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Orange County coronavirus tests at new high

COVID-19 test kits at a doctor's office in Huntington Beach on March 19.
COVID-19 test kits at a doctor’s office in Huntington Beach on March 19.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

New coronavirus cases dropped while tests increased sharply day over day Friday in Orange County, according to the county Health Care Agency.

Known cases now sit at 1,845 total infections, up 33 from Thursday. No deaths were reported Friday, leaving the total at 36.

Testing, however, took a step up with 1,267 new tests given. That’s the highest daily increase to date, coming a few days after the county unveiled a wider network of public clinics to test for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. Public and private labs have run 22,083 COVID-19 tests to date.

The Health Care Agency also said 150 people were hospitalized with the virus Friday, 63 of them in intensive care.

Over the previous week, the county averaged 62 new coronavirus cases and 696 tests per day between public and private labs.

Deputy director of public health services David Souleles will retire May 1, the county announced Thursday.

The Health Care Agency, however, planned to step up the latter when it launched the OC COVID-19 Testing Network Tuesday with six clinics around the region. The network’s initial capacity was set at 100 tests per site per day, or 600 tests per day to start, with plans to add four more sites within the next two weeks.

The testing network has clinics in Huntington Beach, Anaheim, Santa Ana and Garden Grove, among other locations, and is offering tests by appointment only to people who are symptomatic. There is no out-of-pocket cost, but insurance may be billed. Visit occovid19.ochealthinfo.com for more information.

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

  • Anaheim: 247 (6.9 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Santa Ana: 211 (6.2 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Huntington Beach: 162 (8 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Irvine: 120 (4.3 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Newport Beach: 91 (10.4 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Laguna Beach: 36 (15.4 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Costa Mesa: 33 (2.8 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Fountain Valley: 25 (4.4 cases per 10,000 residents)

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

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