COVID pushes Orange, Ventura, San Diego counties to worse tier

San Diego, Orange, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties have entered the mid-community level of COVID-19, while case rates worsen throughout California.

Coronavirus case rates rose enough that the number of California counties in the CDC’s COVID-19 median community level doubled on Thursday.

Nineteen California counties moved from the low community level to the medium level of COVID-19 on Thursday.

Southern California counties that moved from the low to middle community tier were San Diego, Orange, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Imperial and Inyo.

In the Central Valley, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Placer, Merced, Madera, Yuba, San Benito, Tuolumne and Mariposa counties fell into the middle community tier. And in the rest of Northern California, Monterey, Napa and Plumas counties fell into the middle tier.

Los Angeles County and the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area were already in the mid-level earlier in the week.

According to CDC data, 33 of California’s 58 counties are now in the CDC’s COVID-19 median community level, representing 78% of the state’s population.

By contrast, the previous week, there were only 14 counties in the median community level for COVID-19, representing less than half the state’s population.

Overall, coronavirus cases continue to rise in Los Angeles County. During the week-long period ending Thursday, the county reported an average of more than 4,200 new cases a day, for a rate of 293 new infections per 100,000 residents.

A rate of 100 or more is considered a high transmission rate.

Officials also say these case figures are an undercount as many residents are now self-diagnosing using over-the-counter tests, the results of which are not reliably reported.

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