Orange County health officials Monday reported 55 new COVID-19 cases and a jump in hospitalizations, but no new fatalities.
The cumulative number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the county rose to 3,557, and the death toll is unchanged at 76.
The number of patients hospitalized with the virus jumped up from 178 on Sunday to 196, with patients in intensive care rising from 59 to 77, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.
The total number of people in the county tested for the virus now stands at 52,983, with 196 tests reported Monday.
Of the county’s total cases, 3% involve people under 18 years old; 10% are between 18-24; 18% are between 25-34; 15% are between 35-44; 18% are between 45-54; 16% are between 55-64; 10% are between 65-74; 6% are between 75-84; and 4% are 85 and older.
Of the patients who died, 3% were 25 to 34 years old, 5% were 35 to 44, 11% were 45-54, 13% were 55-64, 16% were 65-74, 29% were 75-84, and 24% were 85 or older.
Men make up 54% of the county’s cases and 58% of its fatalities.
Latinos account for 38% of the fatalities and whites 33%, followed by Asians (20%). According to the Health Care Agency, 4% were black, 1% were native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 1% are mixed race, and 3% fall into the category of “other.”
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department reported Monday that 289 inmates have contracted COVID-19, but only eight are currently sick from the virus and 100 have recovered. Sheriff’s officials are awaiting the results of 110 tests.
There has been no update since Friday on the number of patients and staff afflicted with COVID-19 at skilled nursing facilities in the county. As of Friday, 373 patients had tested positive and 23 had died, and 192 staffers had contracted coronavirus with one dying, according to the county.
Anaheim officials said 66 patients and 13 staffers tested positive at Windsor Gardens Covalescent Center of Anaheim on Ball Road near Knott Avenue. Two patients have died at the facility.
The Anaheim Healthcare Center has 50 patients with coronavirus and 20 staffers have contracted the disease, according to Anaheim officials, who reported four patients at that facility have died.
Since May 5, the number of positive coronavirus tests has gone from 251 to 337, said Orange County CEO Frank Kim. In the jails, the number has increased from 215 to 259, and the “community spread” numbers at-large have increased from 2,399 to 2,906, Kim said.
County officials are working hard to ramp up their testing to 4,000 per day.
“Our testing network is going to be enhanced dramatically,” Kim told City News Service, adding that officials are in talks with a major company to provide more testing.
“Part of what’s happening now is hospitals are doing the majority of testing,” and are limiting testing to symptomatic people, he said.
Increased testing in skilled nursing facilities is a priority now, Kim said.
“We know that’s a focus and we are having internal discussions about how to more effectively safeguard nursing homes,” Kim said. “We’re having those discussions with the industry now.”
County officials feel they can meet most of the governor’s benchmarks for reopening more businesses, such as handling a 35% surge in cases, but the biggest hang-up is clearing two weeks without a single COVID-19-related death, Kim said.
County officials are working on a proposal to the governor on “variances” to some of the governor’s metrics when it comes to larger-population counties such as Orange and Los Angeles, Kim said.
Beaches in Orange County were reopened Friday, with restrictions, while so-called “low-risk” businesses such as clothing and book stores, music shops, toy stores, sporting goods stores and floristsreopened with curbside service only.
The move to allow some businesses to reopen comes as the state relaxes its health order and as Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state will consider petitions from individual counties that want to go further and allow other businesses to open.
An estimated 1,500 people, most not wearing face masks, protested near the still-closed Huntington Beach Pier on Saturday despite the easing of some beach restrictions.