Hospital Doctors - Photo courtesy of the National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

The number of COVID-positive patients in Orange County hospitals has surpassed 300, increasing by 14 over the previous day’s totals to 301, according to the latest state data released Wednesday.

Of those patients, 27 were being treated in intensive care, down from 30 on Tuesday.

Officials cannot determine how many of the patients currently hospitalized were admitted directly for COVID-19 or tested positive while being treated for another ailment. But from June 1-29, there were 118 unvaccinated patients admitted directly for COVID-19, while 24 were vaccinated, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

According to the county, 83.3% of all COVID patients are unvaccinated and 87.1% of ICU patients are unvaccinated.

The county has 24.9% of its ICU beds available, above the 20% level when officials become concerned.

The county’s testing positivity rate increased from 17% on Friday to 17.4% as of Tuesday, and ticked up from 17.4% to 17.8% in the health equity quartile, which measures the communities hardest hit by the pandemic.

The county’s daily case rate per 100,000 people is 34.5 on a seven-day average with a seven-day lag, and 32.1for the adjusted rate, also with a seven-day average and seven-day lag.

The county logged 5,172 more infections Thursday through Monday, raising the cumulative case count to 616,472. The 10 newly logged fatalities increased the overall death toll to 7,155.

The July death toll was 1, while the death toll for June was 39. The most recent fatalities logged on Tuesday occurred in May, during which the death toll increased by two to 35.

The OCHCA provides regular COVID updates on Tuesdays and Fridays.

The case rate per 100,000 people for fully vaccinated residents who have received a vaccine booster went from 36.9 June 26 to 36.4 to July 3, the latest data available show. The case rate for residents fully vaccinated with no booster went from 22 to 21.4, and from 36.7 to 35.5 for residents not fully vaccinated.

In the most recent authorized age group of children younger than 5, only 71 have received shots, according to the agency. In the age group of 5-11 years old, the number of children vaccinated increased from 92,842 to 93,868, or 35%, versus 175,512, or 65%,who have not been vaccinated.

In contrast, in the 12-17 age group 68% are vaccinated and 32% are unvaccinated.

Dr. Steven Abelowitz, regional medical director of Coastal Kids Pediatrics, told City News Service he was “really disappointed” in the level of acceptance of vaccines for children.

“In the under 5 group we’re seeing even more resistance from parents,” Abelowitz said. “The misinformation that has got to them has really put the fear of the side effects in their minds.”

Abelowitz said Coastal Kids doctors emphasize that the risks of COVID-19 are far worse than an adverse reaction from a shot.

“We tell them that no matter which way you look at it the adverse results of both acute and long-term for COVID far outweigh any of the risks from the COVID vaccines. There’s no comparison,” the pediatrician said.

Parents sometimes say they fear the vaccines because they are “new and it was rushed,” Abelowitz said.

But Abelowitz noted that the technology of the mRNA vaccines has been in the works for years and scientists now have a tremendous amount of data on the shots as they have been put in arms over the past year and a half globally.

“Yes, we don’t have years and years of checking, but we don’t always need that,” Abelowitz said. “We’ve got billions of people, a walking laboratory. There’s nothing in history that has come close in such a short period of time which has such tremendous validity to it.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.