Orange County’s COVID-19 hospitalizations remained flat compared with last week, but 21 more deaths were logged over the past few months, according to data released Thursday by the Orange County Health Care Agency.

There were 187 patients hospitalized with the virus on Feb. 23, and that number was up and down through the week but was at 177 as of Wednesday. The number of patients in intensive care remained at 19 during that same period.

The 21 additional fatalities, increased the death toll to 7,957. Seven of the fatalities occurred in February, increasing the death toll for last month to 24. Eleven of the fatalities happened in January, increasing its death toll to 115. Two of the fatalities occurred in December, raising its death toll to 151.

December is the first month with triple-digit deaths since the summer wave of infections. On two of the dates that month, 10 people died, marking the first time there were days of double-digit deaths since last February until Thursday’s tally showed that 10 people died with the virus on Jan. 12.

Of those hospitalized in the county, 61.9% are unvaccinated or partly vaccinated. The ICU patients are 62.8% partly vaccinated or unvaccinated.

The number of residents fully vaccinated increased from 2,368,035 to 2,368,412. The number of residents who have received at least one dose is 226,100. The number of booster shots administered increased from 1,450,247 to 1,451,431.

The number of children up to 4 years old who have received at least one dose inched up from 18,736 to 18,828 with 11,997 fully vaccinated. Just 6.4% of the county’s population in the age group is fully vaccinated.

For 5- to 11-year-old children, 97,545 are fully vaccinated, about 36.8% of the age group. In the 12-to-17 age group, 69.7% are fully vaccinated.

The test positivity rate rose from 7.7% to 8.1% and increased from 7.5% to 8.5% in the health equity quartile, which measures the communities hardest hit by the pandemic.

The positivity rate for those fully vaccinated with a booster, which was 5.5 on Feb. 12, increased to 5.9 on Feb. 19. For those vaccinated with no booster, the rate went from 4 to 3.7. For those not vaccinated the rate went from 13.3 to 12.7.

The daily case rate per 100,000 went from 5.9 to 5.8 on a seven-day average with a seven-day lag, and from 6.2 to 6 in the adjusted daily case rate per 100,000 on a seven-day average with a seven-day lag.

The county logged 1,314 new cases of COVID-19, increasing the total since the start of the pandemic to 712,571.

The OCHCA reports COVID-19 data every Thursday.

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