SANTA ANA (CNS) - Orange County's COVID-19 hospitalizations remained about the same as past week, but 17 more deaths over the last few months, including the first for March, were logged, according to data released Thursday by the Orange County Health Care Agency.
There were 157 patients hospitalized with the virus on March 8 and that number dropped to 147 Wednesday. The high point was Friday with 171 patients, but it dropped to 153 on Monday.
The number of patients in intensive care remained at 21 in that same time.
The additional fatalities included seven this month with four on March 5. There were six last month, increasing February's death toll to 44.
Three fatalities happened in January, increasing that month's death toll to 118.
The overall death toll is 7,988.
Of those hospitalized in the county, 61.5% are unvaccinated or partly vaccinated. The ICU patients are 62.4% partly vaccinated or unvaccinated.
The number of residents fully vaccinated increased from 2,368,812 to 2,369,209. The number of residents who have received at least one dose is 226,582. The number of booster shots administered increased from 1,452,405 to 1,453,380.
The number of children up to 4 years old who have received at least one dose inched up from 18,933 to 18,995 with 12,191 fully vaccinated. Just 6.5% of the county's population in the age group is fully vaccinated.
For 5- to 11-year-old children, 97,604 are fully vaccinated, about 36.8% of the age group. In the 12-to-17 age group, 69.7% are fully vaccinated.
The test positivity rate rose went from 7.2% to 6.2% and decreased from 7% to 5.5% in the health equity quartile, which measures the communities hardest hit by the pandemic.
The positivity rate for those fully vaccinated with a booster, which was 5.6 on Feb. 26 dropped to 4 on March 5. For those vaccinated with no booster, the rate went from 3.4 to 2.7. For those not vaccinated the rate went from 12.2 to 9.7.
The daily case rate per 100,000 went from 5.2 to 4.2 on a seven-day average with a seven-day lag, and from 5.2 to 4.4 in the adjusted daily case rate per 100,000 on a seven-day average with a seven-day lag.
The county logged 940 new cases of COVID-19, increasing the total since the start of the pandemic to 714,451.
The OCHCA reports COVID-19 data every Thursday.