Orange County Coronavirus Cases Now at 656; 13 Deaths

Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America

SANTA ANA (CNS) - The number of coronavirus cases in Orange County jumped up to 656 today, with the death toll rising to 13.

On Wednesday, the number stood at 606 with 10 deaths.

The number of patients hospitalized increased from 94 to 115 on Thursday, with 47 in intensive care. On Wednesday there were 31 in intensive care.

Of the county's cases, 40% are between the ages of 45 and 64, 16% between 35 and 44, 15% between 25 and 34, 10% between 18 and 24, and 18% over 65. One patient is described as a child, but an age and gender were not released. Men make up 55% of the county's cases, 44% are female and the rest is unknown.

Of the patients who have died of complications from COVID-19, seven were 65 or older, two were 25 to 34, one was 35 to 44, and three were 45 to 64. Six of the people who died were female, and seven were male.

As of Thursday, 7,791 people have been tested for COVID-19 in the county. Officials said they currently have enough tests for 1,206 more people. Since Wednesday, 520 people have been tested.

Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do on Tuesday implored residents to stay at home as much as possible to stem the tide of the pandemic.

“Social distancing and isolation is no longer a debate,” Do said.

Stay-at-home orders in other countries have lessened the spread of the disease, Do said, adding that Orange County residents might not know for weeks or months how effective their efforts have been. “But we can do more than hope for the best,” he said.

Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America

Do noted he received multiple text messages and photos of large groups of people gathering last weekend in violation of the social-distancing recommendations.

“I have even heard of people hosting coronavirus parties,” Do said. “Stop it. ... Don't make play dates. Don't go see your cousin. ... Just don't.”

Do pointed out that “Just because you don't feel sick, doesn't mean you're not sick,” referring to the incubation period of the virus before symptoms flare up.

Two new cases were reported in Orange County's jails on Monday, bringing the total number of men who have tested positive for coronavirus in custody to five, according to Sheriff Don Barnes.

Between Friday and Monday, about 130 inmates were released early to make room in the jail for an expected surge in cases. Forty-three of those inmates were designated at-risk because of their age or health, and the rest had 10 days or less remaining on their sentences. Barnes said he would consider releasing inmates with up to 60 days remaining on their sentences if more beds were needed in the jails.

Another 162 inmates were released Tuesday, with 21 considered especially vulnerable because of age or health, sheriff's Cmdr. Joe Balicki told the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

Since March 1, the jails are down 1,000 inmates, Balicki said. According to sheriff's officials, that's the lowest the jail population has been in more than a decade.

Ten inmates are in “medical isolation” because they have symptoms associated with COVID-19, Balicki said, and 193 are in quarantine because they came into contact with others who tested positive.

Several staff members have been sent home with flu-like symptoms, but have all tested negative for coronavirus, Balicki said.

Plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit alleging a variety of issues in Orange County's jails filed a motion in federal court Monday seeking to have more inmates released.

Officials with the city of Anaheim reported two employees at the homeless shelter run by the city and the Salvation Army tested positive for cornavirus on Monday, but none of the residents have tested positive so far.

Irvine has the most cases in the county with 65. Anaheim has 60 and Newport Beach has 48.

Other cities with the most cases include Huntington Beach with 44, Santa Ana with 40 and San Clemente with 31.

Orange County Public Health Director David Souleles said Tuesday there are enough hospital beds to handle patients because elective surgeries have been rescheduled, but that could change when an expected surge of patients happens.

State officials on Wednesday announced they would use the Fairview Developmental Center in Costa Mesa, which was in the process of being shut down, as an overflow site for patients who do not have coronavirus to make room for beds in area hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients.

Photos: Getty Images

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