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Orange County Health Officials Warn Against Young People Socializing During Pandemic; Report 308 New COVID-19 Cases

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County health officials reported 308 new coronavirus cases on Monday and no additional coronavirus-related deaths.

The new count comes on the same day pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced its coronavirus vaccine could be 90% effective against COVID-19.

Orange County is currently in the red tier of the state’s four-tier coronavirus monitoring system, but it is expected to fall back to the most-restrictive purple tier if cases continue to rise, according to Orange County CEO Frank Kim.

“We’re going to still be in the red tier tomorrow,” Kim said. The data for next Tuesday, though, shows we’re right on the
edge. Unless something changes, we risk the purple tier next Tuesday.”

The number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations in O.C. went up from 201 on Sunday to 205 Monday, and the number of intensive care unit patients also rose — from 72 to 76 patients in the ICU, Orange County health officials reported.

Kim said contact tracers have not yet pinpointed a specific reason for the rise in cases, but that it seems to be on par with other counties that are too experiencing an increase in infections.

“If you look at the industries — essentially the estimated infections that occur from indoor malls or schools or in-restaurant dining — we’re not seeing any trend there,” Kim said.

Gathering among younger people is also a likely driver of the increase in cases, officials said, and they’re working with universities to reinforce the importance of physical distancing and wearing a mask.

Countywide, Orange County’s cumulative coronavirus cases total is 62,563 and the death toll is at 1,509.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)