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Orange County hospitals continue to hang on as COVID-19 patient count climbs to record 2,251

UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Nearly 14 days after the Christmas holiday — when Orange County health officials anticipated an untold number of residents would participate in gatherings despite a regional stay-at-home order — hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue to climb.

Orange County health officials on Thursday recorded 2,701 new cases of coronavirus and 29 deaths, bringing the countywide cumulative case count to 177,733 and pushing the fatality rate to 1,972.

Area hospitals reported treating 2,251 individuals for COVID-19, 22.3% of which — or 502 individuals — were being cared for in intensive care units, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

UC Irvine researchers recently published the first study to analyze the presence of “pharmacy deserts” in California.

The county’s seven-day average of new cases stands at 67.8 per 100,000 residents. Another 31,915 tests were issued Thursday, bringing the cumulative number of tests issued to 2,179,658 and accounting for a seven-day average testing positivity rate of 17.1%.

On Wednesday, former Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel, sworn into office Sunday in the U.S. House of Representatives, announced she has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a statement.

“At the advice of the Attending Physician, and to protect the health of my colleagues, I will be quarantining,” Steel said in the statement.

Meanwhile, the OCHA has rolled out a plan outlining the order in which county workers and residents will be able to receive the coronavirus vaccine. Health officials explain the county is currently vaccinating those designated as belonging to a multi-tiered “Phase 1A.”

Professions in that category include acute care, psychiatric and correctional facility hospital workers, those employed by skilled nursing and assisted living facilities along with paramedics, emergency medical technicians and Orange County law enforcement who work in COVID-19 hotspots and places where known outbreaks have occurred.

The latest maps and charts on the spread of COVID-19 in Orange County, including cases, deaths, closures and restrictions.

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

  • Santa Ana: 32,963 cases; 385 deaths
  • Anaheim: 30,007 cases; 420 deaths
  • Huntington Beach: 7,137 cases; 107 deaths
  • Costa Mesa: 5,817 cases; 55 deaths
  • Irvine: 6,617 cases; 28 deaths
  • Newport Beach: 2,502 cases; 31 deaths
  • Fountain Valley: 2,310 cases; 30 deaths
  • Laguna Beach: 550 cases; fewer than five deaths

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

  • 0 to 17: 16,949 cases; one death
  • 18 to 24: 24,743 cases; five deaths
  • 25 to 34: 36,559 cases; 27 deaths
  • 35 to 44: 28,088 cases; 45 deaths
  • 45 to 54: 28,793 cases; 145 deaths
  • 55 to 64: 22,097 cases; 273 deaths
  • 65 to 74: 11,025 cases; 376 deaths
  • 75 to 84: 5,537 cases; 446 deaths
  • 85 and older: 3,823 cases; 654 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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