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Orange County receives vaccine shipment after winter-storm delay

A sign reminds appointment holders keep 6 feet apart as they wait in line to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
A sign reminds appointment holders keep 6 feet apart as they wait in line to receive a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Soka University gym in Aliso Viejo in January.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Orange County has received more than 83,000 additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine, which will allow health officials to continue vaccinating residents after appointments were canceled last week.

“Roughly 50% of the 83,000 doses we’ve received will be distributed to our county super [point of dispensing sites] and mobile PODs, and the rest are on their way to various providers, hospitals and community clinics,” said Dr. Clayton Chau, the director of the Orange County Health Care Agency and county health officer.

Molly Nichelson, a county spokeswoman, also confirmed in an email Thursday that the allocations for this and last week were received.

Delays of shipment were caused by the severe winter storms that wreaked havoc across the country, and officials initially closed the Disneyland super POD on Feb 18, citing shortages. The site reopened on Wednesday to provide a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for eligible recipients with appointments.

It closed again Thursday, citing expected high winds.

Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble premiered the first series memorializing those who died of COVID-19 in January. The ongoing “The COVID Monologues” project is taking new submissions until March 1.

As of Thursday, data from the Orange County Health Care Agency indicates that about 261,585 residents have received the first dose of either of the available vaccines. About 165,064 residents have received both the first and second doses. Vaccines are being distributed to those classified under Phase 1A, which includes healthcare workers and those 65 or older.

As vaccinations continue, the county also reported Thursday that there were 174 new cases of the coronavirus and 41 new deaths from COVID-19.

Of those deaths, five were skilled nursing facility residents and six lived in assisted nursing facilities. One homeless individual died in addition to 29 others not living in a facility.

To date, there have been 245,634 cases reported countywide.

About 515 patients are currently hospitalized, with 160 in intensive care units. An estimated 228,838 residents have recovered from infection. The county also surpassed a new threshold Thursday with 3.4 million tests reported countywide since March 2020.

Current figures place the county’s test positivity rate and its health equity quartile positivity rate in the red “substantial” tier, but the adjusted daily case rate per every 100,000 remains in the purple, “widespread” tier. To move into the next tier, Orange County will need to drop its current adjusted daily case rate from 11.9 to four to seven new daily cases.

The current test positivity rate is 5.4% and the health equity quartile positivity rate is 7%.

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

  • Santa Ana: 43,747 cases; 691 deaths
  • Anaheim: 40,691 cases; 701 deaths
  • Huntington Beach: 10,165 cases; 178 deaths
  • Costa Mesa: 8,613 cases; 103 deaths
  • Irvine: 10,034 cases; 66 deaths
  • Newport Beach: 3,585 cases; 67 deaths
  • Fountain Valley: 3,351 cases; 64 deaths
  • Laguna Beach: 789 cases; five deaths

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

  • 0 to 17: 25,420 cases; one death
  • 18 to 24: 33,893 cases; nine deaths
  • 25 to 34: 49,041 cases; 40 deaths
  • 35 to 44: 38,309 cases; 86 deaths
  • 45 to 54: 39,424 cases; 252 deaths
  • 55 to 64: 30,939 cases; 535 deaths
  • 65 to 74: 15,426 cases; 755 deaths
  • 75 to 84: 7,787 cases; 942 deaths
  • 85 and older: 5,245 cases; 1,269 deaths

Updated figures are posted daily at occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc. Information on COVID-19 vaccines in Orange County can be found at occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/covid-19-vaccine-resources.

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