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Orange County reports 12 more deaths, 248 new cases as county health agency rescinds mask order

LCAD Fabrication Lab director Hugo Hernandez shows Elise Gimenez how to cut out ear saver clips in the lab in April.
LCAD Fabrication Lab director Hugo Hernandez, left, shows Elise Gimenez how to cut out ear saver clips in the lab in April.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

As the Orange County Health Care Agency rescinds its mask order requiring all residents to wear masks in public, total cases of the coronavirus in Orange County now near 9,000 with the addition of 248 new cases reported Tuesday.

The healthcare agency also reported 12 more deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-19-related deaths in the county to 233.

Speakers during Tuesday’s special Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting commended the lifting of the mask mandate, but the Orange County Labor Federation, which represents over 90 local unions in the county, called for a reinstatement of the requirement, pointing to coronavirus numbers released on June 15.

“As Orange County enters phase 3 of the reopening process, it is critical masks are a required component for the safety of customers, community members and businesses,” a statement from the organization said.

Members held a press conference outside of the O.C. Board of Supervisors office in Santa Ana on Tuesday morning but were drowned out by protesters in support of the repeal of the mask order. The county still requires workers in essential businesses such as restaurants and grocery stores to wear a face covering.

“It’s everybody’s right,” Diana Corral, president of Local 2076 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said to City News Service. “I’ve been on the other side. We’re all entitled to freedom of speech. Do I agree with them? No, but that’s their right.”

Corral said her union represents county employees who handle eligibility claims for public support, adding that she wanted the county to implement a mandate for county offices where she said employees face a higher risk of infection because they interact with many people who cannot afford healthcare.

Of the now 8,999 cases in Orange County, 964 of the cases are skilled nursing facility residents and 387 are Orange County jail inmates. Out of the 233 total deaths, 117 have been residents of skilled nursing facilities.

The healthcare agency reported 186 tests, leading to a cumulative total of 187,129.

As of Tuesday, approximately 300 patients are currently hospitalized, 137 are in intensive care units, and 4,185 have recovered.

By age range, patients who have died were:

  • 85 and up: 70
  • 75 to 84: 62
  • 65 to 74: 43
  • 55 to 64: 30
  • 45 to 54: 18
  • 35 to 44: 7
  • 34 and younger: 3

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

  • Santa Ana: 1,939 (57.4 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Anaheim: 1,710 (47.6 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Huntington Beach: 444 (21.8 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Irvine: 246 (8.8 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Newport Beach: 179 (20.5 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Costa Mesa: 183 (15.8 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Fountain Valley: 79 (13.9 cases per 10,000 residents)
  • Laguna Beach: 51 (21.8 cases per 10,000 residents)

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

For information on getting tested at one of the nearly two dozen public clinics around the county, visit occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/covid-19-testing-and-screening.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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