Orange County Reports 175 New Cases of COVID-19

SANTA ANA (CNS) - Orange County health officials said there were no COVID-19 fatalities to report today following two of the deadliest weeks since the pandemic began.

The death toll remains at 269 -- the first time it's been unchanged in a week. The Orange County Health Care Agency also reported 175 new coronavirus cases, bringing the cumulative total of COVID-19 diagnoses to 10,595.

The number of people hospitalized with the virus rose from 332 to 351, with the number of patients in intensive care rising from 133 to 137, according to the HCA.

This past weekend, the agency reported record numbers of COVID-19 cases and blamed it in part on a backlog in the reporting of test results.

From June 14 to Sunday, 52 COVID-19 deaths were reported in Orange County. From June 7 to June 14, the county reported 45 deaths.

There have been 5,075 documented recoveries, according to the HCA.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department has reported 389 total cases of coronavirus since March and 385 recoveries. Four inmates are currently symptomatic and in medical quarantine, and officials are awaiting results of 66 tests.

The total number of Orange County coronavirus cases break down to 50% men and 50% women, but men account for 57% of the deaths.

Santa Ana leads all county cities with 2,227 cases, followed by Anaheim with 2,037. The high numbers in Orange County's two largest cities are attributed to their population size and the presence of multiple nursing homes in both cities.

Dr. Clayton Chau, the Health Care Agency's director and interim chief health officer, said the “hot spots'' of Santa Ana and Anaheim “keep me up at night'' with concern. He said about two weeks ago that a task force of officials from the county and both cities was formed to discuss ways to tackle the rising case counts.

Meanwhile, Orange County Labor Federation leaders held another news conference Monday calling on county officials to compel residents to wear facial coverings.

Last week, when the union leaders held a news conference outside the Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting, it degenerated into a turbulent scene as opponents of mask mandates shouted them own. This time, the labor leaders held a news conference in front of their own offices in Orange a day before the Board of Supervisors meeting.

Since last week's news conference, Gov. Gavin Newsom handed down a statewide facial covering mandate, which came days after Orange County backed off its own mandate, changing it to a “strong recommendation.''

Union leaders called on Sheriff Don Barnes and the Board of Supervisors to back the state's mandate more vocally.

Gloria Alvarado, executive director of the Orange County Labor Federation, acknowledged the difficulty of enforcing a mask mandate, but she said the sheriff hindered compliance by declaring he would not enforce it.

Barnes issued a statement last week saying he expects residents to “continue to use common-sense approaches for the benefit of their own health, as well as the collective health of other county residents.''

Alvarado said, “We would like the Board of Supervisors and the sheriff to stand with the majority of the community and enforce the mask usage.''

Alvarado said the opponents of mask wearing are in the minority. She said Barnes is “in a position of leadership'' where he can influence others to wear a mask.

Photo: Getty Images

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