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OC Reports Highest One-Day COVID Death Count; Most Cases In Santa Ana, Anaheim

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) - Orange County health officials Wednesday announced their highest one-day total of coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began, even as county officials called for clarification on the data.

The number of fatalities hit 26, along with 354 newly confirmed cases, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency, bringing the county's totals to 11,016 cases and 299 deaths.

Officials say the number of people hospitalized with the virus rose from 349 on Tuesday to 363, but those numbers may include as many as 30 people from Imperial County.

Supervisor Don Wagner said the hospitalization rate includes patients who may have been brought to a hospital for an unrelated issue such as a "slip and fall'' or "appendicitis'' but tested positive for COVID-19.

There are also nine patients from Imperial County in Orange County's beds as part of a plan to relieve a surplus of patients in Imperial County.

Confusion over the numbers prompted calls from Wagner and Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel for a more detailed breakdown of the numbers on the county's website.

"How in the world can you make medical decisions and we make policy decisions on this amorphous data?'' Wagner said.

With 2,332 cases, Santa Ana leads all county cities, followed by Anaheim with 2,119. The high numbers in Orange County's two largest cities are attributed to their population size and the presence of multiple nursing homes in both cities.

The county's positive test results for coronavirus is 6.7%, which is lower than the state's standard of 8% which triggers a state response, Dr. Clayton Chau, the Health Care Agency's director and interim chief
health officer, said.

The county also has more than enough beds in its hospitals and intensive care units, he said.

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