Orange County has seen another drop in COVID hospital admissions

SANTA ANA, Calif. (CNS) – Orange County’s COVID-19 hospital admissions numbers continued their recent decline on Saturday, offering further evidence of a moderation of the Delta variant-fueled summer surge.

Hospital admissions dropped to 348 from 367 on Friday, with the number of ICU patients falling to 101, according to state data from 108.

What you need to know

  • Orange County’s COVID-19 hospital admissions continued their recent decline on Saturday
  • Hospital stays dropped from 367 Friday to 348, with the number of patients in the intensive care unit dropping from 108 to 101
  • The county’s health equity quartile positive rate, which measures progress in the county’s low-income communities, decreased from 5.8% to 5.1%.
  • The county recorded seven more COVID-related deaths on Friday, bringing the cumulative total to 5,344

“Basically we’re pretty good looking,” Andrew Noymer, an epidemiologist and professor of population health and disease prevention at UC Irvine, told the City News Service on Friday. “We’re as good as we expected, but I’d like to see lower. I hope we don’t find a floor of 350 hospital stays. I’m not a supporter of zero COVID.We won’t see any COVID hospital admissions anytime soon, but the numbers look good to me and the percentage positivity has gone down, suggesting we should find a lower floor sometime next week.

Noymer was disappointed that a panel of the US Food and Drug Administration rejected a plan for proposed booster injections for the general public 16 and over.

“I’m in favor of boosters so this is a huge disappointment,” said Noymer. “I don’t know why you are so careful, honestly.

The weekly averages released Tuesday showed the county’s case rate per 100,000 population fell from 16 to 15.3, while the test positive rate fell from 5.4% to 4.7%.

The positivity rate in the county’s health equity quartile, which measures progress in the county’s low-income communities, decreased from 5.8% to 5.1%.

The county owned 20.7% of its ICU beds and 64% of its ventilators, according to the Orange County Health Department.

The county recorded seven more COVID-related deaths on Friday, bringing the cumulative total to 5,344. Six of the fatalities occurred in September, bringing the death toll for that month to 18 so far.

Another fatality occurred in August, bringing the death toll to 133 last month.

This number is in stark contrast to the rest of the summer.

The death toll in July was 22, 18 in June, 23 in May, 45 in April, 199 in March, 615 in February, 1,579 in January – the deadliest month of the pandemic – and 975 in December, the next deadliest.

The OCHCA also reported 394 new infections on Friday, bringing the cumulative total since the pandemic started to 292,844. The agency does not report any COVID data on weekends.

The number of infected inmates in the county’s prisons has increased recently, but nowhere near as it was during a winter wave outbreak in December.

The number of infected inmates rose from 28 earlier this week to 50 on Thursday, with 39 from the general population and 11 from newly booked inmates, Assistant Sheriff Joe Balicki said. On Friday it was 48.

The surge in cases appears to be isolated in a dormitory at Men’s Central Jail in Santa Ana and one half of a barrack at Theo Lacy Facility in Orange, Balicki said.

The sheriff’s deputies are working closely with OCHCA officials on contact tracing and testing to contain the spread, Balicki said. Detainees who test positive are placed in medical isolation.

“In the past, these containment measures have worked very well for us,” he said.

About 45% of prison inmates are vaccinated, Balicki said. Each inmate will be offered a vaccine when booking and will continue to be offered a vaccination on medical calls, he added.

Many of the positive tests were breakthrough infections from vaccinated inmates, Balicki said. Many of the inmates who tested positive are asymptomatic.

Nine of the sheriff’s employees are at home with infections.

The number of fully vaccinated residents in the county rose from 2,043,693 last week to 2,069,128 on Thursday. That number includes an increase from 1,908,595 to 1,932,614 residents who received the two-dose schedule from Pfizer or Moderna. The number of residents who received Johnson & Johnson’s single-use vaccine increased from 135,098 to 136,514.

There are 220,138 residents who received a dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

The county’s case rate for fully vaccinated residents as of September 11, the latest available numbers, was 4 per 100,000, but 22.9 per 100,000 for the unvaccinated.

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