orange-county-death-toll-reaches-142-amid-reopening-of-restaurants,-stores

Orange County health officials on Thursday reported another six COVID-19 patients have died, bringing the county’s death toll to 142 amid the reopening of stores, restaurants and more.

From a total of 112,004 people tested throughout the county, 5,744 have tested positive for the virus, according to O.C. Health Care Agency. Officials reported another 100 cases on Thursday alone.

It’s been nearly a week since the county won approval from the state to resume activities such as dining inside restaurants and shopping in retail stores. Manufacturers, office spaces and businesses for pet grooming, car washes and landscaping are also allowed to get back to business.

Earlier this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom rolled back the requirements for counties to ease COVID-19 restrictions — opening the way for larger counties in SoCal, such as Orange and Ventura, to reopen.

He made the decision after the month of April saw a devastating job losses throughout California, reflecting what Newsom has described as a “pandemic-induced recession” seen across the U.S.

Last month, the state’s unemployment rate nearly tripled to 15.5% as a total of 2.3 million Californians lost jobs, according to state data released last week.

But health officials have warned the reopening businesses, beaches and other public spaces too soon could lead to more deaths and hospitalizations. Neighboring L.A. County is the epicenter of the virus in California, with more than half the state’s fatalities.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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