hospital beds
Example of hospital beds. Photo via Pixabay.

The number of COVID-positive patients in Orange County hospitals has continued to decline, falling by another 10 people to 153 as of Saturday, according to the latest state data.

Of those patients, 30 were in intensive care, up two from Friday’s total.

The latest numbers come one day after the county reported 521 new positive COVID tests and 19 additional deaths linked to the virus, raising its cumulative totals to 542,577 cases and 6,740 fatalities.

The new case rate per 100,000 people decreased from 6.8 Thursday to 6.5 Friday, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency, which does not report COVID data on weekends. The testing positivity rate ticked down from 3% to 2.9%, and remained at 3.5% in the health equity quartile, which measures underserved communities hardest hit by the pandemic.

The county had 29% of its ICU beds available and 65.4% of its ventilators as of Friday. Local health officials become concerned when the level of ICU beds falls below 20%.

Of those hospitalized, approximately 83% are unvaccinated and 86% of those being treated in ICU are not inoculated, according to the OCHCA.

The case rate per 100,000 people decreased from 7.2 Feb. 26 to 4.6 March 5 for those fully vaccinated with a booster shot; from 5.9 to 4.6 for those fully vaccinated with no booster; and 12.2 to 8 for those not fully vaccinated.

The number of fully vaccinated residents in Orange County rose from 2,437,965 last week to 2,441,941, according to data released Thursday. That number includes an increase from 2,281,901 to 2,285,767 of 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 156,064 to 156,174. Booster shots increased from 1,207,236 to 1,217,204.

In the most recently eligible age group of 5 to 11 years old, the number of children vaccinated increased from 82,166 to 83,724, versus 184,856 who have not been vaccinated. It’s the least vaccinated age group in Orange County. The next-worst vaccinated eligible age group is 25 to 34, with 323,383 inoculated and 136,013 who have not received a shot.

The age group that has received the most booster shots is 55 to 64.

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