SANTA ANA (CNS) - Orange County officials have reported 179 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death, raising the county's totals to 5,336 cases and 131 fatalities.
The single fatality Saturday was a sharp drop from the previous four days, when a total of 42 deaths were reported.
Most of the cases stem from outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities, local health officials say.
Meanwhile, the county received the go-ahead from Gov. Gavin Newsom to move forward with its Phase 2 reopening of businesses heading into the Memorial Day Weekend, including in-restaurant dining and shopping centers.
The following types of businesses were permitted to move forward with reopening plans as of 12:01 a.m. Saturday:
-- Restaurants (in-person dining)
-- Manufacturing (detailed at https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap)
-- Outdoor museums
-- Limited Personal Services (visit state website for details)
All businesses that are permitted to reopen as part of Stage 2 must comply with posted requirements listed at https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance. Dine-in restaurants can find the state's applicable requirements at https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-dine-in-restaurants.pdf.
“I am extremely pleased we were able to successfully demonstrate that Orange County met the state's requirements and I am grateful to the state for the quick turnaround in the approval process ahead of the Memorial Day weekend,'' County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett said.
As the governor's decision was announced, the county's health officer issued a new order and additional strong recommendations to help slow the spread of COVID-19 as more businesses move toward re-opening.
The order requires all persons to wear face coverings when in public, and also mandates self-isolation for people with COVID-19, and self-quarantine for all those who have been exposed to COVID-19.
“The Order includes necessary preventative measures to control and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community and help preserve the capacity in our local health care system, which was one of the metrics the California Department of Public Health took into account before approving our plan to move
deeper into Stage 2 of re-opening Orange County,'' Dr. Nichole Quick said.
According to the order:
-- All county residents who have been diagnosed with or are likely to have COVID-19 shall immediately isolate themselves in their home or another residence until: 1) at least 3 days (72 hours) after they have recovered, meaning their fever has resolved without use of fever-reducing medications and their respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved; AND (2) at least 10 days has elapsed from when their symptoms first appeared.
-- Individuals who have a positive COVID-19 PCR (real time) laboratory test result and are without COVID-19 symptoms shall isolate themselves for 10 days from the date when the specimen for the positive COVID-19 PCR laboratory test result was obtained.
-- Unless one of the criteria above applies, the individual may not leave his or her place of isolation except to receive necessary medical care.
-- All county residents who know that they have been in close contact with a person diagnosed with or likely to have COVID-19 shall quarantine themselves in their home or another residence until 14 days from the last date that they were in close contact with a person that has been diagnosed with or likely to have COVID-19.
-- Exposed persons shall self-quarantine themselves for the entire 14-day COVID-19 incubation period, the typical time between exposure and when symptoms and signs of the disease may develop.
-- Close contact refers to any person who has been within 6 feet of an infectious COVID-19 person for 15 minutes or more. A person who is diagnosed with or likely to have COVID-19 is considered infectious from 48 hours before his or her symptoms first appeared until the person is no longer required to be isolated.
-- All Orange County residents and visitors shall wear a cloth face-covering when 1) in a public place; 2) visiting a retail, commercial or other place of business; or (iii) at work, and when the resident or visitor is not able to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from another person who is not a family/household member or live in the same living unit.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department announced Friday that 365 inmates have tested positive since March, with 261 having recovered and others asymptomatic. Nine of the inmates are currently sick and in medical isolation.
Officials are awaiting the results of 40 tests.
Photo: Getty Images