The number of COVID-positive patients in Orange County hospitals has dropped by 15 people to 148, with 23 being treated in intensive care, up from 18 the previous day, according to the latest state figures.

The Orange County Health Care Agency, which provides updated coronavirus data on Thursdays, has noted the county’s COVID-19 positivity rates continue to trend downward, while another 17 deaths were logged for September.

According to data released by the agency Thursday, the death toll for September increased from 19 the previous week to 36. The death toll for August remained at 103. And one of the deaths logged this week occurred in July, increasing that month’s death toll to 126. June’s death toll remains at 57.

The county has reported a cumulative death toll of 7,450.

The county has 24.3% of its ICU beds available. Officials grow concerned that percentage drops below 20%.

Of those hospitalized 68.8% are incompletely vaccinated or unvaccinated. That figure was 69.3% for the ICU patients.

The county’s test positivity rate decreased from 7.1% last week to 6.1%, with the statistic declining from 7.6% to 6.5% in the health equity quartile, which measures the communities hardest hit by the pandemic. The daily case rate per 100,000 dropped from 8.9 to 7.4 on seven-day average with seven-day lag, and from 8.3 to 7.8 in the adjusted daily case rate per 100,000 on a seven-day average with a seven-day lag.

The positivity rate for those fully vaccinated with a booster dropped from 9.3 on Sept. 18 to 8.8 Sept. 25, according to the latest data available. For those vaccinated with no booster the rate dropped from 4.8 to 4.2. For those not vaccinated the rate decreased from 8.5 to 8.1.

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