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San Diego, Orange, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties have entered the medium COVID-19 community level, as case rates worsen across California.

Coronavirus case rates are climbing enough such that the number of California counties in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s medium COVID-19 community level doubled on Thursday.

The medium COVID-19 community level is the middle level of the CDC’s three-level system for evaluating COVID-19 risk, tied to case rates and hospitalization levels.

Nineteen California counties were moved from the low to medium COVID-19 community level Thursday.


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Officials said the mask order was needed to avoid disrupting in-person learning and campus activities, including graduation.

Southern California counties that were moved from the low to medium community level were San Diego, Orange, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Imperial and Inyo counties.

In the greater Central Valley, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Placer, Merced, Madera, Yuba, San Benito, Tuolumne and Mariposa counties entered the medium community level. And elsewhere in Northern California, Monterey, Napa and Plumas counties went into the medium level.

Los Angeles County and the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area were already in the medium level prior to this week.


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Masks may not be required in many places but they’re still encouraged, officials say, as new COVID cases continue to climb.

According to CDC data, 33 of California’s 58 counties are now in the CDC’s medium COVID-19 community level, accounting for 78% of the state’s population.

By contrast, the previous week, there were only 14 counties in the medium COVID-19 community level, accounting for less than half of the state’s population.

Overall, coronavirus cases are still on the rise in L.A. County. During the weeklong period that ended Thursday, the county reported an average of more than 4,200 new cases a day — a rate of 293 new infections per 100,000 residents.


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Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties have all seen upticks in coronavirus case rates.

A rate of 100 or more is considered a high rate of transmission.

Officials also say these case numbers are an undercount, as many residents are now self-diagnosing using over-the-counter tests, the results of which are not reliably reported.

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Omar Kelly: Possession of playlist power inspires Dolphins players to shine

Never underestimate the power of a good playlist because the vibe music can create often sets the tone for whatever you’re embarking on.

So far, the reward system new coach Mike McDaniel created, letting the top performer of the previous day’s practice pick the music for the next session, has been one of the main motivators during training camp’s grueling work, often keeping the practices light and upbeat.

As a result, the playlist creator serves as the center of attention for a day.

Shine in practice with a dominant showing, which must be paired with consistency throughout the week, and an orange jersey and the team’s auxiliary cord is yours.

Players get a text the night before and must come to practice early to deliver the playlist they’ve curated.

Since the spring everyone acts as if receiving playlist power and the orange jersey that comes with it, is the highest honor one could receive from the team.

“It’s exciting,” said linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel, who provided camp’s most well-rounded playlist on Friday. “You get a text that says that you were the practice player of the day, so when I got that, I was happy just knowing all the hard work that I put in really is paying off.”

So far there have been people-pleasers like Van Ginkel, players who simply want everyone to be happy with their music choices so they put something in for everyone.

Then there are those who want the music to reflect the region of the country they are from, or the genre of music they are into.

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the orange jersey player on Wednesday, had that day’s practice feeling like the Dolphins had just relocated to the lobby of a Hawaiian resort, taking the tunes back to his childhood home.

Safety Jevon Holland’s music had a heavy West Coast flavor, as he paid tribute to his Oakland roots. And receiver Jaylen Waddle’s Houston upbringing was reflected on his orange jersey day.

Defensive tackle Zach Sieler’s orange jersey day was a throwback to 80′s rock.

Then there’s defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, who controlled the playlist on Saturday and gave the fans in attendance some dancing to accompany his musical taste, which was highlighted by his 2 Live Crew, Bobby Brown and Teddy Riley selections.

“I got to show my range,” said Wilkins, who used his first song of practice, Jay-Z’s “Public Service Announcement,” as a tribute to fellow defensive lineman John Jenkins, a 10-year veteran whom he stressed has “been having a heck of a camp.”

“It’s a lot of pressure because you have to set the tone for the day,” Wilkins said about the playlist power. “But you also have to be yourself a little bit. Guys are always hitting up other guys [for recommendations].

“I’m a man of the people, so I have to give the people what they want.”

What the players want is music that will inject energy into these dog days of summer practices in 100-degree heat. But the team’s standards are high.

“The whole point is, if you have any comments or critiques over the DJ list become the DJ,” McDaniel said when explaining how the orange jersey and playlist powers were created.

Tight end coach Jon Embree, who also serves as the assistant head coach, recommended that the playlist should be put in the hand of the previous days top performer after there was widespread complains about McDaniel’s music taste. Since then the coaching staff has routinely put it to a vote after the days film session.

When offensive lineman Liam Eichenberg’s playlist got messed up, and the same four songs kept playing over and over again during the early portion of practice last week, he heard about it nonstop during practice until the equipment people fixed it, and got his playlist going again.

“Man, that was a mess,” Eichenberg said. “I hit up the O-line and said ‘send me some songs.’ Then towards the back end, I put some country stuff.”

The hope is that the playlist continues to be a motivator, helping the team not only increase their musical taste and range but ultimately improves the on-field performance of the team this season.

The orange jersey has been around since the spring, and now some players — Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill and Wilkins — are getting their second spin at being the practice DJ.

“Not yet. Not yet,” linebacker Jaelan Phillips said when asked if he’s a repeat orange jersey wearer. “Striving for it though.”


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