COVID-19 Hospitalizations, Infections Creep Up in OC

Coronavirus covid-19 infected patient in a quarantine ward at the hospital with doctors in protective suits while they making disease treatment of him

Photo: Getty Images

Orange County's COVID-19 hospitalizations and infection rates showed signs of trending up as 10 more fatalities were logged, reaching a grime milestone of more than 7,000 deaths throughout the pandemic, according to data released today by the Orange County Health Care Agency.

The county's COVID-related hospitalizations increased from 66 as of Monday to 76 by Thursday, the most recent data available. The patient counts had been 70 since April 13. The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care was down from 13 to 11, continuing a trend in the teens or near it since April 8.

The county has 26.4% of its ICU beds available, well above the 20% level when officials become concerned.

Of those hospitalized, 83.2% are unvaccinated, and that rate is at 86.2% in the ICU. 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 this winter.

The daily case rate per 100,000 people increased from 5.7 Tuesday to 6.7 as of Friday on a seven-day average with seven-day lag, and from 3.6 to 4.3 for the adjusted rate with a seven-day average and seven-day lag.

The testing positivity rate went from 1.9% to 2.3% overall and from 0.8% to 0.9% in the health equity quartile which measures the communities hardest hit by the pandemic.

The county logged 1,071 more infections since Tuesday, raising the cumulative case count to 552,994. The 10 fatalities increased the death toll to 7,007.

Six of the fatalities were this month with the most recent one on April 21, raising April's death toll to 22 so far. Three of the fatalities occurred last month, raising March's death toll to 84.

February's death toll stands at 327, and at 554 in January and 115 in December. One of the fatalities logged Friday occurred in November, raising that month's death toll to 121.

The case rate per 100,000 for fully vaccinated residents who have received a vaccine booster decreased from 6.9 to 5.6, according to data released Tuesday. The case rate for fully vaccinated residents with no booster decreased from 3.9 on April 15 to 3.2, and the rate for not fully vaccinated residents dropped from 6.6 to 5.6.

The number of vaccines administered in Orange County increased from 2,300,191 last week to 2,301,942 this week, according to Tuesday's data.

That number includes an increase from 2,158,968 to 2,161,026 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 141,223 last week to 140,916 as officials continue to adjust to a new accounting of shots administered in the counties across the state.

Booster shots increased from 1,269,169 last week to 1,274,022 this week.

In the most recently eligible age group of 5 to 11 years old, the number of children vaccinated increased from 88,917 to 89,318, versus 179,262 who have not been vaccinated. It's the least-vaccinated age group in Orange County.

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