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COVID-19 cases top 1,000 in Orange County for the fifth straight day

Taylor Medina of Chino Hills sells masks and other items of clothing at her stand.
Taylor Medina of Chino Hills sells masks and other items of clothing at her stand, Tayy Medd Shop, at the Pier Plaza in Huntington Beach on June 26.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

For the fifth day in a row, Orange County climbed by another thousand new COVID-19 cases, according to new numbers reported on Friday by the Orange County Health Care Agency.

The county health agency reported 1,133 new cases, bringing the cumulative total of cases up to 22,650, which includes 1,291 skilled nursing facility residents, 420 county jail inmates and 116 people experiencing homelessness. The county also reported 10 new deaths on Friday, bringing the total to 412.

The confirmed total number of COVID-19 cases in the state has topped 300,000, with close to 7,000 deaths related to the virus.

Monday was the first time more than 1,000 infections were reported in a 24-hour period — 1,028 cases were logged countywide. Those numbers have since fluctuated, with Tuesday’s daily cases falling to 1,010 before climbing again on Wednesday, when the county reported 1,333 new cases.

The county reported another 1,292 cases on Thursday.

The new number of tests logged were 7,315, putting the total number at 296,311. About 14.7% of tests returned positive.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 increased by 101% between June 18, when 335 people were hospitalized, and Friday.

Armed with disaggregated coronavirus data, county officials and health advocates are going exactly where rates are highest to remove barriers to education and testing.

County health officials reported on Friday that 672 current cases are hospitalized with 227 of those in intensive care units. On Thursday, 691 of current cases were reported to be hospitalized and 236 of those cases are in the intensive care unit.

The spike has prompted hospitals countywide to begin to prepare for a surge of sick patients, said Orange County Health Care Agency Director Dr. Clayton Chau during a press conference on Thursday.

In the past few days, Chau said the county has reported more than 16% of total cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

“These trends are very concerning, and we can expect the impact on our healthcare system to get worse in the coming days and weeks,” Chau said. “If the surge goes up to or beyond their capacity to mobilize resources, that will cause a real strain. A strain on the hospital systems means a strain on the ability to care for all patients, both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 folks.”

On Friday, the three-day hospitalization rate, which is one of the key metrics the state department of public health is tracking as it determines which counties might have to go back into some level of lockdown, was 6.5%, which is below the 10% state threshold that indicates some level of stability.

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District and Huntington Beach Union High School District have each suspended summer football programs indefinitely.

The county health care agency currently reports that 39.1% of beds in intensive care units are currently available, above the required 20%, and 65.4% of ventilators are also available, above the state’s required minimum of 25% availability.

The agency reports that about 9,759 have recovered.

Here are the latest cumulative case counts and deaths for select cities in Orange County:

  • Santa Ana: 4,318 cases; 116 deaths
  • Anaheim: 3,994 cases; 96 deaths
  • Huntington Beach: 1,117 cases; 42 deaths
  • Irvine: 743 cases; five deaths
  • Costa Mesa: 690 cases; three deaths
  • Newport Beach: 552 cases; three deaths
  • Fountain Valley: 214 cases; six deaths
  • Laguna Beach: 89 cases; fewer than five deaths

Updated figures are posted daily at occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc. For information on getting tested, visit occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/covid-19-testing.

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