Orange County’s weekly COVID-19 averages for infections remained about the same as last week, according to the latest data released by the Orange County Health Care Agency.

The county’s weekly COVID-19 case rate per 100,000 residents remained at 7.3, the same as last Tuesday, while the test-positivity rate stayed at 2.8%.

The county’s Health Equity Quartile positivity rate — which measures progress in low-income communities — inched down from 3% to 2.9%.

The number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in the county increased from 204 on Monday to 210, with the number of patients in intensive care ticking down from 56 to 55, according to the OCHCA.

The county had 26.5% of its intensive care unit beds available and 69% of its ventilators.

The county logged 183 new COVID-19 infections Tuesday, raising the cumulative total to 309,428. Four more fatalities logged Tuesday brought the cumulative death toll to 5,652.

Of the four fatalities, one occurred this month, raising the November death toll to three. October’s death toll remained at 82, one was in September, hiking that month’s death toll to 171, and one was in August, boosting that month’s death toll to 174. One occurred in January.

In contrast, the death toll before the more contagious Delta variant-fueled surge was 30 in July, 19 for June, 26 for May, 46 for April, 200 for March, 615 for February, 1,589 for January — the deadliest month of the pandemic — and 980 for December, the next-deadliest.

Andrew Noymer, an epidemiologist and UC Irvine professor of population health and disease prevention, told City News Service that the county’s infection rates are “pretty flat” as of now. But Noymer expects a rise in cases as the temperatures drop.

“There’s going to be more this winter,” Noymer said. “People forget how bad last winter was, but this winter will be worse than last summer, but not as bad as last winter.”

Last winter, the county’s hospitals were nearly full.

The number of fully vaccinated residents in Orange County increased from 2,190,754 on Nov. 4 to 2,200,493 as of last Wednesday.

That number includes an increase from 2,045,291 to 2,053,496 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 increased from 145,463 to 146,997.

There are 189,201 residents who have received one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

The top dispensers of COVID-19 vaccines as of Nov. 8, the latest figures available, are:

–The OCHCA, 26%;

–CVS, 19%;

–Walgreens, 6%;

–Kaiser Permanente, 5%;

–UCI Health, 3% and;

–Walmart, 2%.

Since children ages 5 to 11 were authorized to receive the Pfizer vaccine earlier this month, nearly 7,780 doses overall have been administered, officials said.

As of last Monday, 69% of the total population had received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, and 64% were fully vaccinated, according to Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, the county’s deputy health officer.

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