Even as crowds flock to reopened businesses, O.C. coronavirus cases, deaths continue to climb

County health officials reported 100 new cases of coronavirus Thursday, even as restaurants and retailers legally reopened to the public. The Huntington Beach Pier reopened Tuesday after a two-month closure.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

The Orange County Health Care Agency reported 100 new cases of coronavirus Thursday, revealing a steady countywide climb even as businesses and restaurants began reopening their doors to the public.

Six new deaths were recorded, bringing the county’s current toll to 142. Of that total, 59 deaths were patients in skilled nursing facilities.

Health officials indicate that among the 5,744 infections recorded so far, nearly 39% — about 2,209 people — have recovered from the virus. A total of 255 people were hospitalized from the virus Thursday, including 105 receiving treatment in ICU units.

While seniors aged 65 and older account for 19% of Orange County infections, more than half of all cases are among residents between the ages of 25 and 54. Another 18%, nearly 900 cases, have been recorded among youth 18 and under.

Shoppers began to visit retail stores and enjoy dine-in meals on Memorial Day, as Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office announced some personal service businesses, including barbershops and hair salons, could also begin to reopen.

Phase 2 permits in-person dining reservations and retail shopping with distancing and face mask protocols in place and the reopening of some person service businesses, including car washes, pet groomers and tanning facilities.

Beachgoers were able to walk on the Huntington Beach Pier Tuesday for the first time since the attraction closed to the public in late March, and socially distanced crowds were spotted sunbathing, either in defiance or ignorance of rules restricting beach access to only exercise and pass-through uses.

The recent reopenings followed a request from Orange County officials, who demonstrated in an attestation report required benchmarks related to hospitalization and infection rates, as well as testing and contact tracing, had been met.

Coronavirus testing figures showed 1,229 tests were issued countywide Thursday, bringing the county’s cumulative number to 112,004.

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

  • Santa Ana: 1,085 (32.1 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Anaheim: 963 (26.8 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Huntington Beach: 331 (16.2 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Irvine: 185 (6.6 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Newport Beach: 140 (16.1 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Costa Mesa: 109 (9.4 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Fountain Valley: 55 (9.7 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Laguna Beach: 45 (19.3 cases per 10,000 residents)

Updated figures are posted daily at

For information on getting tested at one of the nearly two dozen public clinics around the county, visit

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