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O.C.’s coronavirus cases rise to 502; hospitalization rate is 18.7%

Coronavirus
A close-up view of the coronavirus that causes the respiratory disease COVID-19.
(National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

Close to one in five of Orange County’s 502 patients with the COVID-19 coronavirus have needed to be hospitalized, county health officials reported Tuesday.

The county’s overall coronavirus cases ticked up by 42 on Tuesday, compared with the day before, and the number of related deaths climbed to seven, up from four, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency. The 502 positives come from 6,674 tests.

Of the total cases, 94 — or 18.7% — have resulted in hospital admissions — 46 of them in intensive care, the health agency said. The county started reporting hospitalization data Tuesday.

Here are the latest case counts for select cities, with their numbers per 10,000 residents:

  • Irvine: 50 (1.8 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Newport Beach: 46 (5.3 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Anaheim: 46 (1.3 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Huntington Beach: 32 (1.6 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Laguna Beach: 22 (9.4 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Santa Ana: 24 (0.7 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Costa Mesa: 10 (0.9 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Fountain Valley: 8 (1.4 cases per 10,000 residents)

Health Care Agency Director Richard Sanchez told the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that "we know in general that case count is going to go up. It’s in the community, it’s in every community, and we need to start taking social distancing and isolation more serious.”

Of the seven patients who died, four were 65 or older and one each was in the 45-64, 35-44 and 25-34 age ranges.

Since the county’s first known coronavirus-related death was reported March 24 as a man in his 70s with underlying health conditions, no medical information has been released about the people who died.

David Souleles, the Health Care Agency’s deputy director, said about 80 people a day are being tested for the virus by public health officials. He said the availability of test kits fluctuates but the agency’s Public Health Lab has enough kits to test 1,250 specimens.

Souleles said he didn’t know how many test kits are available through commercial laboratories but said the county tracks how many test results, both negative and positive, are returned by private labs.

Updated figures are posted daily at occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc.

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