OC Up to 5,923 COVID-19 Cases


SANTA ANA (CNS) - Orange County officials today reported three new COVID-19-related fatalities, hiking up the death toll to 145.

The Orange County Health Care Agency also reported 185 new coronavirus cases, raising the cumulative total to 5,923 since the pandemic began.

Officials say 60 of the fatalities were skilled nursing home residents. As of Wednesday, 735 skilled nursing home residents have contracted COVID-19 in Orange County and 322 staffers have contracted the virus, according to the HCA.

There have been outbreaks -- defined as two or more confirmed cases -- in 22 skilled nursing homes, two assisted living facilities and two care homes. There also have been outbreaks at homeless shelters in Anaheim and Fullerton, said Orange County CEO Frank Kim.

The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus remained unchanged at 255, with the number of patients in intensive care decreasing from 105 to 98.

The number of people tested stands at 116,279.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department reported 377 inmates have tested positive for the virus, with 329 having recovered. Fifteen inmates are sick, and officials are awaiting test results for 43 inmates.

Regarding the county's beaches, Kim told City News Service that his staff is considering a plan to again allow passive uses such as sunbathing ``because it's impossible to enforce anyway.''

When the state approved a reopening of the county's beaches, county officials in their application wrote in a clause that they could decide to allow passive uses on the beaches when they felt it was appropriate, Kim said. The state is planning to open up parking at its beaches in the county, and the

county will follow suit for the beaches in its jurisdiction, Kim said.

On Thursday, the county's health officer, Dr. Nichole Quick, issued a modified health order that reflects the state's reopening of hair and beauty salons, as well as churches. Quick did not revise her order requiring masks whenever people cannot observe 6 feet of physical distance from others.

``The most common sense way of explaining it to Orange County residents is if you are out of your home interacting with people at your business, workplace or any public space and you cannot maintain 6 feet of social distancing, the order requires you to put on a mask,'' Kim said at a news conference on Thursday.

Quick's order requiring masks has spurred heated debate among Orange County supervisors and drew the ire of dozens of speakers at Tuesday's board meeting. A group of protesters showed up at Quick's home after the board meeting and stayed outside for several hours. But Kim said his office received many calls and emails from the public supporting the mask order.

Photo: Getty Images

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