The Orange County Health Care Agency Tuesday reported nine COVID-19 fatalities and 865 additional coronavirus infections, bringing the death toll to 433 and the case load since the pandemic began past the 26,000 mark.
Three of the deaths reported on Tuesday were skilled nursing facility residents and one was an assisted living facility resident.
The number of hospitalized patients increased from 674 on Monday to 712, and the number of patients in intensive care rose from 235 to 237.
Last week, the county received reports of 58 deaths, with another dozen fatalities recorded since Sunday.
Of the 26,120 cases of coronavirus in the county, 1,355 were skilled nursing home facility residents and 215 of them have died. Sixteen of the fatalities were assisted living facility residents.
The county has reported administering 324,479 coronavirus tests and has documented 11,088 recoveries.
Orange County is on the state’s watch list for counties experiencing high rate of new cases and hospitalizations. It has shown some improvement, with some continuing concerns.
The county’s case rate per 100,000 residents increased from 225.8 on Monday to 240.6 Tuesday, higher than the California Department of Public Health threshold of 25 per 100,000 residents.
The rate of residents testing positive for COVID-19 dipped from 14.9% to 14.6%, but is still much higher than the state’s desired rate of 8%. However, the three-day average of hospitalized patients is 1.3%, much lower than the state’s threshold of 10%.
Also, the county has 40.9% of its intensive care unit beds available, more than double the state’s threshold of at least 20% to handle a surge. The county also has 64.8% of its ventilators available, also more than double the 25% minimum expected by the state.
In the county’s jails, 432 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, with 386 having recovered and 46 in medical isolation being treated for symptoms. The county is awaiting the results of 17 tests.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday imposed more restrictions for the 30 counties on the state’s watch list.
Orange County, which earlier was ordered to close its bars and prohibit indoor dining, now must again shut down fitness centers, indoor religious services and non-essential businesses such as beauty salons, and shopping malls.
The Orange County-based Nailing it for America organization, which represents nail salons, issued a statement saying its members understood the rollback and “join California and the entire nation in expressing our alarm at the resurgence of COVID-19.”
“Though it comes with mixed feelings to business owners and other professionals in the nail-care industry, we will do our part in adhering to the governor’s order to help keep Californians safe during these continued troubling times,” said Tam Nguyen, co-founder of the organization and president of Advance Beauty College in Garden Grove and Laguna Hills.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange issued a statement acknowledging “that it is our responsibility to protect the health of our parishioners while preserving their religious and essential right to attend Mass.”
“Given the increase in COVID-19 cases in the state of California and the County of Orange and for the sake of the common good, the Diocese of Orange will be advising our parishes to suspend indoor services until further notice,” the statement said. “However, we encourage our parishes to offer outdoor Masses with proper Covid-19 safety protocols and to continue their livestreaming of services to the faithful.”
Churches offering outdoor services include, St. Polycarp in Stanton, St. Boniface in Anaheim, Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Habra, Sts. Simon & Jude in Huntington Beach, St. Pius V in Buena Park and Holy Trinity in Ladera Ranch.
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