SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CA — The Santa Clara County Public Health Department reported 54 additional coronavirus cases Tuesday.
The latest report brings the countywide case count to 21,978.
The county reported two additional coronavirus-related fatalities Tuesday, bringing its COVID-19 death toll to 345.
There were 84 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Santa Clara County as of Tuesday, of which 27 were being treated in intensive care units.
Elsewhere around the Bay Area and beyond, Santa Clara County is eligible to move to the lower-risk orange tier for COVID-19-related reopenings but before that happens, it needs to maintain its case rates for at least two weeks.
That means all businesses such as restaurants or services at places of worship could resume indoors with some restrictions by Oct. 14.
"That is of course contingent on continued stability and continued progress on the state's criteria here in Santa Clara County. The trends in the last two weeks have been good," County Counsel James Williams said.
The orange tier will decrease restrictions -- allowing indoor gatherings of up to 100 people or at 25 percent capacity, whichever is fewer. Outdoor gatherings can now be up to 200 people.
California will start tracking a metric intended to determine the inequity of the coronavirus' spread, the state's two top public health officials said Tuesday.
The state's Healthy Places Index provides coronavirus test positivity data on a census tract-level with the goal of highlighting the areas of the state that are either healthier or unhealthier than others, allowing for more targeted support for communities that are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus.
Since late August, state public health officials have tracked the case rate per 100,000 residents and the test positivity rate for each of the state's 58 counties to determine how widespread the virus is and whether it is safe for a county to open certain businesses.
Starting Tuesday, the state also began tracking the HPI scores for individual counties. Those with lower scores will be able to move quicker through the state's color-coded, tiered reopening system, according to Dr. Erica Pan, the state's acting public health officer.
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There have been 837,061 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 16,203 coronavirus-related deaths in California as of Tuesday afternoon according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The United States had 7,494,357 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 210,774 coronavirus-related fatalities as of Tuesday afternoon.
There have been 35,654,271 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,046,809 deaths reported globally as of Tuesday afternoon.
— Bay City News contributed to this report