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OC Officials React to Mounting Challenges as County Lapses to Purple Tier

SANTA ANA, Calif. (CNS)—Orange County’s run in the COVID-19 red tier ended Nov. 16 with a lapse back into the most-restrictive purple tier of California’s four-tier reopening roadmap. Orange County—which has seen a big spike in new cases along with the rest of the state—joined 28 other counties with a jump back into the purple tier. County health officials reported 380 new cases of COVID-19 on Nov. 16, raising the cumulative count to 65,605. There were no new fatalities, so the death toll remains at 1,526. Although cases have risen sharply—with more than 500 cases announced on Nov. 13 and Nov. 14, and more than 600 on Nov. 15—deaths have been decreasing. Last week, the county reported 18 deaths, compared with 24 the week before. But Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, the president of the California State Association of Counties, said deaths are a lagging indicator, and as hospitalizations increase, …