Orange County COVID-19 Rates Tick Up, but Hospitalizations Low

Hospital with expert doctors takes care of all patients. Hospitalized woman lying in bed while doctor checking his pulse. Women physician examining females patient in hospital room.

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SANTA ANA (CNS) - The number of COVID-positive patients in Orange County hospitals is up by two people for a total of 69, according to the latest state data.  

Of those patients hospitalized as of Saturday, 10 were in intensive care, down from 13 on Friday.  

The county's COVID-19 infection rates have ticked up of late, but hospitalizations remain at levels not seen since July of last year, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.  

The case rate per 100,000 people increased from 3.4 to 4.5 in the county's most recent figures, with the positivity rates inching up from 1.9% to 2.3% overall and remaining at 2% in the health equity quartile, which reflects those in needy communities hardest hit by the virus.  

The case rate per 100,000 people for fully vaccinated residents who received a booster shot increased from 3.7 on March 26 to 4.5 on April 2, the most recent figures available.  

For residents who were fully vaccinated without a booster, the rate decreased from 2.8 on March 26 to 2.6 on April 2. And for those not fully vaccinated, the rate went up from 4.1 on March 26 to 4.3 on April 2.  

The county logged 711 more infections and 21 more fatalities on Friday, increasing the cumulative figures in each category to 549,429 and 6,958 respectively.  

The OCHCA does not report COVID data on weekends or holidays.  

The county has 26% of its ICU beds available, comfortably above the 20% level when experts get concerned.  

The county's vaccination data has been in flux as the state is now merging county-by-county databases with the state's information.  

The number of vaccines administered in Orange County actually dropped from 2,452,863 to 2,286,755, according to data updated on Friday. That number includes a decrease from 2,296,678 to 2,145,793 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 decreased from 156,185 to 140,962.  

Booster shots increased from 1,244,133 to 1,256,257 this week.  

In the most recently eligible age group of 5 to 11 years old, the number of children vaccinated increased from 86,893 to 87,610, versus 180,970 who have not been vaccinated. It's the least vaccinated age group in Orange County.  

Orange County CEO Frank Kim told City News Service it's not entirely clear why there has been a fluctuation in the data.  

``We don't know 100% why,'' he said.  

But officials suspect it may have to do with an improved accounting of how many people were inoculated in Orange County, but lived elsewhere, Kim said. It is also possible that some residents got inoculated once in Orange County and got another shot outside the county, he added.  

In any event, Orange County is among the most inoculated counties, Kim said.  

``All of the larger counties are doing pretty well -- in the 75% to 80% range,'' Kim said. ``Our vaccination rate over 55 is really good, and for 65 or older it's near 100%.''

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