted to outdoors only include breweries, wineries and distilleries. March 12, 3:10 PM HEALTHCARE Orange County has administered about 895,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to new California Department of Public Health data as of Thursday. The figure, which includes a combination of first and second doses, is up nearly 15% from last week. OC has administered 280 vaccinations per 1,000 residents, slightly ahead of the statewide pace of 278 vaccinations per 1,000 residents. The OC Health Care Agency also provides vaccination figures; however, that website is updated once per week, compared to the state’s daily update, and also reflects a greater lag in the time it takes for information to be entered, according to the county.

    There has not been a recent update in the county’s figures due to technical difficulties, it said this week. As of last week, the county said there had been 734,300 vaccines administered, with about 255,000 residents and workers having received their second dose. March 11, 3:40 PM HEALTHCARE Coronavirus cases continue to drop in Orange County, as the region continues to ramp up its vaccine rollout with nearly 1 million doses administered to date. There were 121 coronavirus cases reported each day on average in the past week, a 27% drop from the week prior. About a month ago, that figure was closer to 550 average cases reported each day. Almost 900,000 vaccine doses have been administered to date in Orange County, according to a state database. March 10, 3:00 PM HEALTHCARE Orange County has met requirements to enter the red tier for the first time in several months, paving the way for the region to enter into the second tier and lessening business restrictions. Tuesday marked one week that OC has met these metrics, with a case rate of 6 per 100,000 residents down from 7.6 the week prior. Each county needs to meet a tier’s requirements for two consecutive weeks in order to move out of its current tier.

    The county has been in the most restrictive purple tier since the state ended its lockdown in January. Entering the red tier would bring new business openings and increased capacity for those already open, such as restaurants, malls and salons. Theme parks in the state will also be able to open starting April 1 in the red tier, according to new rules released by Governor Gavin Newsom earlier this month. March 9, 2:30 PM HEALTHCARE The Anaheim Convention Center today became the first mass vaccine site in the county to administer the newest COVID-19 vaccine by Johnson & Johnson. The vaccine, approved on Feb. 27, differs from the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines in that it’s only one dose, and it doesn’t require any freezers. All three have high success rates at preventing severe disease and death from COVID-19, though J&J’s vaccine is less effective at preventing more mild infections with a 72% efficacy rate. The Anaheim Convention Center offers the Moderna and J&J vaccine; the Disneyland vaccine site, which recently switched to a drive-thru model, only offers the Pfizer vaccine. March 8, 11:00 AM TOURISM/POLICY California theme parks including Disneyland Resort in Anaheim can reopen starting April 1 following new industry guidelines announced last week.

    Governor Gavin Newsom’s “Blueprint Refresh” allows Disneyland, Universal Studios, Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain and other theme parks in the state to reopen as soon as April 1, if the counties they are located in are in at least the second, or red tier. Previously, these theme parks were able to reopen only when the counties reached the least restrictive tier, or the yellow tier. Following months of pushback, theme parks will now be able to reopen for California residents at 15% capacity in the red tier, 25% capacity in the orange tier and 35% capacity in the yellow tier, or tier four. Many state counties, including Orange, have been in the most restrictive purple tier since Gov. Newsom lifted the statewide lockdown in January. The county has been posting declining coronavirus metrics in recent weeks and could enter the red tier as soon as this week, with a tier update slated for Tuesday. March 5, 2:40 PM HEALTHCARE Orange County has administered about 819,200 coronavirus vaccine doses as of Friday, according to a California Department of Public Health database, marking a 21% increase from last Friday. This is a greater increase than last week, when vaccines were up 15% over the week prior.

    The OC Health Care Agency also provides vaccination figures; however, that website is updated once per week, compared to the state’s daily update, and also reflects a greater lag in the time it takes for information to be entered, according to the county. That website indicates about 734,300 vaccines have been administered as of Thursday, which is up 24% from last week, ahead of the 15% increase seen the week prior. March 4, 3:40 PM TOURISM Visit Anaheim and more than 100 other tourism groups have to Governor Gavin Newsom in an attempt to receive industry guidelines for when business meetings, events and conventions in California can resume. Tourism hubs, such as Anaheim, have been among the hardest hit in the state by the pandemic amid travel restrictions. The letter notes these cities are losing out on notable business not just in 2021, but in 2022 and beyond, “because of the uncertainty caused by a lack of guidelines.” Like theme parks, the meetings and events industry is not included in the governor’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. “We thought 2021 was going to be our rebound year, but unfortunately that’s turning out not to be the case,” said Visit Anaheim President and CEO Jay Burress.

