OC COVID-19 Cases Up by 110; Hospitalizations Up Too, Death Toll Unchanged


SANTA ANA (CNS) - Orange County today reported 110 new cases of COVID-19 and a jump in hospitalizations, but the death toll was unchanged at 131.

The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus increased from 198 to 269, with the number of patients in intensive care climbing from 69 to 106.

The total number of confirmed cases rose to 5,578, while the number of people tested for the virus since the pandemic began stood at 105,138.

Officials say 52 of the deaths come from skilled nursing facilities.

The county, meanwhile, continued moving forward with its Phase 2 reopening of businesses, including in-restaurant dining and shopping centers, after receiving the go-ahead from Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The following types of businesses were permitted to move forward with reopening plans as of 12:01 a.m. Saturday:

-- restaurants (in-person dining);

-- retail;

-- manufacturing (detailed at https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap);

-- offices; and

-- outdoor museums.

All businesses that are permitted to reopen as part of Stage 2 must comply with posted requirements listed at https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance. Dine-in restaurants can find the state's applicable requirements at https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-dine-in-restaurants.pdf.

“I am extremely pleased we were able to successfully demonstrate that Orange County met the state's requirements and I am grateful to the state for the quick turnaround in the approval process ahead of the Memorial Day weekend,'' county Supervisor Lisa Bartlett said.

As the governor's decision was announced, the county's health officer issued a new order and additional strong recommendations to help slow the spread of COVID-19 as more businesses move toward re-opening.

The order requires all persons to wear face coverings when in public, and also mandates self-isolation for people with COVID-19, and self-quarantine for all those who have been exposed to the virus.

“The order includes necessary preventative measures to control and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community and help preserve the capacity in our local health care system, which was one of the metrics the California Department of Public Health took into account before approving our plan to move deeper into Stage 2 of re-opening Orange County,'' Dr. Nichole Quick said.

According to the order:

-- All county residents who have been diagnosed with or are likely to have COVID-19 shall immediately isolate themselves in their home or another residence until: 1) at least 3 days (72 hours) after they have recovered, meaning their fever has resolved without use of fever-reducing medications and their respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved; AND (2) at least 10 days has elapsed from when their symptoms first appeared.

-- Individuals who have a positive COVID-19 PCR (real time) laboratory test result and are without COVID-19 symptoms shall isolate themselves for 10 days from the date when the specimen for the positive COVID-19 PCR laboratory test result was obtained.

-- Unless one of the criteria above applies, the individual may not leave his or her place of isolation except to receive necessary medical care.

-- All county residents who know that they have been in close contact with a person diagnosed with or likely to have COVID-19 shall quarantine themselves in their home or another residence until 14 days from the last date that they were in close contact with a person that has been diagnosed with or likely to have COVID-19.

-- Exposed persons shall self-quarantine themselves for the entire 14-day COVID-19 incubation period, the typical time between exposure and when symptoms and signs of the disease may develop.

-- Close contact refers to any person who has been within 6 feet of an infectious COVID-19 person for 15 minutes or more. A person who is diagnosed with or likely to have COVID-19 is considered infectious from 48 hours before his or her symptoms first appeared until the person is no longer required to be isolated.

-- All Orange County residents and visitors shall wear a cloth face-covering when 1) in a public place; 2) visiting a retail, commercial or other place of business; or (iii) at work, and when the resident or visitor is not able to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from another person who is not a family/household member or live in the same living unit.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department announced Monday that 369 inmates have tested positive since March, with 302 having recovered and others asymptomatic. Fifteen of the inmates are currently sick and in medical isolation. Officials are awaiting the results of 47 tests.

Photo: Getty Images

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