Orange County’s COVID Hospitalizations Continue Trending Down

SANTA ANA (CNS) – The number of COVID-positive patients in Orange County hospitals has dropped from 687 to 627, continuing a three-week downward trend, according to the latest state figures out today.  

Of those patients, 120 were in intensive care, down from 124 on Saturday.  

Some patients entered hospitals for other reasons and only discovered they had COVID after a hospital-mandated test.  

The latest numbers come two days after local health officials reported 2,795 new positive COVID-19 tests and 12 additional deaths associated with the virus, bringing the county’s totals to 524,226 cases and 6,152 fatalities since the pandemic began.  

OC has 17.4% of its ICU beds available, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency. Local health officials get concerned when the level falls below 20%. The county has 61% of its ventilators available.  

Of those hospitalized, 84% are unvaccinated and 87% in ICU are not inoculated, the OCHCA said.  

The OCHCA does not report COVID data on weekends.  

“The key numbers keep going down, which is good,” Andrew Noymer, an epidemiologist and UC Irvine professor of population health and disease prevention, told City News Service on Friday. “… Things are moving in the right direction partly because these things have a natural cycle and we’re on the downward cycle of it. It’s also partly because people took it seriously and masked up, and continuing that is still on the menu … Masking is still prudent.”  

Noymer said he does not expect Super Bowl parties will trigger another reversal of the trends.  

All the fatalities logged Friday happened in January, raising last month’s death toll to 176.  

Outbreaks — defined as three or more infected residents — decreased from 38 to 36 at assisted living facilities Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, the most recent data available, and dropped from 30 to 24 for skilled nursing facilities.  

The county’s adjusted daily new case rate per 100,000 residents dipped from 109.2 Wednesday to 87.4 on Friday. The testing positivity rate dropped from 16.6% to 14.1%, and fell from 13.9% to 12.1% in the health equity quartile, which measures underserved communities hardest hit by the pandemic.  

The case rate per 100,000 people decreased from 72.6 Jan. 22 to 38.5 on Jan. 29 for residents who were fully vaccinated with a booster shot; from 134.8 to 62 for fully vaccinated with no booster; and 207.2 to 92.9 for those not fully vaccinated. 

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