Uptick In OC Coronavirus Cases ‘Small But Significant’

ORANGE COUNTY, CA — The Orange County Health Care Agency Monday reported one more COVID-19 fatality, raising the region’s death toll to 1,287, along with an uptick in hospitalizations.

According to the HCA, hospitalizations increased from 155 Sunday to 168 Monday, with the number of patients in intensive care jumping up from 47 to 53. The change in 3-day average hospitalized patients stands at -7.1 percent.

The county has 34 percent of its intensive care unit beds and 38 percent of its ventilators available.

The latest reported death involved a skilled nursing facility resident. Since the pandemic began, 463 skilled nursing facility residents and 89 residents of assisted living facilities have succumbed to the virus.

The HCA on Monday reported 120 newly confirmed coronavirus cases, hiking the cumulative case total to 54,760.

According to HCA data, 900,010 COVID-19 tests have been conducted, including 3,393 reported Monday. There have been 48,923 documented recoveries.

Orange County CEO Frank Kim said Friday he was watching the numbers carefully. He said he was “concerned” that daily case rates crept upward last week, going above the 200 mark on Friday.

“I want to see those numbers smaller… The general trend is a slow, steady rise in caseloads. We’re not seeing any significant particular industry sector that is causing it. It’s generally throughout the community.”

One of the thorniest problems is young adults renting out vacation residences for parties, according to Kim.

The positivity rate, which is reported each Tuesday, stands at 3.1 percent, the same as the week before, but the daily case rate per 100,000 people went up from 3.6 to 4.4, which is higher than the cutoff of 3.9 to qualify for a move from the red to the orange tier in the state’s coronavirus monitoring system.

“We’ve had a few days of uptick in numbers, small but significant to affect our tier system,” Dr. Clayton Chau, the director of the OCHCA and the county’s chief health officer, said last week.

Students returning to school don’t appear to have been an issue, according to Dr. Matthew Zahn, the medical director of the county’s communicable disease control division.

“At this point, we see really minimal activity,” Zahn said last week. “What we’ve seen so far is quite encouraging.”

County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett has said there is concern about a seesawing back and forth between the red and orange tiers because if the county has to step back a tier, that locks it into place for at least three weeks even if the metrics match a less-restrictive tier.

Across Orange County cities, here is the most recent Coronavirus Case Counts as of Monday:

  • Aliso Viejo – 396 Total Cases

  • Anaheim – 9346 Total Cases

  • Brea – 496 Total Cases

  • Buena Park – 1560 Total Cases

  • Costa Mesa – 1840 Total Cases

  • Coto de Caza – 47 Total Cases

  • Cypress – 566 Total Cases

  • Dana Point – 281 Total Cases

  • Fountain Valley – 518 Total Cases

  • Fullerton – 2597 Total Cases

  • Garden Grove – 3018 Total Cases

  • Huntington Beach – 2426 Total Cases

  • Irvine – 1723 Total Cases

  • La Habra – 1459 Total Cases

  • La Palma – 164 Total Cases

  • Ladera Ranch – 174 Total Cases

  • Laguna Beach – 226 Total Cases

  • Laguna Hills – 325 Total Cases

  • Laguna Niguel – 447 Total Cases

  • Laguna Woods – 67 Total Cases

  • Lake Forest – 864 Total Cases

  • Los Alamitos – 202 Total Cases

  • Midway City – 122 Total Cases

  • Mission Viejo – 867 Total Cases

  • Newport Beach – 1146 Total Cases

  • Orange – 2497 Total Cases

  • Placentia – 949 Total Cases

  • Rancho Mission Viejo – 66 Total Cases

  • Rancho Santa Margarita – 354 Total Cases

  • Rossmoor – 66 Total Cases

  • San Clemente – 543 Total Cases

  • San Juan Capistrano – 560 Total Cases

  • Santa Ana – 10534 Total Cases

  • Seal Beach – 281 Total Cases

  • Silverado – 43 Total Cases

  • Stanton – 666 Total Cases

  • Trabuco Canyon – 203 Total Cases

  • Tustin – 1326 Total Cases

  • Villa Park – 55 Total Cases

  • Westminster – 1066 Total Cases

  • Yorba Linda – 754 Total Cases

State officials were expected on Friday to announce new guidelines for mass gatherings, but stopped short of doing so, heading back to the drawing board with themepark leaders.

Read: Disneyland Resort Reopening Guidelines Back To Drawing Board

The mass gatherings include theme parks, concerts and sporting events. The expectation was that those types of activities will not be allowed until a county moves up to the least restrictive tier of yellow, which could take months.

To qualify for the orange tier, the positivity rate must be 2% – 4%, and the case rate per 100,000 must be 1% – 3.9%.

Moving to the orange tier means retail businesses could operate at full capacity, instead of 50% as required in the red tier. Shopping malls could also operate at full capacity, but with closed common areas and reduced food courts, just as in the red tier.

The orange tier boosts capacity for churches, restaurants, movies, museums, zoos and aquariums from 25% capacity to half capacity. Gyms and fitness centers could boost capacity from 10% to 25% and reopen pools.

The orange tier also allows family entertainment centers like bowling alleys and wall-climbing to open indoors at 25% capacity.

City News Service, Patch Editor Ashley Ludwig contributed to this report.

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This article originally appeared on the Orange County Patch

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