#childsafety | OC Churches Reopen At Limited Capacity, Schools Ready: Red Tier

ORANGE COUNTY, CA — On Friday, 12 more Orange County residents died as a result of COVID-19, raising the death toll to 1,081, the Health Care Agency reported Friday.

The HCA also announced 142 new positive cases of coronavirus, raising the county’s cumulative caseload to 50,613 since the pandemic began.

Three of the 12 fatalities reported on Friday were skilled nursing facility residents and one lived in an assisted living facility. Since the start of the pandemic, 402 of those who have died lived in skilled nursing facilities and 75 lived in assisted living facilities.
Hospitalizations in the county dropped from 239 on Thursday to 223 on Friday, while the number of intensive care unit patients inched up from 64 to 65.

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently announced a four-tier color-coded system for tracking COVID-19 trends and determining when counties can move forward with business reopenings.

Orange County moved up this week from the most restrictive purple tier, which represents the areas with the most community spread of the virus, to the red tier.

In Orange County, Mariners Church, a non-denominational Christian church with two Orange County locations, will reopen its Irvine campus for live, socially distant in-person and outdoor worship services on Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13.

“God has been so gracious in providing Mariners Church with a beautiful and spacious outdoor campus that enables us to safely welcome back the community,” said Senior Pastor Eric Geiger. “We’re truly blessed to be in a position where people can unite in powerful worship, sing and pray together, reconnect with friends and hear God’s word – all outdoors and physically distanced. Our weekend services will have something for everyone in the family to enjoy and at all comfort levels.”

To comply with county public health guidelines, Mariners Church is utilizing its spacious outdoor campus to accommodate individuals and families with physically distant worship venues.

Mariners Church will encourage face coverings, position seating to accommodate physical distancing and offer a touchless experience via the Mariners Church app, which will provide guests with sermon notes, worship lyrics and giving opportunities. A full list of Mariners safety guidelines can be found online.

Salons and movie theaters are reopening with limited capacity.

In order to move out of a tier, there is a 21-day waiting period.

To get to the next tier — orange — the seven-day rate of residents testing positive for the coronavirus must be between 2% and 4.9%. It is currently at 4.2% in Orange County.

The county’s daily case count per 100,000 people stands at 5.2. To get to the next level, it must be at 2% to 4.9%.

The change in the three-day average of hospitalized patients stands at -5%. The county has 34% of its intensive care units available and 62% of its ventilators available.

The current city totals, since the pandemic began, are as follows for Friday:

Aliso Viejo – 356 Total Cases

Anaheim – 8636 Total Cases

Brea – 460 Total Cases

Buena Park – 1449 Total Cases

Costa Mesa – 1747 Total Cases

Coto de Caza – 43 Total Cases

Cypress – 516 Total Cases

Dana Point – 261 Total Cases

Fountain Valley – 483 Total Cases

Fullerton – 2289 Total Cases

Garden Grove – 2770 Total Cases

Huntington Beach – 2286 Total Cases

Irvine – 1538 Total Cases

La Habra – 1346 Total Cases

La Palma – 148 Total Cases

Ladera Ranch – 161 Total Cases

Laguna Beach – 197 Total Cases

Laguna Hills – 296 Total Cases

Laguna Niguel – 402 Total Cases

Laguna Woods – 49 Total Cases

Lake Forest – 786 Total Cases

Los Alamitos – 153 Total Cases

Midway City – 118 Total Cases

Mission Viejo – 769 Total Cases

Newport Beach – 1088 Total Cases

Orange – 2302 Total Cases

Placentia – 881 Total Cases

Rancho Mission Viejo – 61 Total Cases

Rancho Santa Margarita – 324 Total Cases

Rossmoor – 62 Total Cases

San Clemente – 467 Total Cases

San Juan Capistrano – 456 Total Cases

Santa Ana – 9717 Total Cases

Seal Beach – 263 Total Cases

Silverado – 42 Total Cases

Stanton – 624 Total Cases

Trabuco Canyon – 187 Total Cases

Tustin – 1189 Total Cases

Villa Park – 50 Total Cases

Westminster – 956 Total Cases

Yorba Linda – 657 Total Cases

The OCHCA reported that 723,864 COVID-19 tests have been conducted, including 7,252 reported Friday. There have been 44,976 documented recoveries.

At the county’s weekly news conference Thursday, Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel emphasized the importance of planning to get flu shots so the county can avoid the so-called “twindemic.”

“I am encouraging everyone in Orange County to get a flu vaccine,” Steel said.

Dr. Clayton Chau, the county’s chief health officer and director of the HCA, said federal officials have “ensured that we have an increased number of flu vaccines available to states.”

“We are expecting several shipments at the end of September,” Chau said. “Be on the lookout for flu shot events in the community throughout the five districts.”

To observe social distancing, county officials will make the flu shots available on a walk-up and drive-thru basis, he said.

Many private kindergarten through sixth-grade schools that won waivers from the county and state returned to in-person instruction Tuesday. They included the Los Alamitos School District’s schools as well as 27 Diocese of Orange schools. Two of the Roman Catholic schools remained in distance learning.

But even with the positive trends, the earliest Orange County’s schools can reopen for personal instruction is Sept. 22.

What do you think about the state of Orange County as we continue through the red tier reopenings? Let your Patch Editor know in comments, or over email.

City News Service, Patch Editor Ashley Ludwig contributed to this report.

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