SANTA ANA (CNS) - The number of coronavirus patients in Orange County hospitals has increased 177 as of Saturday, up from 176 on Friday, while the number of those patients in intensive care declined from 56 to 53, according to the latest state figures.
Those numbers came one day after the county reported 356 new cases of COVID-19 and seven additional deaths associated with the virus, bringing its cumulative totals to 313,743 cases and 5,756 fatalities since the pandemic began.
The county had 21.8% of its ICU beds and 69% of its ventilators available as of Friday, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.
The county's case rate per 100,000 for the fully vaccinated was at 2.6 as of Nov. 27, down from 2.9 on Nov. 20, according to the latest data available. The case rate for the unvaccinated was at 12.7, down from 15.1, during the same time period.
The number of fully vaccinated residents in Orange County increased from 2,229,621 as of Nov. 24 to 2,242,235 as of Thursday.
That number includes an increase from 2,080,656 to 2,093,447 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 stands at 148,788.
Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, the county deputy health officer, said vaccinations have been picking up some velocity of late.
``As of Nov. 29, 513,000 either received a booster or an extra dose,'' Chinsio-Kwong said. ``We did see a pickup of vaccination following the Thanksgiving holiday.''
On Thursday, 23,000 doses were dispensed, ``which is really assuring,'' she said.
About 4,000 kids 5 to 11 years old received a dose on Thursday, she said. About 16% of those 5 to 11 years old have received at least one dose, the doctor said.
``So far, a good chunk of that is being done at pharmacies,'' she said. ``I'm really happy to see we did see a rise in demand for vaccines following the Thanksgiving holiday.''
Meanwhile, starting this week, John Wayne Airport travelers will be able to get free COVID-19 test kits, officials announced.
Public health professionals have been encouraging all travelers to get tested in the hopes it will catch more infected people who can quarantine and help curb the spread of the virus.
``This is another example of the important work we have been doing throughout these past two years to protect our community during COVID,'' County Supervisor Andrew Do said.
The tests will be available at the airport starting Wednesday.