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Home / infections

Orange County sees slight increase in COVID hospitalizations

Orange County’s COVID-19 hospitalizations saw a slight trend upward this week, but intensive care unit levels were low, according to state and county data released Thursday.

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 infections stood at 83 as of Thursday, up from 73 the previous day and 71 on May 1, according to the state health department. The number of those patients in intensive care dipped from 11 to nine.

Of those hospitalized in the county, 60.9% are unvaccinated or partly vaccinated. The ICU patients are 61.9% partly vaccinated or unvaccinated.

“I still think the ICU number is the most reliable” when gauging public safety, Andrew Noymer, a UC Irvine professor of population health and disease prevention, told City News Service. “And those numbers have remained low.”

Noymer has also been monitoring the amount of COVID-19 measured in wastewater.

“And the wastewater, too, shows the most thin increase,” he said. “It’s not noteworthy yet, so I think we’re in a good spot. COVID isn’t over even though I know the emergency declaration ends federally at midnight. … but it’s not that bad right now.”

Noymer said it was a “mild phase,” but he is expecting another wave this summer as has been the case the past few years.

The county logged 25 more fatalities associated with COVID-19 last week, boosting the overall death toll to 8,152, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

Twelve of those fatalities happened in April, boosting the month’s total to 34. Six occurred in March, increasing its death toll to 80. Two fatalities happened in February, raising its death toll to 75.

Two fatalities happened in January, raising its death toll to 133.

The county logged 548 new cases of COVID-19, increasing the total since the start of the pandemic to 720,787.

The test positivity rate decreased from 4% to 3.4%, and ticked down from 3.8% to 3% in the health equity quartile, which measures the communities hardest hit by the pandemic.

The positivity rate for those fully vaccinated with a booster went from 2.7 on April 16 to 2.5 on April 23. For those vaccinated with no booster, the rate went from 1.3 to 1.2. For those not vaccinated the rate went from 5.3 to 5.2.

The daily case rate per 100,000 went from 2.2 to 1.9 on a seven-day average with a seven-day lag and dipped from 2 to 1.7 in the adjusted daily case rate per 100,000 on a seven-day average with a seven-day lag.

The number of residents fully vaccinated increased from 2,371,353 to 2,371,439. The number of residents who have received at least one dose is 228,171. The number of booster shots administered increased from 1,458,708 to 1,459,223.

The number of children up to 4 years old who have received at least one dose inched up from 19,397 to 19,435 with 12,695 fully vaccinated. Just 6.8% of the county’s population in the age group is fully vaccinated.

For 5- to 11-year-old children, 97,713 are fully vaccinated, about 36.9% of the age group. In the 12-to-17 age group, 69.7% are fully vaccinated.

The OCHCA reports COVID-19 data every Thursday.

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