Orange County Reports 273 New COVID-19 Cases, 2 More Deaths

SANTA ANA (CNS) - Orange County health officials have reported two more COVID-19 fatalities and 273 new cases, raising the death toll to 566 and the cumulative number of cases to 34,646 since the coronavirus pandemic began in March.

The number of patients being treated for COVID-19 in Orange County hospitals dropped from 687 Sunday to 661 on Monday, while the number of patients in intensive care units inched up from 201 to 204, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

Since Sunday, the county has reported four deaths. Last week, the county reported 70 COVID-19-related deaths, down from 73 the week before.

Of the county's total cases, 1,516 were skilled nursing facility residents, 465 were jail inmates and 130 were homeless. Of the total deaths, 248 were skilled nursing facility residents, 21 lived in assisted living facilities, and one was homeless.

In the jails, 53 inmates are in medical isolation with symptoms, with 412 having recovered. Officials are waiting for the results of 127 tests.

The county has administered 393,324 coronavirus tests -- with 2,117 reported Monday -- and documented 20,148 recoveries, according to the HCA.

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 206.7 to 188.9, which is 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 12.1% Sunday to 11.7%, which is still higher than the state's desired rate of 8%.

The change in the three-day average of hospitalized patients was - 0.4%, much lower than the state's threshold of 10%.

The available ICU beds held at 32%, and the percentage of ventilators available remained at 63%. The state's threshold is 20% of ICU beds available to handle a surge and 25% ventilators on hand.

Santa Ana has the most cases in the county with 6,492, and a case rate of 1,922.3 per 100,000 residents, followed by Anaheim with 5,896, and a case rate of 1,640.8 per 100,000 residents. They are the county's two largest cities by population, and home to many care facilities.

Two of the county's other biggest cities have much lower case rates, with Huntington Beach at 798 per 100,000 and Irvine with a case rate of 399 per 100,000.

Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do, vice chairman of the board, has started a campaign to encourage residents to use face coverings. Do's #MaskUpOC campaign will use social media to promote face coverings as a way to stem the spread of coronavirus. On Monday, he announced a contest with prizes for most creative social media postings promoting face coverings.

Also on Monday, the Orange County Transportation Authority began offering free masks for riders on three of its busiest routes.

Photo: Getty Images

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