Orange County health officials have reported four additional COVID-19 fatalities and 147 new cases, raising the death toll to 273 and the cumulative case count to 10,737.
The number of people hospitalized with the virus dipped from 351 on Monday to 349, with the number of patients in intensive care remaining at 137, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.
This past weekend, the agency reported record numbers of COVID-19 cases and blamed the high numbers in part on a backlog in the reporting of test results.
From June 14 through Sunday, 52 COVID-19 deaths were reported in Orange County. From June 7-14, the county reported 45 deaths. Since Sunday, six people have died.
Of the deaths, 138 were residents of nursing homes, up from 135 on Monday, according to the HCA.
County officials reported on Monday that 1,188 residents of nursing homes have tested positive for COVID-19 in Orange County and 697 staffers have been infected.
There have been outbreaks at 30 skilled nursing facilities and 14 assisted living facilities in the county. A breakout is defined as two more confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the past two weeks.
The number of documented recoveries stands at 5,177, according to the HCA.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has reported 390 cases of coronavirus since March and 385 recoveries. Five inmates are symptomatic and in medical quarantine, and officials are awaiting results of 66 tests.
The total number of Orange County coronavirus cases break down to 50% men and 50% women, but men account for 57% of the deaths.
Santa Ana leads all county cities with 2,260 cases, followed by Anaheim with 2,060. The high numbers in Orange County’s two largest cities are attributed to their population size and the presence of multiple nursing homes in both cities.
Dr. Clayton Chau, the Health Care Agency’s director and interim chief health officer, told the Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, “As of yesterday we’re doing quite well with our numbers.”
The county’s positive test results for coronavirus is 6.7%, which is lower than the state’s standard of 8% which triggers a state response, Chau said. The county also has more than enough beds in its hospitals and intensive care units, he said.
Supervisor Don Wagner said the hospitalization rate includes patients who may have been brought to a hospital for a “slip and fall” or “appendicitis” but tested positive for COVID-19.
The rate also includes about 30 people from Imperial County, who have been treated in Orange County as part of a plan to relieve a surplus of patients there. There are nine patients from Imperial County in Orange County’s beds, prompting Wagner and Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel to call for a more specific breakdown of the numbers on the county’s website.
“How in the world can you make medical decisions and we make policy decisions on this amorphous data,” Wagner said.
Chau said he intends to debut a “version 2.0” of the county’s coronavirus website by week’s end.
Chau said he is most concerned about watching the “positivity rate” and whether the county has enough bed space to handle a surge of patients.
Supervisor Lisa Bartlett said she would like county officials to list restaurants that have had to close for COVID-19-related reasons. Restaurants are listed publicly when they have to shut down for a pest infestation, she noted.
Also, Bartlett pointed out, they are doing it in neighboring counties such as Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside. Bartlett said when she went to dine at a couple of area restaurants recently she was alarmed at how lax the staff cleaned up after patrons and that one restaurant did not have disposable menus as required.
In what is becoming a weekly ritual, dozens of residents spoke out Tuesday on facial coverings at the Board of Supervisors meeting, with a growing number speaking in favor of wearing masks.
The board meeting drew scores of residents, some supporting the Black Lives Matter movement calling on the board to support reforms in law enforcement spending, law enforcement supporters, as well as boosters and opponents of facial coverings.
The scene outside the Hall of Administration as speakers waited their turn to address the board was at times so raucous that one county employee had water dumped on them and another was shoved, officials said.
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