SANTA ANA (CNS) - Orange County's COVID-19 hospitalizations remained unchanged, according to the latest data, one day after declining by 31 patients, providing growing evidence the Delta variant-fueled summer surge is receding.
There were 252 people hospitalized with the virus in Orange County as of Sunday, down from 283 Friday, and the number of those patients in intensive care inched up from 71 to 72. The numbers have not been this low since July.
The county has 22.9% of its ICU beds available and 66% of its ventilators, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.
“I think hospitalizations are on a very slow descent,'' Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, deputy county health officer, said in a conference call with reporters Friday. “Overall, our case rates are coming down and our positivity so we're going in the right direction.''
As of Sept. 25, the case rate per 100,000 people was 3.6 among fully vaccinated residents, and 18.1 for the unvaccinated.
Chinsio-Kwong said vaccinations are on the rise, likely due to mandates from the state.
The number of fully vaccinated residents in Orange County increased from 2,096,177 as of Sept. 23 to 2,115,536 on Sept. 30.
That number includes an increase from 1,958,145 to 1,976,227 of residents who have received the two-dose regimen of vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna.
The number of residents receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine increased from 138,032 to 139,309.
There are 197,514 residents who have received one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
Orange County is 71% fully vaccinated among those 12 and older who are eligible for vaccine, Chinsio-Kwong said. Seventy-eight percent of the eligible population has received at least one dose, she added.
Including children who cannot get a vaccine, the county is 61% fully vaccinated, Chinsio-Kwong said.
“This is exciting news, but we still have a lot more to do,'' she said.
The OCHCA reported 270 new cases of COVID-19 and four additional fatalities Friday, raising the cumulative totals to 297,905 cases and 5,436 deaths since the pandemic began.
The OCHCA does not report case and death numbers on weekends.
All of the most recently reported deaths occurred in September, raising the month's death toll to 73. The death toll in August was 157.
That is a big jump from the trend this summer before the more contagious Delta variant took off.
The death toll for July is 26, 19 for June, 26 for May, 46 for April, 199 for March, 615 for February, 1,580 for January -- the deadliest month of the pandemic -- and 976 for December, the next deadliest.
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