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CDC moves Ventura, Orange, Santa Barbara Counties to 'medium' tier as COVID-19 cases continue to climb statewide

LA County reports over 6,000 new COVID cases for the first time since February
LA County reports over 6,000 new COVID cases for the first time since February 00:46

As most of the nation experiencing a new wave in steadily climbing COVID-19 numbers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moved 19 new California Counties from the "low" tier to the "medium" tier of coronavirus transmissibility. 

The move, based off of case rates and hospitalizations, included Ventura, Orange and San Diego Counties, who joined Los Angeles County in the medium level. L.A.'s move was made on May 19. 

Additionally, other Southern California counties making the move were San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Imperial and Inyo Counties.

With the moves, 33 of the state's 58 counties have reached the medium tier, marking nearly 80% of California's population of 39.35 million people. 

The rising numbers are part of a nationwide trend as a new variant - BA.2.12.1 - continues to spread, accounting for more than a third of cases in California. 

On Thursday, Los Angeles County alone reported more than 6,000 cases, its highest number of COVID-19 cases since early February, during the midst of the Omicron variant winter surge. 

UCLA announced a return to indoor masking for all events on campus including lectures and graduation ceremonies, which are set to take place in just about two week's time. 

Department of Public Health officials displayed a sense of concern during Thursday's press conference, especially with the busy Memorial Day Weekend of travel looming, as more than 39 million Americans plan to travel. 

Los Angeles DPH Director Barbara Ferrer warned that if cases don't see a decline in the near future, counties could see a noted increase of stress placed on the healthcare system.


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