Orange County’s COVID-19 cases increased from 834 on Sunday to 882 Monday, with the death toll remaining unchanged at 14.
The number of hospitalized patients decreased from 137 to 130, but the number of patients in intensive care units rose from 56 on Sunday to 72 on Monday, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.
Of the county’s 882 cases, six, or 1%, involve children; 79, or 9%, are between 18-24; 139, or 16%, are between 25-34; 134, or 15%, are between 35-44; 359, or 41%, are between 45-64; and 164, or 19%, are 65 or older. Men make up 54% of the county’s cases.
As of Monday, 10,489 people had been tested for COVID-19 in the county, with enough tests for 950 more people.
Anaheim has the most cases with 92, followed by Irvine with 77 and Newport Beach with 73.
Two cases involve Orange County sheriff’s deputies, one of whom works at the Theo Lacy jail in Orange and the other at the main jail in Santa Ana. Both men are resting at home, said Carrie Braun, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Co-workers and inmates who came into contact with those deputies were being alerted. The co-workers were being told to quarantine themselves if they feel they have symptoms, and officials are monitoring the inmates, Braun said.
Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do said he will propose a new policy at Tuesday’s board meeting that would require store clerks to wear face coverings.
“Last week, San Diego County changed its policy to start requiring face coverings for all employees who may have contact with the public in any grocery store, pharmacy/drug store, convenience store, gas station, restaurant, or other business establishment that serves food,” said Do, the board’s vice chairman. “`I will make the same recommendation at (Tuesday’s meeting) to protect our essential workers and each other.”
Calls for help have been flooding the county’s social services agencies.
The county’s office on aging last week received more than 2,000 calls, “roughly six times the usual call volume” for a one-week period, according to Dylan Wright, director of OC Community Resources, who encouraged residents to check in on elderly neighbors.
County officials plan to call 500,000 seniors this week to check in on them, Wright said last week. Frozen meals are being delivered twice a week instead of daily to help reduce the amount of contact, he said.
Debra Baetz, director of the county’s Social Services Agency, said the agency has seen a 65% increase in call volumes for various types of public aid. In the previous two weeks, the agency received more than 12,000 applications for public assistance programs, “which is a drastic increase,” Baetz said last week.
Orange County Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick has discouraged residents from seeking out surgical masks or N95 masks, which are in short supply and badly needed by healthcare workers. Instead, Quick recommends any sort of face covering, including scarves and bandannas, because they can be effective in cutting down the spread of the virus, though people should still stay at home and practice social distancing.
California remains under a stay-at-home order with exceptions for essential services, although hundreds of people turned out Saturday at Huntington Beach’s Dog Beach, where police officers were on hand to order visitors to stay at least 6 feet apart.
“I’m shocked at the number of people with chairs, food, balls etc. for an afternoon at the beach,” Huntington Beach resident Benigna Carrillo told City News Service. “I called police and they told me the beach is open. This is not good. We are in a crisis.”
Huntington Beach police Lt. Brian Smith confirmed the beach was open, but parking lots, the pier, amphitheatre and picnic tables were closed, with signs and fencing to make clear which areas were off-limits, he said.
While Smith described attendance at much of the city’s beach as in the “dozens, not hundreds,” the opposite was true at the dog beach around 17th Street, where there were “hundreds of people,” he said Saturday. Officers were on hand to remind them to keep their distance.
County statistics show Huntington Beach has 62 confirmed coronavirus cases.