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Orange County Officials Report 8 More Coronavirus Deaths, Number Of Cases Surpass 8K

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County health officials reported eight new coronavirus deaths Friday bringing the county's total to 210.

The county also reported 167 additional cases bringing the total to 8,153.

The most death reported in a single day was May 21, when 14 deaths were reported by the Health Care Agency (HCA).

The number of fatalities involving skilled nursing facility residents increased from 94 to 98.

On Thursday, Seal Beach officials revealed a nursing home outbreak that has claimed two lives and sickened dozens of residents and staffers.

There have been outbreaks of at least two cases each reported at 28 skilled nursing homes, six assisted living facilities and two care homes.

As of Wednesday, 979 residents of the nursing homes had contracted COVID-19, and 505 staffers had been infected, according to the county.

The Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) said it is "increasing the number of staff working at skilled nursing home facilities" and increasing testing capacity.

The number of people hospitalized dropped from 294 on Thursday to 291, while the number of patients in intensive care dipped from 142 to 139.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department reported that 386 inmates have contracted coronavirus, and 371 have recovered, as of Friday.

Nine inmates are currently sick with the virus and officials are awaiting test results for 42 inmates.

As of Thursday, 174,298 people had been tested for coronavirus with  3,866 documented recoveries.

Also Friday, bars, gyms and movie theaters were authorized to begin reopening along with community pools, schools, day camps, museums, galleries, zoos, aquariums, wineries and family entertainment centers.

On Thursday, Orange County officials lifted face mask requirements, although health officials still strongly recommended people wear them.

Health experts continue to stress to residents the importance of wearing face coverings in public.

"It is not for your individual protection,'' said HCA Assistant Director Lilly Simmering said. "It is to protect others... from potentially contracting COVID-19 if you do not know you have it.''

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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