Orange County breaks 4,000 cases in highest single-day record over weekend

Holiday shoppers walk across the Bridge of Gardens.
Holiday shoppers walk across the Bridge of Gardens at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa on Saturday.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Cases in Orange County have continued to push past previous records as county health officials plead with residents to refrain from gathering this Christmas and New Year’s.

On Sunday, the Orange County Health Care Agency reported 4,060 new daily cases, breaking records set just last week. On Monday, the county health agency reported 3,753. Hospitalizations are now up to 1,709 with 380 patients currently in intensive care units.

For the record:

5:23 p.m. Dec. 21, 2020An earlier version of this story misstated the number of cases as 4,606. The Orange County Health Care Agency reported 4,060 new cases of the coronavirus in Orange County on Sunday.

Just two deaths were recorded, both residents not currently living in a care facility. Data on Monday show that adult bed capacity in intensive care units across the county are up to an unadjusted 10.2%. The adjusted number of beds available is 0%.


This mirrors the rest of Southern California, which the state defines as Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. The region bottomed out on Thursday.

An estimated 74,040 have recovered.

“The number of infections in our surrounding county has been rising every day. Every day we break the record for the number of people who’ve been infected,” Orange County Health Care Agency Director and Public Health Officer Dr. Clayton Chau said during a Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday last week.

To appease children looking for a little Ho, Ho, Ho when coronavirus restrictions are screaming No, No, No, shopping centers are getting creative this year, placing St. Nick behind plexiglass and offering virtual visits.

Dec. 19, 2020

“Our hospitals are now bombarded. The emergency rooms have no capacity to triage people as quickly as they can. I’m pleading with the community, please, please do not gather,” said Chau.

Fatalities in the region have now reached 1,777.

“The reason we have an increase in cases is because people are gathering and not following public health guidance — period,” Chau said. “I have never been so afraid of Christmas and New Year’s in my life like I am now — I can’t imagine what it would be like after the holiday if people are not listening and people are not complying.”

Here are the latest cumulative coronavirus case counts and COVID-19 deaths for select cities in Orange County:

  • Santa Ana: 25,361 cases; 357 deaths
  • Anaheim: 21,672 cases; 381 deaths
  • Huntington Beach: 5,170 cases; 96 deaths
  • Costa Mesa: 4,230 cases; 51 deaths
  • Irvine: 4,709 cases; 20 deaths
  • Newport Beach: 1,949 cases; 28 deaths
  • Fountain Valley: 1,617 cases; 25 deaths
  • Laguna Beach: 434 cases; fewer than five deaths

Here are the case counts by age group, followed by deaths:

  • 0 to 17: 11,887 cases; one death
  • 18 to 24: 18,328 cases; five deaths
  • 25 to 34: 26,801 cases; 26 deaths
  • 35 to 44: 20,265 cases; 42 deaths
  • 45 to 54: 20,722 cases; 131 deaths
  • 55 to 64: 15,619 cases; 242 deaths
  • 65 to 74: 7,816 cases; 349 deaths
  • 75 to 84: 3,924 cases; 390 deaths
  • 85 and older: 2,754 cases; 591 deaths

Updated figures are posted daily at For information on getting tested, visit

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