Orange County's COVID-19 Cases Up to 882; Death Toll Still at 14

Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America

SANTA ANA (CNS) - Orange County's COVID-19 cases have increased minimally from 834 on Sunday to 882, with the death toll remaining unchanged at 14.

The number of hospitalized patients decreased from 137 to 130, but the number of patients in intensive care units rose from 56 on Sunday to 72 on Monday, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

Of the county's 882 cases, six, or 1%, involve children; 79, or 9%, are between 18-24; 139, or 16%, are between 25-34; 134, or 15%, are between 35- 44; 359, or 41%, are between 45-64; and 164, or 19%, are 65 or older. Men make up 54% of the county's cases.

As of Monday, 10,489 people had been tested for COVID-19 in the county, with enough tests for 950 more people.

Anaheim has the most cases with 92, followed by Irvine with 77 and Newport Beach with 73.

Two cases involve Orange County sheriff's deputies, one of whom works at the Theo Lacy jail in Orange and the other at the main jail in Santa Ana. Both men are resting at home, said Carrie Braun, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Co-workers and inmates who came into contact with those deputies were being alerted. The co-workers were being told to quarantine themselves if they feel they have symptoms, and officials are monitoring the inmates, Braun said.

Sheriff Don Barnes said 18 inmates are in medical isolation because they have shown symptoms associated with COVID-19, and six have tested positive and nine are awaiting test results. The sheriff has also placed 166 inmates in a quarantine because they have had contact with others who have tested positive for coronavirus, Barnes said.

As of March 28, the sheriff has released 327 inmates who were shortly about to finish their sentences. He said of those, 108 were elderly or had underlying health conditions that put them at particular risk.

Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America

The county's jails housed 5,200 inmates as of March 6, “and as of this (Monday) morning under 4,000,” Barnes said.

The sheriff said he recently spoke with one of the deputies who tested positive for coronavirus and Barnes reported he was doing well.

Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do said he will propose a new policy at Tuesday's board meeting that would require store clerks to wear face coverings.

“Last week, San Diego County changed its policy to start requiring face coverings for all employees who may have contact with the public in any grocery store, pharmacy/drug store, convenience store, gas station, restaurant, or other business establishment that serves food,” said Do, the board's vice chairman. “`I will make the same recommendation at (Tuesday's meeting) to protect our essential workers and each other.”

Orange County Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick has discouraged residents from seeking out surgical masks or N95 masks, which are in short supply and badly needed by healthcare workers. Instead, Quick recommends any sort of face covering, including scarves and bandannas, because they can be effective in cutting down the spread of the virus, though people should still stay at home and practice social distancing.

Do said he would also call on the governor to give county officials more “flexibility” when spending state funding earmarked for mental health services to cover substance abuse disorders, which, he added, was “needed at this time.”

County officials also announced Monday afternoon that they have abandoned plans to house transients in the 138-bed Ayres Hotel at 24341 El Toro Road in Laguna Woods because the hotel chain backed out of its lease with the county. The plan drew lawsuits filed Monday morning from the City Council and the Laguna Woods Village retirement community because residents feared the guests would spread the virus among the mostly elderly community around the hotel. Those lawsuits were withdrawn when the hotel chain got out of its lease.

Photos: Getty Images

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