Orange County Reports 418 New COVID-19 Cases, 14 More Deaths


US-HEALTH-VIRUS-BEACH

US-HEALTH-VIRUS-BEACH

SANTA ANA (CNS) - Orange County health officials today reported another 14 COVID-19 fatalities, hiking the total to 618, along with 418 more coronavirus diagnoses to bring the cumulative case total to 36,196.

The number of patients being treated for COVID-19 in Orange County hospitals inched up from 592 to 593 while the number of patients in intensive care ticked up from 189 to 191, a day after declining, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

Since Sunday, the county has reported 56 coronavirus-related deaths. Last week, the county reported 70 deaths, down from 73 the week before.

Five of Friday's reported fatalities were skilled nursing facility residents and four were assisted living facility residents.

Of the total deaths, 263 were skilled nursing facility residents, 26 lived in assisted living facilities, and one was homeless. Of the total cases, 1,674 were skilled nursing facility residents, 476 were jail inmates and 136 were homeless.

There are 57 jail inmates in medical isolation with COVID-19 and officials are awaiting the results of 45 tests. So far, 419 inmates have recovered from coronavirus.

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 149.5 on Thursday to 140, which 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 11.7% to 9.3%, still above the state's desired rate of 8%.

The change in the three-day average of hospitalized patients went from -8.6% Thursday to -8.9%, much lower than the state's threshold of 10% increase.

Available ICU beds dropped from 38% Thursday to 34%, and the percentage of ventilators available decreased 57% to 56%. The state's threshold is 20% of ICU beds available to handle a surge and 25% ventilators on hand.

Dr. Clayton Chau, HCA director and interim chief health officer, said there have been “intermittent issues'' with the state's data system, so the number of tests conducted by the county was actually reduced in Thursday's report by 1,337 because of duplicates.

As area school officials map out a return to education next month, the HCA provided a breakdown on the number of coronavirus cases among various age groups of children.

The HCA reported that 348 children up to 3 years old have been infected; with 434 cases among children 4 to 9 years old; 338 among children 10 to 12; 319 among teens 13 and 14; and 1,167 among 15- to 18-year-olds.

In other coronavirus-related developments, county officials reported they have launched a second round of funding for the Orange County Workforce Development Board's “Layoff Aversion Support Program.'' Small businesses can apply for up to $10,000 in grants to help get through the pandemic and avoid layoffs, as well as implementing social distancing guidelines.

In May, officials doled out about $444,000, leaving $256,000 for another round of grants. To learn more and to apply, go to oconestop.com/covid-19-layoff-aversion-program.

Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett on Friday announced that her district handed out $14.5 million in funding from the federal government earmarked to help small businesses and nonprofits.

Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner has awarded $500,000 to help out nonprofit arts organizations in his district.

Earlier this week, county officials unveiled a public education campaign modeled after the “stop, drop and roll'' campaign used by fire departments. The “Face, Hands and Feet'' campaign emphasizes the importance of wearing a mask, washing hands and staying six feet apart from others.

Photo: Getty Images