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Hospitalizations, COVID-19 Cases Continue To Decline In Orange County

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continued to trend downwards in Orange County Wednesday as officials opened up a new vaccine site at Santa Ana College.

The county Wednesday reported 166 new cases and 27 additional fatalities. The new numbers brought the county's total caseload to 243,329 and the death toll to 3,644.

Of the deaths, two were skilled nursing facility residents, raising the total to 904 since the pandemic began, and one was an assisted living facility resident, hiking that total to 406.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations continued a downward trend. The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 dipped from 748 on Tuesday to 719. However, the number of people in intensive care remained at 235.

The county has 15.4% of its ICU beds available, as well as 57% of its ventilators, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

"We haven't seen any spikes so far from the Super Bowl, so that's good news," Orange County CEO Frank Kim told City News Service on Tuesday.

The county's adjusted daily case rate per 100,000 people dropped from 29.7 last week to 20.7 on Tuesday, and the test positivity rate on a seven-day average, with a seven-day lag, fell from 9.4% to 7.8%, which meets the criteria for the red tier of the state's four-tiered business re-opening plan.

To move to the less-restrictive red tier from the purple tier, the county has to improve to 4 to 7 new daily cases per 100,000 and a 5% to 8% positivity rate with a health equity quartile at 5.3% to 8%. And the county would be required to maintain the metrics for two consecutive weeks.

Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairman Andrew Do said if the trends continue, the "best-case scenario" is another three to four weeks before the county makes the red tier.

The county's new vaccine distribution site at Santa Ana College aims to dispense about 1,000 vaccines daily, and up to 1,500 ultimately, Do said.


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