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Santa Ana Testing Site Sees COVID-19 Positivity Rate Skyrocket

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – A coronavirus testing site in Santa Ana has seen its positivity rates more than double, mirroring a trend nationwide in which COVID-19 cases have spiked.

A COVID testing site staff member (L) directs people waiting in line for COVID-19 tests in Los Angeles, California, November 9, 2020. - The United States recorded its 10 millionth case of the coronavirus Monday, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University, the same day that Pfizer and BioNTech announced their vaccine showed 90 percent effectiveness. Shortly before 1400 GMT on November 9, 2020 the tracker by the Baltimore-based university showed 10,018,278 cases recorded in the US since the pandemic began, and 237,742 deaths. Both are the highest tolls in absolute terms in the world. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

The one-week positivity rate at a drive-thru testing site in Santa Ana run by the University of California, Irvine has increased from 8.9% to 20%, UCI Health reported Wednesday.

"It's right in line with what we know happened a couple of weeks ago, which was Halloween," Dr. Jose Mayorga, with UCI Health, said. "People got together, they interacted at gatherings in their homes and they socialized and possibly let their guard down."

Orange County is currently in the red tier of California's coronavirus reopening blueprint. If the rate of COVID-19 cases continues to trend upwards, however, there's the risk it could be downgraded to the purple tier, which would require some businesses to close indoor operations again and could delay the reopening of some schools.

According to state numbers, Orange County is averaging 5.6 new daily cases per 100,000 population, and a positivity rate countywide of 3.3%.

O.C. has recorded 62,830 coronavirus cases and 1,512 deaths from the disease since the pandemic began. California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announces which counties are moving tiers every Tuesday.

"We're going to still be in the red tier tomorrow,'' Orange County CEO Frank Kim said Monday. "The data for next Tuesday, though, shows we're right on the edge. Unless something changes, we risk the purple tier next Tuesday (Nov. 17).''

According to CBS News, the U.S. recorded a daily record of 136,000 coronavirus cases Tuesday. There are also more people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 than at any other time in the pandemic so far.

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