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Orange County Public Libraries continue to provide services during coronavirus pandemic

Donald Dungan Library in Costa Mesa on July 21.
Donald Dungan Library in Costa Mesa on July 21. Libraries have been closed to the public due to COVID-19, but they are still offering curbside pickup.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

The coronavirus has altered much of what was thought to be normal since it was declared a pandemic on March 11.

Sports were sidelined, then some were brought back without fans.

Schools closed the academic year with distance learning, and the new school year is also set to start online for most of the state’s students.

Those looking to crack open a book have been able to do so this summer, thanks to a contactless curbside pickup service provided by the Orange County Public Libraries.

To acquire new library books, an item can be placed on hold at catalog.ocpl.org. Then patrons can drive to the library after receiving a notice by phone or email that the item is ready.

The borrower then calls the number on the sign upon arriving and waits for library staff to place the requested items on the outside table. When library staff goes back inside the building, the items can be retrieved. All checked out items are to be returned through the book drops.

“Since Orange County Public Libraries’ curbside launch [on June 16], we have had over 50,000 curbside transactions and over 172,000 items have been borrowed,” Orange County Public Libraries communications librarian David Lopez said. “In fact, our curbside pickup service has reached about 70% of our regular circulation, which is reassuring to see in less than two months of implementation.

“We knew curbside service would be greatly used because of our community’s love for books and the incredible need for entertainment. Orange County Public Libraries is pleased to be able to offer this service and continue our mission to provide access to information for all while promoting the importance for literacy at every age.”

Lopez added that any combination of up to 50 library items may be checked out per library card, and regular loan periods are in place. Overdue fines have also been postponed through Oct. 31.

A digital library card can also be acquired by visiting ocpl.org/elib/ecard.

Virtual programs continue to be offered by Orange County Public Libraries, including virtual story time and book groups, do-it-yourself and crafts projects, and teen gaming.

Lopez said that more than one million online resources have been borrowed by library users this year.

There are several local branches: Costa Mesa – Donald Dungan (1855 Park Avenue) and Mesa Verde (2969 Mesa Verde Drive), Fountain Valley (17635 Los Alamos Street) and Laguna Beach (363 Glenneyre Street).

The Fountain Valley Library is closed to the public.
The Fountain Valley Library is closed to the public, due to the coronavirus pandemic, but virtual library services and curbside pickup are available.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

The Orange County Health Care Agency reported 11 new coronavirus deaths and 245 positive tests for the virus that causes COVID-19 in the latest numbers released on Wednesday.

A total of 745 deaths due to the virus have been reported countywide, while the cumulative number of cases stands at 41,823.

Hospitalizations as a result of the virus were at 440 as of the latest update, with 141 of those patients in an intensive care unit.

An additional 5,917 tests for the virus were reported in the last day, bringing the total number of tests administered in the county to 504,559.

To date, the estimated number of recoveries made in the county from the coronavirus is 32,218.

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

  • Santa Ana: 8,125 cases; 195 deaths
  • Anaheim: 7,142 cases; 175 deaths
  • Huntington Beach: 1,860 cases; 54 deaths
  • Costa Mesa: 1,366 cases; 13 deaths
  • Irvine: 1,279 cases; 12 deaths
  • Newport Beach: 921 cases; 12 deaths
  • Fountain Valley: 394 cases; seven deaths
  • Laguna Beach: 147 cases; fewer than five deaths

And here are case counts followed by deaths, by age group:

  • 0 to 17: 2,725; zero
  • 18 to 24: 6,239; three
  • 25 to 34: 9,277; 10
  • 35 to 44: 6,786; 23
  • 45 to 54: 6,834; 67
  • 55 to 64: 5,039; 96
  • 65 to 74: 2,439; 148
  • 75 to 84: 1,383; 165
  • 85 and older: 1,072; 233

For up-to-date information about the coronavirus in Orange County, visit occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc.

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