Orange County Sees Slight Drop in COVID Hospitalizations

Asian woman Drive Thru COVID-19 testing with PPE medical staff

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SANTA ANA (CNS) - The number of coronavirus patients in Orange County hospitals has dropped by seven people to 57, according to the latest state figures.  

Of those patients hospitalized as of Saturday, 14 were being treated in intensive care, the same as Friday.  

The county has 30.3% of its ICU beds available, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency, which is well above the level of 20% when officials grown concerned.  

The county has not seen hospitalizations this low since the end of last June before the Delta variant fueled a surge, followed by the Omicron variant upswing this winter.  

The daily case rate per 100,000 people was at 5.5 on a seven-day average with seven-day lag, but at 4.3 for the adjusted daily case rate, the OCHCA said Friday. The testing positivity rate was at 2.1%, and at just 1% in the health equity quartile, which measures the communities hardest hit by the pandemic.  

The county logged 655 new infections since Tuesday, raising the cumulative case count to 550,856, and 24 more fatalities, boosting the overall death toll to 6,990.  

The number of vaccines administered in Orange County increased from 2,286,755 the previous week to 2,300,191 last week, according to data updated Wednesday.  

That number includes an increase from 2,145,793 to 2,158,968 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 140,962 to 141,223.  

Booster shots increased from 1,256,257 to 1,269,169 last week.  

In the most recently eligible age group of 5 to 11 years old, the number of children vaccinated increased from 87,610 to 88,917, versus 179,663 who have not been vaccinated. It's the least-vaccinated age group in Orange County.  

Orange County CEO Frank Kim told City News Service last week that the level of vaccinations actually went down earlier this month due to a change in the way the state is accounting for the data, but it's not entirely clear why there has been a fluctuation in the data.  

But officials suspect it may have to do with an improved accounting of how many people were inoculated in Orange County, but live 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.  

The case rate per 100,000 people fully vaccinated with a booster shot decreased from 5.6 on April 8 to 4.7 on April 15, the latest data available. The rate for those vaccinated without a booster went from 3 on April 8 to 2.7 on April 15. For those not fully vaccinated, the rate decreased from 5.4 to 4.4.

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