    “Of course, part of this is due to the pandemic, but another is confusion about when California will be allowed to hold meetings and events. The sooner we can get clarity from the governor the better.” March 3, 3:40 PM HEALTHCARE Orange County has administered about 775,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to new California Department of Public Health data as of Wednesday. The figure, which includes a combination of first and second doses, is up nearly 25% from last week, and nearly 50% from the week prior. OC has administered 244 vaccinations per 1,000 residents, compared to 236 vaccinations per 1,000 residents statewide. March 2, 3:40 PM HEALTHCARE Orange County’s positive coronavirus testing percentage, one of two main metrics used to determine a county’s tier, fell to meet the third, or orange, tier requirements on Tuesday for the first time in several months. After weeks of meeting red tier requirements, testing positivity fell to 3.9% from 5.4% last week, within orange tier requirements of 2 to 4.9%. Meanwhile, the county’s case rate fell from 11.9 to 7.6 this week, nearing the second, or red, tier’s case rate requirements of four to seven. Both the case rate and the testing positivity rate need to meet red tier requirements in order to enter that tier.

    The county has been in the most restrictive purple tier since the county ended its lockdown in January and could enter the red tier as soon as next week, which would mean new business openings and increased capacity for those already open, such as restaurants, malls and salons. March 1, 3:00 PM HEALTHCARE That figure is down 17% from the week prior and is a far cry from the 1,036 average daily cases reported in the week ending Feb. 1. Orange County’s case figures hit an all-time high of 3,523 average cases in the first week of January, and have been on a steady decline since. The county is still in the most restrictive purple tier but gets closer each week to the red tier; its case rate fell from 20.7 to 11.9 last week. The county needs a case rate below 7 to exit the purple tier. Feb. 26, 3:30 PM HEALTHCARE Orange County has administered about 679,500 coronavirus vaccine doses as of Friday, according to a California Department of Public Health database, marking a 15% increase from last Friday. OC’s vaccine count is the third highest out of all California counties, trailing Los Angeles and San Diego, which have administered nearly 2 million and 805,840 does, respectively. The OC Health Care Agency also provides vaccination figures; however, that website is updated once per week, compared to the state’s daily update, and also reflects a greater lag in the time it takes for information to be entered, according to the county.

    That website indicates nearly 592,000 vaccines have been administered as of this week, which is up about 16% from 512,000 reported last week. Feb. 25, 3:00 PM HEALTHCARE As Orange County continues to post declining coronavirus metrics, the region is getting closer to exiting the most restrictive purple tier and entering the red, or second, tier. For the second consecutive week, Orange County’s testing positivity rate met red tier requirements, decreasing from 7.8% last week to 5.4%; the county needs a testing rate of 5% to 8% to enter into the red tier. 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 11.9 per 100,000 residents from 20.7 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. The red tier means new business openings and increased capacity for those already open, such as restaurants, malls and salons. Feb. 24, 3:30 PM TOURISM/POLICY Tickets will go on sale at the start of next month for the event, which will take place between Thursdays and Mondays starting March 18 and ending April 5.

    Each $75 ticket includes admission, parking, a Disney PhotoPass photos and a $25 dining card. “A Touch of Disney offers some of the world-famous food and beverages from around the resort, plus a chance to see Disney characters, shop for the latest Disney merchandise and pose at unique photo locations,” the theme park said in a statement. The event will include a selection of popular food items from the two theme parks including churros, Dole Whip and the Monte Cristo Sandwich. Select retail locations will also open for the event, though attractions and rides will not reopen due to current state guidelines that has kept the two theme parks largely shuttered since March 14. Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock previously said in a letter to employees that the event will bring about 1,000 employees back to work for the event, which comes at the same time as California Adventure’s 20-year anniversary. Feb. 23, 3:30 PM HEALTHCARE Orange County officials said the region will start vaccinating workers in education, child care and food and agriculture starting next week. The county will set aside about a third of new vaccine shipments for these individuals, including 10% for school employees, following a new directive by Gov.

