SANTA ANA (CNS) - The Orange County Health Care Agency today reported 198 new coronavirus cases, but no deaths, marking the first day in a week without any new fatalities.
Last week, the deadliest in Orange County since the pandemic began, saw 36 fatalities, and Saturday and Sunday saw another 11 deaths, bringing the total to 221. Of that number, 104 deaths involved residents of skilled nursing home facilities, according to the HCA.
The agency also reported an uptick in hospitalizations -- a closely watched metric. The HCA said 315 coronavirus patients are hospitalized in Orange County -- up from 290 on Sunday. Of that number, 144 are being treated in intensive care units, unchanged from the previous day.
The county has reported 8,759 cases of COVID-19 and 4,138 documented recoveries.
Santa Ana leads all county cities with 1,830 cases, followed by Anaheim with 1,595. Their high numbers are attributed to their large populations and the presence of multiple nursing homes in both cities.
With more sectors of the economy authorized to begin reopening, Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel said Thursday that the county has “reason to be positive about where we are'' in terms of coronavirus statistics when compared to neighboring counties and the state.
“Because we took this pandemic seriously, we have continued to have low numbers of COVID-19 relative to our surrounding counties and regions,'' Steel said.
In addition to bars, gyms and theaters, community pools, schools, day camps, museums, galleries, zoos, aquariums, wineries and family entertainment centers received permission last week to reopen in Orange County.
On Friday, the state authorized the reopening of nail salons on June 9. Workers and customers will be required to wear face coverings, according to the state guidelines.
Steel said she sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom asking him to allow the county to reopen some businesses in Phase 3 that include nail salons, youth sports and theme parks.
“Our businesses are hurting and they need to open immediately,'' Steel said.
Supervisor Andrew Do noted the county declared a state of emergency in February before there was even one confirmed case in Orange County.
At the time, the county was opposing the state's plans to house COVID-19 patients from a cruise line at the Fairview Developmental Center in Costa Mesa.
Do said the county “remains best positioned of all the urban counties'' because “we've taken tremendous steps in protecting our workers and residents and identifying populations at risk to minimize the spread of COVID-19.''
On Thursday, Dr. Clayton Chau -- the HCA's director who was appointed as the county's chief health officer following the abrupt resignation of Dr. Nichole Quick at the start of last week-- modified the county's previous mandate requiring people to wear face coverings in public. He made it a “strong recommendation'' instead.