Orange County health officials on Wednesday reported three additional coronavirus-linked deaths, bringing the toll to 22 and ending what had been a string of days with relatively low numbers of new confirmed infections.
The county also announced an additional 87 COVID-19 cases, with the total now at 1,376. The number of new cases announced Wednesday was more than the previous three days combined, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.
The county had seen a slowing in the number of infections this week — with only seven new cases reported Monday and 21 Tuesday — although health officials emphasized that an overall downward trend is far more important than a few select data points.
“The goal of our stay-at-home order and social distancing is to flatten the curve, so it’s to spread the cases out over time and, ideally, to reduce the size of the surge,” David Souleles, director of public health services for the county Health Care Agency, said Tuesday.
Of those who have died, 12 were at least 65 years old and seven were 45 to 64. Two others were age 25 to 34, and the other was 35 to 44. Ten of the victims have been women and 12 men.
County officials also released a breakdown of the victims by race and ethnicity, which showed that nine of those who have died were Asian, five were white, another five were Hispanic or Latino and one was black or African American. That information was unavailable for the remaining two victims.
As of Wednesday, 104 people were hospitalized, 45 of them in intensive care.
Countywide, 15,305 people have been tested for coronavirus infection — up 328 from Tuesday. Approximately 58% of those who have tested positive are at least 45 years old.