    Gavin Newsom that’s to begin March 1. Orange County is currently prioritizing vaccines for those aged 65 and older; that demographic is still set to receive the remaining 70% of vaccines, according to the OC Health Care Agency. The county has been hit by vaccine constraints, and has yet to receive its Moderna vaccination shipment for the week due to severe weather across the country. The fourth announced POD site, the Anaheim Convention Center, is slated to open Wednesday, though that will likely be delayed as a result of supply constraints. Feb. 22, 2:30 PM HEALTHCARE As Orange County quickens its COVID-19 vaccine distribution, reported cases continue to fall. There were 304 average cases reported each day last week, representing a 36% drop from the week prior when 472 cases were reported each day on average. Nearly 630,000 vaccines have been distributed to date in Orange County according to a state database; that’s up about 18% from last week. Feb. 19, 3:30 PM HEALTHCARE Orange County has administered nearly 593,000 coronavirus vaccine doses as of Friday, according to a California Department of Public Health database. The OC Health Care Agency also provides vaccination figures; however, that website is updated once per week, compared to the state’s daily update, and also reflects a greater lag in the time it takes for information to be entered, according to the county.

    That website indicates about 512,000 vaccines have been administered as of Thursday, which is up nearly 100% from two weeks ago. -- Feb. 18, 1:50 PM HEALTHCARE “Severe weather across the country has delayed delivery of COVID-19 vaccine supplies across the State of California, including to Orange County,” the county said in a statement. The Disney site is closed through Monday, Feb. 22, when additional vaccines are slated to arrive. Meanwhile, the county announced that the Anaheim Convention Center will open next week, marking the fourth mass vaccination site to be announced in the region. The opening is set for Wednesday, though that could be pushed back pending vaccine supply. The Anaheim Convention Center will only dispense Moderna, first and second doses; after its opening, the Disneyland site will only dispense Pfizer. The news of the new location comes on the heels of the announcement of the county’s third mass vaccine site at Santa Ana College; Soka University is also being used as a POD site. -- Feb. 17, 1:30 PM HEALTHCARE “Addressing barriers that may impede people’s access to testing and vaccines, especially in low equity communities, is the reason why we came up with the Latino Health Equity Initiative very early in the pandemic,” Supervisor Andrew Do said in a statement.

    The POD site opened today, joining the county’s two other mass vaccination sites at Soka University in Aliso Viejo and Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. Those two locations have distributed about 21,807 and 37,860 doses respectively to eligible local residents and workers, according to the county. A state database indicates nearly 560,000 doses have been administered to date in Orange County. -- Feb. 16, 3:30 PM 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. HEALTHCARE 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. This week’s case rate is also down significantly from the rate of 78.8 seen on Jan. 12, the highest figure to date. 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. 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.

    -- Feb. 15, 3:30 PM HEALTHCARE Orange County has struck up partnerships within coronavirus hotspots to increase vaccination efforts for at-risk populations. The effort focuses on Anaheim and Santa Ana to increase accessibility for latinos, a demographic that has a greater risk of dying from the virus, according to the OC Health Care Agency. This demographic has also proved to be less likely to opt in for the vaccine, HCA data shows. The county has made partnerships with organizations like Santa Ana Unified School District, Latino Health Access and AltaMed to create more awareness around the vaccine and fill slots at vaccination sites. had administered about 532,537 coronavirus vaccine doses to date, according to the California Department of Public Health. The region has quickened its vaccination pace in recent weeks; it -- Feb. 12, 3:30 PM HEALTHCARE Orange County has administered about 454,764 coronavirus vaccine doses, according to California Department of Public Health data as of Thursday. OC is providing doses at a rate of 132 per 1,000, up from 37 per 1,000 a month ago. That compares to 127 per 1,000 statewide, up from 35 per 1,000 a month ago. Leading providers of the vaccine locally include OC Health Care Agency, CVS Pharmacy and Kaiser Permanente, according to data provided by the county.

