OC Reports 295 New COVID-19 Cases; 18 Deaths

SANTA ANA (CNS) - The Orange County Health Care Agency today announced 18 COVID-19 fatalities, hiking the region's death toll to 833, along with 295 newly diagnosed infections that raise the cumulative caseload to 44,507.

Of the 18 deaths reported Wednesday, seven were skilled nursing facility residents.

Hospitalizations ticked up from 409 Tuesday to 419, but the number of patients in intensive care units remained unchanged at 124.

Meanwhile, the rate of county residents testing positive for COVID-19 decreased from 6.2% to 5.9%, below the state's desired threshold of 8%.  And the change in the three-day average of hospitalized patients went from -4.8% to -3.9%, which is lower than the state's threshold.

The county's case rate per 100,000 residents dropped from 106.4 to 98.6, which is still far higher than the California Department of Public Health threshold of 25 per 100,000 residents.

The county had 30% of intensive care unit beds available Tuesday, which is better than the state's 20% threshold. And the county's hospitals also have 56% of their ventilators available, well above the state standard of 25%.

The Orange County Health Care Agency reported that 565,386 COVID-19 tests have been conducted, including 5,282 reported Wednesday. There have been 35,860 documented recoveries.

As students are reporting back to school, Orange County officials are also keeping an eye on coronavirus cases among children. The state is allowing schools in grades up to sixth to apply for a waiver from all online learning.

As of Wednesday, 448 children up to 3 years old have tested positive for COVID-19; 620 4-9 years old; 472 between 10 and 12; 449 between 13 and 14; and 1,574 between 15 and 18.

The county submitted waivers to the state for 10 schools on Tuesday, said Orange County CEO Frank Kim. It is not certain when the state will respond.

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