Orange County Reports Three More Deaths From Coronavirus


SANTA ANA (CNS) - Orange County's coronavirus toll stands at 2,151 cases today, with 42 fatalities.

The number of hospitalized patients increased from 157 on Monday to 178 on Tuesday, with the number of intensive care patients rising from 62 to 74, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

Men make up 54% of the county's cases and 62% of its fatalities.

Of the county's total cases, 2% involve people under 18 years old; 9% are between 18-24; 16% are between 25-34; 15% are between 35-44; 19% are between 45-54, 18% are between 55-64, 11% are between 65-74, 6% are between 75- 84, and 4% are 85 and older.

Of the deaths, 5% were 25 to 34 years old, 7% were 35 to 44, 12% were 45-54, 17% were 55-64, 12% were 65-74, 31% were 75-84, and 17% were 85 or older.

Whites account for 33% of the fatalities, 31% were Latino, 29% were Asian, 5% were black and 2% fall into a category of “other.”

The number of people tested for COVID-19 in the county increased by 1,390 to 27,737.

Santa Ana has the most cases with 313, followed by Anaheim at 291, Huntington Beach at 198, and Irvine at 127. They are the four biggest cities in the county.

Orange County Beaches In Southern California Remain Open During Coronavirus Lockdown

Despite restrictions designed to slow the spread of the virus, crowds flocked to Orange County beaches over the weekend as temperatures rose to summer-like levels, which drew criticism from Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday.

“I cannot impress upon people more that the only thing that will set us back is our behavior, is people stopping the practice of physical distancing and appropriate social distancing,” Newsom said at his daily coronavirus briefing. “That's the only thing that will stop us from reopening this economy... The only thing that can stop that is more images again like we saw over this weekend.”

Unlike in neighboring Los Angeles County, the public was not strictly prohibited from spending time on the sand in Orange County, though county beach parking lots remain closed.

City councils in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and San Clemente were holding special meetings Tuesday to discuss their schedules for closing and/or re-opening beaches and parks. County supervisors did not address the issue at their meeting on Tuesday. The supervisors did, however, approve a list of business guidelines.

The Newport Beach City Council Tuesday rejected an emergency motion to shut down its beaches for the next three weekends, despite a scolding from Gov. Gavin Newsom. The council voted 5-2 against shutting down the beaches, with Councilwoman Joy Brenner and Councilman Jeff Herdman in the minority.

Instead, the city will close the parking lots to the beaches and have police beef up patrols to enforce social distancing. Also, popular spots such as the Oceanfront Boardwalk, Newport and Balboa piers and the Wedge will remain closed.

Newport Beach City Councilman Kevin Muldoon led the effort to fend off the proposed ordinance, arguing that the state should be looking to relaxing quarantine conditions before more damage is done to the economy.

Orange County's guidelines encourage sick people or anyone 65 or older or who have underlying medical conditions or chronic illnesses to continue follow stay-at-home orders.

Physical distancing of six feet between customers, employees and general public are encouraged, and if that is impractical then face coverings should be worn. Telecommuting is encouraged as much as possible.

Employees should wash hands every 30 minutes or use hand sanitizer or wear disposable gloves and have their temperature checked before each shift. Anyone with a temperature above 100.4 should be sent home.

The guidelines suggest customers wear face coverings as well.

Supervisor Don Wagner said relaxing stay-at-home restrictions is not up to the county.

“It is beyond our power as a matter of law and beyond our power as a matter of the use of the English language that we can reopen Orange County,” Wagner said. “We're trying to provide guidelines that demonstrate best practices and allow those who are looking to get back to business in Orange County that will do it in a way that satisfies (county health officer) Dr. (Nichole) Quick and the county and our responsibilities to state law.”

Wagner recognized the appeals residents and business leaders have made, and he noted that the county's death rate is the lowest in the Southland.

“That means we have flattened the curve,” Wagner said. “We are also ... in better shape than most urban areas around the state.”

But, Wagner noted, the threat of a “second surge is very real, according to the best science and best information currently available.”

The county must also balance the threat of a depression as well, Wagner said.

“The resulting damage will last longer than the disease will,” Wagner said.

Sheriff Don Barnes updated county officials on coronavirus cases in the jails. The number of inmates testing positive for COVID-19 has jumped up to 96 as officials expand testing, Barnes said.

Nine of the inmates have fully recovered, Barnes said. Sheriff's officials were previously testing symptomatic inmates, but with the availability of more tests they expanded it to newly booked inmates and those who were quarantined because they came in contact with sick inmates but didn't have any symptoms.

All three deputies who have tested positive for coronavirus have fully recovered, Barnes said. One sheriff's employee who got sick from coronavirus is believed to have caught it from a family member, not at work, Barnes said.

Photos: Getty Images

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