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Orange County sees 20 more coronavirus deaths, nearly 1,000 more cases

Danny Lopez and Frances Pluma wear face coverings on the pier in Huntington Beach.
Danny Lopez of Chino Hills and his date Frances Pluma of Norwalk wear face coverings as they stroll on the pier in Huntington Beach on Friday, June 26, 2020.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

Coronavirus cases in Orange County surged by nearly 1,000 Tuesday and hospitalizations rebounded back to 700, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

The 990 new cases brought the total number of COVID-19 infections in Orange County to 30,976. Twenty newly reported deaths brought the toll to 513, while 700 patients were in area hospitals as of Monday, 234 of them in intensive care.

While too soon to establish trends, key metrics have shown at least flashes of improvement locally.

The change in Orange County’s three-day average of total hospitalized patients was -2.4%, not only below the 10% state threshold that would indicate stability but into the range showing short-term improvement. But pulled back to the past week, hospitalizations have been back-and-forth, ranging from a peak of 722 on July 14 to 666 on Sunday.

Governors and city managers have the authority to issue orders in an emergency that are to be taken as law. A Costa Mesa campaign claiming violators of the city’s mask laws will be fined $100, however, has netted no offenders.

Orange County remained on the state watchlist for its disease transmission, with a testing positivity rate of 12.4% — drifting downward from a high of 14.9% as recently as July 13, but still above the 8% state threshold.

The third element on the California Department of Public Health radar is hospital capacity, which Orange County has long comfortably met. As of Tuesday, 39.4% of ICU beds were available and 64% of ventilators were available. The state thresholds for those are 20% and 25%, respectively.

By raw numbers, Tuesday’s cases maintained Orange County’s standing as second-highest in California for total infections and staying a hair above Riverside County’s 30,890 known infections.

Orange County has the third-highest population in California, with 3.2 million people. Riverside is California’s fourth-most populous county with 2.5 million. Los Angeles County, population 10.1 million, leads California in raw coronavirus numbers, with 161,673 cases as of Monday.

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

  • Santa Ana: 5,610 cases; 133 deaths
  • Anaheim: 5,134 cases; 125 deaths
  • Huntington Beach: 1,462 cases; 44 deaths
  • Irvine: 1,000 cases; eight deaths
  • Costa Mesa: 946 cases; seven deaths
  • Newport Beach: 719 cases; three deaths
  • Fountain Valley: 302 cases; eight deaths
  • Laguna Beach: 113 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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