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3 new deaths reported in Orange County due to COVID-19

Mony Sary, left, and Henry Le work on processing COVID-19 tests at Pangea Lab in Costa Mesa on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Three new deaths have been reported in Orange County due to COVID-19, according to updated numbers released Tuesday by the Orange County Health Care Agency.

That brings the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in the county to 42.

Overall, there are 2,151 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Orange County, including deaths. Thirty-four new cases were reported on Tuesday, the lowest number since Friday.

The cases are fairly well spread out by age, as 16% of those testing positive range from age 25-34. Fifteen percent range from ages 35-44, 19% from ages 45-54 and 18% from 55-64.

The agency reported 1,390 tests for COVID-19 on Tuesday, which is the second-most tests given in a single day. To date, 27,737 tests have been administered.

There are 178 cases currently hospitalized, with 74 of those in the intensive-care unit. Both numbers represent the most in a single day during the pandemic, with 23 of 25 eligible hospitals reporting.

With the novel coronavirus pandemic ongoing, the agency also has announced a change in leadership. Dr. Clayton Chau has been named its new director, effective May 4.

Chau worked in the Health Care Agency’s behavioral health division from 1999-2012 and was most recently the chief clinical and strategy officer for nonprofit Mind OC. He replaces Richard Sanchez, who left in March to become interim CEO at CalOptima, which provides health insurance to the county’s low-income residents.

Chau received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Chelsea University in 2004, and his medical degree from the University of Minnesota. The Fullerton resident is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Sustainability Leadership at Claremont Lincoln University.

His past positions include senior medical director for health services at L.A. Care Health Plan, which is the largest nonprofit health plan in the nation.

“The County of Orange and I are thrilled that Dr. Chau will be joining the HCA team,” county CEO Frank Kim said in a news release. “Dr. Chau brings a wealth of experience to HCA, particularly within the realm of behavioral health. I look forward to working with him on tackling our greatest healthcare issues.”

California is a shifting patchwork of locally controlled beach closures — notably, Los Angeles County beaches are closed but several in Orange County have stayed open. Now, local officials may revisit that access after seeing how many people answered the call of summery temperatures this weekend.

The health agency has a testing network throughout the region, including Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Garden Grove, San Clemente and various UC Irvine Health locations. Tests are being offered by appointment only to people who are symptomatic. For more information, visit occovid19.ochealthinfo.com.

Santa Ana remains the Orange County city with the highest case counts, with 313 cases reported. However, Laguna Beach has the most cases per capita, with 15.4 cases reported per 10,000 residents.

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

  • Anaheim: 289 (8.1 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Santa Ana: 313 (9.3 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Huntington Beach: 198 (9 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Irvine: 127 (4.5 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Newport Beach: 96 (11 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Laguna Beach: 36 (15.4 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Costa Mesa: 37 (3.2 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Fountain Valley: 29 (5.1 cases per 10,000 residents)

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

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