    Actual vaccination figures are likely higher due to data lags and incomplete data entries, according to the state. -- Feb. 11, 3:00 PM HEALTHCARE The number of new coronavirus cases reported each day in Orange County dropped 16% in the past week with about 666 cases reported each day on average, according to the OC Health Care Agency. Local cases continue to decline from the two case peaks seen in the county during the months of July and January. The county saw its first case surge last summer, with average cases hitting a peak of nearly 890 at the start of July. After a few months of declines, cases once again jumped, in time surpassing the prior peak and hitting what’s now the current high of about 3,500 average daily cases seen in the week ending Jan. 8. -- Feb. 10, 3:00 PM Orange County’s coronavirus metrics continue to fall after its highest surge to date seen last month. HEALTHCARE The region’s case rate, the adjusted measure in part used to track which tier a county falls in, declined to 29.7 per 100,000 residents from 39 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.

    The county’s testing positivity rate decreased from 10.9% last week to 9.4%; the county needs a testing rate of 5% to 8% to enter into the red tier. -- TOURISM Disney California Adventure in Anaheim will reopen next month, a year after closing due to the pandemic, for a limited-time ticketed experience focusing on the theme park’s food and beverage offerings and merchandise. Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock said in a letter to employees that the event will be offered multiple days a week, though attractions and rides will not reopen due to current state guidelines that has kept the two theme parks largely shuttered since March 14. “With limited capacity and enhanced health and safety measures in place, guests once again will get to step into a magical Disney environment,” he said in the letter. Potrock added that Disney, once the county’s largest employer, will bring about 1,000 employees back to work for the event, which comes at the same time as California Adventure’s 20-year anniversary. The company has yet to disclose the entry cost or other ticket details. -- HEALTHCARE Orange County has administered about 393,511 COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to new California Department of Public Health data as of Sunday.

    The figure, which includes a combination of first and second doses, is up nearly 50% from last week and has more than doubled in the past two weeks. OC has administered 123 vaccinations per 1,000 residents, compared to 119 vaccinations per 1,000 residents statewide. Actual vaccination rates are likely higher, as the state notes there is a lag in the time it takes for information to be entered into the vaccine registry. -- HEALTHCARE That’s down from the two case peaks seen in the county during the months of July and January. The county saw its first case surge last summer, with average cases hitting a peak of nearly 890 at the start of July. After a few months of declines, cases once again jumped, in time surpassing the prior peak and hitting what’s now the current high of about 3,500 average daily cases seen in the week ending Jan. 8. Cases have been on the decline since then, with California lifting its mandatory stay-at-home order in late January. The average 790 cases reported this week is down more than 40% from the week prior. -- Feb. 4, 3:00 PM HEALTHCARE The region’s coronavirus case rate, the adjusted measure in part used to track which tier a county falls in, fell once again this week to 39 cases per 100,000 residents from 46.

    6 last week and 67.1 the week prior. This is still far off from the case rate of 4 to 7 needed for the county to exit the most restrictive purple tier and into the second, or red, tier. The county’s testing positivity rate is currently 10.9%, down from 12.9%; the county needs a testing rate of 5% to 8% to enter into the red tier. —Katie Murar -- Feb. 3, 3:45 PM HEALTHCARE Select CVS Pharmacy locations across California will start offering the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible individuals on Feb. 11. Locations include several in Orange County, such as Irvine, Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, with additional sites expected to be announced in coming weeks. Those able to receive the vaccine, which currently includes healthcare workers, some law enforcement and those 65 and older, can sign up for the shot on CVS’s website or through the CVS Pharmacy app. Other pharmacies across the United States are expected to also soon carry the vaccine as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination, announced by the Biden administration on Tuesday. As part of the rollout, more than 40,000 U.S. pharmacies are expected to receive the vaccine starting next week. —Katie Murar -- Feb.

    2, 3:20 PM HEALTHCARE Orange County has administered about 264,700 coronavirus vaccine doses, according to a new OC Health Care Agency update provided Monday. That figure, which includes 177,897 first and 86,806 second doses, is up nearly 50% from last week and has more than doubled in the past two weeks. The actual vaccination figure is higher, as the county notes there is “a lag in the time it takes for the information to be entered into the vaccine registry.” —Katie Murar -- Feb. 1, 3:30 PM TOURISM California Adventure at Disneyland Resort will reopen this week for outdoor dining purposes after being shuttered by the state’s stay-at-home order issued in December. While the theme park itself will remain closed, the park will open access to Buena Vista Street just inside the park’s entrance as an expansion of the Downtown Disney shopping district. Dining options to reopen on Friday include Cathay Circle Restaurant; Award Wieners; and Smokejumpers Grill. The two theme parks have been shuttered since March and have yet to receive the green light to reopen, while Downtown Disney reopened in July and later closed as part of the state lockdown. Restaurants in the Anaheim shopping district have been reopening since Governor Gavin Newsom lifted the lockdown last week.

