OC Reports 342 New COVID-19 Cases; Hospitalizations Dropping

SANTA ANA (CNS) - Orange County over the weekend reported 342 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death, bringing the county's totals to 43,709 cases and 810 deaths.

The single fatality was a sharp drop from the previous two days, which each saw 20 deaths reported. Because of the way hospitals report the numbers, it can at times take up to a week before a fatality is confirmed as COVID-19 related and is reported to the county.

Some other indicators seemed to be moving in the right direction, too. The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in the county's hospitals dipped from 434 Saturday to 422, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency, with the number of patients in intensive care units dropping from 138 to 133.

The rate of residents testing positive for COVID-19 in the county increased from 6.7% Saturday to 6.9%. The state's desired threshold is 8%. The county's case rate per 100,000 residents inched up from to 117.7 to 117.9, which is far higher than the California Department of Public Health threshold of 25 per 100,000 residents.

The change in the three-day average of hospitalized patients went from -3% to -2%, which is lower than the state's threshold.

The county had 30% of intensive care unit beds available, which is better than the state's 20% threshold. And the county's hospitals also have 57% of their ventilators available, higher than the state standard of 25%.

The county reported that 546,915 COVID-19 tests have been conducted, including 7,822 reported Sunday. There have been 34,461 documented recoveries.

Case counts have been up and down for the past week as officials catch up on the backlog with the state's system, but Orange County Health Care Agency officials reported Thursday that their statistics were up to date.

“Based on the numbers we see today and the analysis of our team, we do believe we're below the 8% threshold'' for the rate of positive tests, Orange County CEO Frank Kim said last week. At the county's peak it was about 14.9%, he said.

“We think we're looking good again, but we can't confirm that until the state posts its monitoring number,'' he said.

“I'm very confident and optimistic our numbers are close to the state number,'' said Dr. Clayton Chau, director of the Orange County Health Care Agency and the county's interim chief health officer.

Of the fatalities reported Saturday, three were skilled nursing facility residents, three were assisted living facility residents, and 14 were not living in a care facility.

Photo: Getty Images

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