Orange County’s COVID-19 Hospitalizations Level Off

SANTA ANA (CNS) – Orange County’s COVID-19 hospitalizations remained steady this week as the county logged 57 more related fatalities, according to data released today by the Orange County Health Care Agency.

Hospitalizations of COVID-19-infected patients had been going up and down since a steady rise ended on Dec. 7. But more recently, the hospitalizations were in a steady decline before leveling off this week. There were 165 patients hospitalized as of last Thursday and 170 as of Wednesday. There were 29 patients in intensive care units last Thursday, and 28 in ICUs as of Wednesday.

The agency logged 57 more fatalities, increasing the death toll to 7,848. Twenty-five of those fatalities occurred last month, increasing January’s death toll to 42. Twenty-one of the fatalities occurred in December, raising that month’s death toll to 141. Another two happened in November, increasing its death toll to 55. December is the first month with triple-digit deaths since the summer wave. On two of the dates, 10 people died, marking the first time there were days of double-digit deaths since last February.

Of those hospitalized in the county, 62.8% are unvaccinated or partly vaccinated. The ICU patients are 63.8% partly or unvaccinated. The number of residents fully vaccinated increased from 2,365,942 to 2,366,484. The number of residents who have received at least one dose is 225,621. The number of booster shots administered increased from 1,445,113 to 1,446,607.

The number of children up to 4 years old who have received at least one dose inched up from 18,284 to just 18,416 with 11,480 fully vaccinated. Just 6.1% of the county’s population in the age group is fully vaccinated. For 5- to 11-year-old children, 97,366 are fully vaccinated, about 36.7% of the age group. In the 12-to-17 age group, 69.6% are fully vaccinated. The test positivity rate went from 7.5% to 6.3% and decreased from 7.4% to 6.3% in the health equity quartile, which measures the communities hardest hit by the pandemic.

The daily case rate per 100,000 went from 6.2  to 5 on a seven-day average with a seven-day lag, and went from 6.6 to 5.1 in the adjusted daily case rate per 100,000 on a seven-day average with a seven-day lag. The OCHCA reports COVID data every Thursday. The county logged 1,400 new cases of COVID-19, hiking the cumulative to 707,008. The positivity rate for those fully vaccinated with a booster, which was 7 on Jan. 15, dropped to 4.2 on Jan. 22. For those vaccinated with no booster, the rate went from 5 to 4.1. For those not vaccinated the rate went from 10.7 to 8.1.

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