    —Katie Murar -- Jan. 29, 3:30 PM HEALTHCARE Nearly 521,000 individuals that live or work in Orange County have registered for the coronavirus vaccine on Othena, according to the app. That represents about 16% of the county’s total population. Orange County has been managing vaccine appointments via Othena, a local app powered by Cura Patient where residents and workers can sign up to receive their free coronavirus vaccine at point-of-dispensing locations like Disneyland at Soka University. Nearly 108,000 Othena registered users have scheduled appointments, and 93,000 have received the vaccine. According to an OC Health Care Agency database, 148,374 local workers and residents have received at least their first coronavirus shot as of Monday. The county typically updates the vaccination database each week. Currently, vaccines are available for healthcare workers in Phase 1A as well as those in law enforcement working in high-risk settings and those 65 and older. The county said it hopes to vaccinate 70% of the county’s population by early July. —Katie Murar -- Jan. 28, 3:30 PM HEALTHCARE As new coronavirus cases fall in the county, deaths attributed to the virus continue to climb .

    There have been 321 Orange County deaths attributed to coronavirus in the past week, or 46 each day on average. That’s up 19% from the week prior. In the two weeks ending Thursday, there were 42 deaths reported each day on average, up 84% from the two weeks prior. —Katie Murar -- Jan. 27, 3:30 PM HEALTHCARE Orange County’s coronavirus case rate, the adjusted measure in part used to track which tier a county falls in, fell to 46.6 cases per 100,000 residents from 67.1 last week, according to an update provided Tuesday. This is a far cry from the case rate of 4 to 7 needed for the county to exit the most restrictive purple tier and into the second, or red, tier. The county’s testing positivity rate is currently 12.9%; the county needs a testing rate of 5% to 8% to enter into the red tier. The county is currently testing an average of 660 out of 100,000 residents per week. —Katie Murar -- Jan. 27, 9 AM RESTAURANTS Costa Mesa restaurant operator Lazy Dog Restaurants LLC said this week it would reopen 18 of its restaurants in response to Governor Gavin Newsoms announcement Monday to lift a stay-at-home order that had been in effect for most of the state. The lift allows for outdoor dining to resume, among rollbacks of other restrictions for some businesses.

    Lazy Dog said the reopening of patio dining will also bring back some 1,500 workers to its restaurants. —Kari Hamanaka -- Jan. 26, 3:30 PM HEALTHCARE Orange County has administered nearly 180,000 vaccine doses , according to a new update provided Monday. That figure, which includes 118,732 first and 59,284 second doses for a total of 178,016 doses, is up 64% from the 108,812 vaccines administered as of Jan. 17. The actual vaccination figure is higher, as the county notes there is “a lag in the time it takes for the information to be entered into the vaccine registry.” —Katie Murar -- Jan. 25, 10:30 AM POLICY/HEALTHCARE Orange County will lift the stay-at-home order and revert back to the color-coded tier system following the states move to end the regional lockdown. Governor Gavin Newsom lifted the stay-at-home order for all regions Monday following improving ICU capacity forecasts and declining case rates. Counties are now expected to revert back to the tier system first implemented in August, with a majority of the state, including Orange County, in the most restrictive purple tier. In the purple tier, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, churches, museums and other businesses must shut down indoor operations; retail stores, indoor malls and libraries must limit capacity at 25%; grocery stores can open at 50% capacity.

    Restaurants will be able to reopen for outdoor dining, and hair salons will be able to open indoors on a limited basis. Orange County has had 1,542 average daily coronavirus cases reported in the past week, which marks a 43% drop from the week prior when 2,707 cases were reported each day on average. —Katie Murar -- Jan. 22, 3:00 PM HEALTHCARE The number of new coronavirus cases reported in Orange County has plummeted in the past week. There were

     
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