SANTA ANA (CNS) - Orange County's COVID-19 hospitalizations and infection rates saw more declines in data released today by the Orange County Health Care Agency.
Hospitalizations declined from 166 Monday to 159 Tuesday, the latest figures available, while the number of intensive care unit patients ticked up from 28 to 29, according to the OCHCA.
The county also logged eight additional fatalities, raising the cumulative death toll to 6,704.
Of the fatalities logged Wednesday, seven occurred in February, raising last month's death toll to 208. One of the fatalities occurred in January, hiking that month's death toll to 509. Most of the newly reported deaths were seniors, but one was in the 35-to-44 age range.
December's death toll stands at 108. November's death toll stands at 112, October's at 136, September's at 200 and August's at 186.
The death toll before the Delta variant fueled a late-summer surge was 31 in July of last year, 20 in June, 26 in May, 47 in April, 202 in March and 620 for February.
January 2021 remains the deadliest month of the pandemic, with a death toll of 1,600, ahead of December 2020, the next-deadliest with 986 people lost to the virus.
Since the end of January this year, the county has logged two more pediatric fatalities, raising the death toll in that age group to five.
The county also reported 279 new infections, bringing the cumulative total to 541,742.
The new case rate per 100,000 people decreased from 7.5 Tuesday to 7.1 Wednesday, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency. The testing positivity rate dropped from 3.3% to 3%, and fell from 3.9% to 3.4% in the health equity quartile, which measures underserved communities hardest hit by the pandemic.
The county had 29.7% of its ICU beds available and 66% of its ventilators as of Wednesday. Local health officials become concerned when the level of ICU beds falls below 20%.
Of those hospitalized, approximately 83% are unvaccinated and 86% of those being treated in ICU are not inoculated, according to the OCHCA.
The case rate per 100,000 people decreased from 8.9 Feb. 19 to 7.1 Feb. 26 for those fully vaccinated with a booster shot; from 14.9 to 5.8 for those fully vaccinated with no booster; and 18.7 to 12 for those not fully vaccinated.
The number of fully vaccinated residents in Orange County rose from 2,430,510 the previous week to 2,437,965, according to data released Thursday.
That number includes an increase from 2,275,663 to 2,281,901 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 154,847 to 156,064. Booster shots increased from 1,194,500 to 1,207,236.
In the most recently eligible age group of 5 to 11 years old, the number of children vaccinated increased from 79,858 to 82,166, versus 186,414 who have not been vaccinated. It's the least vaccinated age group in Orange County. The next-worst vaccinated eligible age group is 25 to 34, with 323,894 inoculated and 135,507 who have not received a shot.
The age group that has received the most booster shots is 55 to 64.