The number of COVID-positive patients in Orange County hospitals increased by 17 to 182, according to the latest state numbers released Saturday.

Of those patients, 25 were being treated in intensive care, down from 29 the previous day.

Overall, however, Orange County’s COVID-19 hospitalizations saw reductions this week, the Orange County Health Care Agency said. The agency reported 1,223 new cases of COVID-19 this week and 26 additional deaths linked to the virus, bringing the county’s cumulative totals to 705,608 cases and 7,791 fatalities since the pandemic began.

Six of the fatalities occurred in December, raising its death toll to 120. Another two happened in November, increasing its death toll to 53.

Health officials have said that the majority of those who die with COVID-19 are elderly or have underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease or hypertension.

Of those hospitalized with COVID in the county, 63% are unvaccinated or partly vaccinated. The ICU patients are 64.1% partly or unvaccinated.

The county’s COVID test positivity rate went from 10.4% last week to 7.5% and decreased from 10.7% to 7.4% in the health equity quartile, which measures the communities hardest hit by the pandemic.

The daily case rate per 100,000 went from 10.3 to 6.2 on a seven-day average with a seven-day lag, and went from 10.1 to 6.6 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, which was 6.9 on Jan. 15, dropped to 4 on Sunday. For those vaccinated with no booster, the rate went from 4.9 to 3.9. For those not vaccinated the rate went from 10.6 to 8.4.

The OCHCA reports COVID data every Thursday.

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