Orange County health officials Tuesday 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 currently 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, recently said the “hot spots” of Santa Ana and Anaheim “keep me up at night” with concern.
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.
Last week, when Orange County Labor Federation leaders held a news conference outside the board meeting calling on county officials to compel residents to wear facial coverings, it degenerated into a turbulent scene as opponents of mask mandates shouted them own.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has since issued a statewide facial covering mandate, which came days after Orange County backed off its own mandate, changing it to a “strong recommendation.”
Union leaders held another news conference on Monday, calling on the supervisors and Sheriff Don Barnes to back the state’s mandate more vocally.
Gloria Alvarado, executive director of the Orange County Labor Federation, acknowledged the difficulty of enforcing a mask mandate, but she said Barnes hindered compliance by declaring he would not enforce it.
Barnes issued a statement last week saying he expects residents to “continue to use common-sense approaches for the benefit of their own health, as well as the collective health of other county residents.”
Alvarado said, “We would like the Board of Supervisors and the sheriff to stand with the majority of the community and enforce the mask usage.”
Alvarado said the opponents of mask wearing are in the minority. She said Barnes is “in a position of leadership” where he can influence others to wear a mask.
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