SANTA ANA (CNS) - Orange County officials have reported 69 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and four additional deaths, bringing the county's totals to 2,873 cases and 61 fatalities.
The number of patients hospitalized with the virus increased from 169 on Monday to 202 Tuesday, and the number of patients in intensive care rose from 52 to 62.
The total number of people in the county tested for the virus increased to 39,112.
Of the county's total cases, 2% involve people under 18 years old; 10% are between 18-24; 18% are between 25-34; 15% are between 35-44; 18% are between 45-54; 16% are between 55-64; 10% are between 65-74; 6% are between 75- 84; and 4% are 85 and older.
Of the patients who died, 3% were 25 to 34 years old, 5% were 35 to 44, 8%, were 45-54, 13% were 55-64, 18% were 65-74, 31% were 75-84, and 21% were 85 or older.
Men make up 54% of the county's cases and 57% of its fatalities.
Whites account for 34% of the fatalities and Latinos 33%, followed by Asians (23%). According to the Orange County Health Care Agency, 5% were black, 2% were native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and 3% fall into the category of “other.”
The Orange County Sheriff's Department has heightened testing in the jails and now counts 227 inmates who have tested positive for COVID-19 since mid-March. As of Tuesday, 18 inmates are sick with the coronavirus, according to the sheriff's department, which is waiting results of 164 other tests of asymptomatic quarantined inmates who came into contact with sick prisoners.
None of the inmates have died and one inmate is hospitalized, said Carrie Braun of the Sheriff's Department. Thirty-one inmates have recovered since testing began in March, she said. Three deputies who work at the jails have recovered, but two other sheriff's employees are still out sick, Braun said.
County officials this week began testing sheriff's deputies and Health Care Agency employees who work in the county's clinics.
In the county's skilled nursing facilities, a total of 280 residents have tested positive for COVID-19, with 18 dying of complications from the virus, according to the county, which also reported 157 staff workers at the facilities have tested positive and one has died.
One of the hardest-hit facilities is Anaheim Healthcare Center on Beach Boulevard, which has 50 patients afflicted with COVID-19, according to Anaheim officials. Four patients have died there, officials said.
Twenty staff workers at Anaheim Healthcare have tested positive for coronavirus.
Another facility in Anaheim with an outbreak is Windsor Gardens Convalescent Center of Anaheim on Ball Road, which has 19 patients with COVID- 19 and seven staff workers who have coronavirus, officials said.
Orange County, meanwhile, struggled over how to return to normalcy. A week after Orange County's Board of Supervisors approved guidelines for businesses to reopen, officials were still struggling to explain to the public what they mean.
Last week, Supervisor Don Wagner, who serves on an ad hoc economic recovery committee with Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel, assured the public the guidelines do not supersede any of the state's stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Supervisor Doug Chaffee said his office sent an email to constituents explaining that the guidelines were only advisory and several residents angrily recounted at Tuesday's board meeting how the quarantine conditions are strangling their businesses and called on the supervisors to ignore Gov. Gavin Newsom's executive orders, which some claimed are “illegal.”
Chaffee proposed issuing a news release from the county to clarify what the guidelines mean, but when Supervisor Andrew Do expressed some confusion as to what exactly Chaffee wanted to say in the release, he backed off and asked county staff to come up with a news release the board can consider next week.
Supervisor Lisa Bartlett said her office has received hundreds of phone calls from residents inquiring whether the county is allowing businesses to reopen.
Wagner, while emphasizing that the county cannot overstep state authority, nevertheless on Monday advocated that the county not enforce Newsom's orders such as the one halting restaurants from dine-in service.
Photos: Getty Images