SANTA ANA (CNS) - Orange County health officials today reported 20 more COVID-19 fatalities to push the death toll past the 500 mark, along with 990 additional coronavirus diagnoses and a sharp increase in the number of hospitalized patients.
The number of patients being treated for COVID-19 in Orange County hospitals increased from 666 on Monday to 700, and the number of patients in intensive care units rose from 214 to 234.
The latest deaths bring the death toll to 513, and the newest cases raise the cumulative total to 30,976 since the pandemic began, according to the county's Health Care Agency.
Of the deaths reported on Tuesday, three were skilled nursing facility residents. Of the total death toll, 234 were skilled nursing facility residents and 17 were assisted living facility residents.
The county has administered 366,584 coronavirus tests and documented 15,232 recoveries, the HCA reported.
As of Monday in the county's jails, 439 inmates had tested positive for COVID-19, with 396 having recovered and 43 in medical isolation being treated for symptoms. The county is awaiting the results of 141 tests.
Orange County is on the state's watch list for counties experiencing high rates of new cases and hospitalizations. It has shown some improvement, but with some continuing concerns.
The county's case rate per 100,000 residents dropped from 192 Monday to 183.3, but is still far higher than the California Department of Public Health threshold of 25 per 100,000 residents. The rate of residents testing positive for COVID-19 dropped from 13.2% to 12.4%, which is higher than the state's desired rate of 8%.
The change in three-day average of hospitalized patients increased from -4.3% to -2.6%, lower than the state's threshold of 10%.
The county's intensive care unit beds available dipped from 41% to 39.4%, and the percent of ventilators available dipped from 64.5% to 64%. The state's threshold is 20% of ICU beds available to handle a surge and 25% ventilators on hand.
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