HUNTINGTON BEACH (CNS) - Five more coronavirus-related deaths and 153 new confirmed cases were reported today in Orange County, raising the death toll to 71 and the cumulative case total to 3,240.
The Orange County Health Care Agency has reported 19 fatalities since Monday.
The number of patients hospitalized with the virus increased from 186 on Thursday to 188, with the number in intensive care increasing from 69 to 74, according to the HCA.
The total number of people in the county tested for the virus stands at 46,372, with 812 tests reported Friday.
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, 6% were 35 to 44, 8%, were 45-54, 14% were 55-64, 17% were 65-74, 28% were 75-84, and 24% were 85 or older.
Men make up 54% of the county's cases and 58% of its fatalities.
Whites account for 32% of the fatalities and Latinos for 35%, followed by Asians (21%). According to the Health Care Agency, 4% were black, 1% were native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 1% are mixed race, and 3% fall into the category of “other.”
In the county's skilled nursing facilities, a total of 302 residents have tested positive for COVID-19, with 20 dying of complications from the virus, according to the county's Thursday report, which also showed 167 staff workers at the facilities have tested positive and one has died.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department reported 259 COVID-19 cases in its jails, with 159 test results pending. There are 18 inmates who are currently sick, and the number who have recovered stands at 54.
Beaches in Orange County were open today, with restrictions, and so- called “low-risk” businesses such as clothing and book stores, music shops, toy stores, sporting goods stores and florists -- all shuttered as a result of the coronavirus pandemic -- reopened with curbside service only.
The move to allow some businesses to ramp back up comes as the state relaxes its health order and as Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state will consider petitions from individual counties that want to go further and allow other businesses to open.
But, Newsom said, any decision to reopen other businesses will be based on strict guidelines, including reporting no more than one case per 10,000 residents in the last 14 days; reporting no deaths in the past 14 days; providing daily testing of 1.5 tests per 1,000 residents; having 15 contact- tracers available for every 100,000 residents; and ensuring hospitals have the capacity to handle a 35% surge in cases.
Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, who is president of the California State Association of Counties, had a scheduled call with state health department officials Thursday evening and proposed a different standard for larger counties such as Los Angeles and Orange.
The density and higher population of the county will make it virtually impossible to get through two weeks without a COVID-19 related death for the foreseeable future, Bartlett said.
“We need to look at the right criteria and metrics relative to the population of the county -- something that is more fair and balanced,” Bartlett told City News Service.
New beach hours of 6 a.m.- 10 p.m. are in effect in Newport Beach and mirror the hours for beaches in Huntington Beach and San Clemente, Newport Beach public information manager John Pope told City News Service.
Pope said enforcement of new “keep moving” rules was mostly about seeking voluntary compliance. Video shots of the beaches showed many beachgoers sunbathing, which is not allowed.
“The things we're looking for are the obvious indicators like someone is planning to camp out for a long stretch,” Pope said. “Lifeguards are looking for canopies, tents, umbrellas. We see them out there and when we do see them, our lifeguards will try to educate those folks and say, `Hey, we can't have that under the current rules.'
“Some of them have been cooperative and some less cooperative, but right now we're trying to educate versus cite. And, if we do need to, the police can be called in and we can have the ability to issue citations. But we're not trying to do that now. We're trying to let people know the rules.”
The city is also using electronic message boards to reinforce the new rules, Pope said.
The active uses approved for beaches include walking, running, hiking, bicycling, swimming, surfing, bodysurfing, boogie boarding, kite surfing, paddle boarding, skim boarding and kayaking.
The city's boardwalk on the peninsula, the popular Wedge surfing spot and the parking lots will remain closed, Pope said.
Seal Beach, Huntington Beach and Dana Point reopened their beaches for active use on Tuesday.
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