Orange County’s COVID-19 hospital admissions are stabilizing

SANTA ANA, Calif. (CNS) – Orange County’s COVID-19 hospital admissions have remained stable, the first time they have not seen a significant increase in the past few weeks, according to data released Thursday by the Orange County Health Care Agency.

What you need to know

  • The county logged 8,440 new positive COVID-19 tests on Thursday, bringing the cumulative total since the pandemic started to 422,418
  • Hospital stays rose from 1,071 on Wednesday to 1,072 on Thursday, with the number of ICU patients increasing from 159 to 168
  • The county has 19.2% of its intensive care beds and 63% of its ventilators
  • Of the hospital patients, 86% are unvaccinated and 87% in the intensive care unit are not vaccinated, according to OCHCA

The patient load in the district hospitals increases day by day from 188 on December 20th to 215 on December 21st.

The number of hospital admissions rose from 1,071 on Wednesday to 1,072 on Thursday, with the number of critical care patients increasing from 159 to 168, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

The county also recorded 8,440 new positive COVID-19 tests on Thursday, bringing the cumulative total since the pandemic started to 422,418.

The county has 19.2% of its intensive care beds and 63% of its ventilators. Of the hospital patients, 86% are unvaccinated and 87% in the intensive care unit are not vaccinated, according to OCHCA.

The county’s adjusted daily case rate per 100,000 population rose from 103 on Wednesday to 103.4 on Thursday. The test positive rate rose from 25.9% to 26.8% and rose from 28.3% to 29.8% in the healthcare equality quartile, which measures underserved communities hardest hit by the pandemic.

The number of fully vaccinated residents in Orange County rose from 2,341,562 to 2,357,761 as of Thursday.

That number includes an increase from 2,189,337 last week to 2,205,067 residents who received two-dose vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna.

The number of residents who received Johnson & Johnson’s one-time vaccine increased from 152,225 to 152,694. Booster shots increased from 900,815 to 975,937

In the relatively young age group of 5 to 11 years, the number of vaccinated children rose from 46,791 to 52,803 compared to 215,777 who were not vaccinated. It is the least vaccinated age group in the county. The second worst age group vaccinated is 25 to 34, with 314,619 vaccinated and 144,782 not vaccinated.

The most common age groups vaccinated are seniors.

“You can look at the data in two different ways,” said Frank Kim, CEO of Orange County. “We continue to see increases in daily positivity and the number of cases, but that is also a function of the increase in testing. I also think this is not being adequately reported because so many people have access to rapid tests (at home). “

Kim also said it made no difference whether the hospitalized patients had mostly COVID-19-related symptoms or whether they were so-called “chance” cases of a patient hospitalized for another illness who happened to be positive the virus has been tested.

“If you have today’s big numbers, it really doesn’t matter,” Kim told the City News Service. “It’s the general trend to watch. Hospital numbers are increasing and they haven’t slowed down yet, so that’s worrying.”

Orange County’s board of directors on Tuesday ordered the county employees to be on sick leave for 40 more hours to encourage them to stay home in bad weather.

About 600 county employees, out of a total of about 17,000, have been infected since mid-December, Kim said. If an employee becomes infected, he or she will be absent for at least five days due to the need for quarantine. That can eat up a worker’s entire sick leave so they may be more inclined to come to work with mild symptoms in the future, Kim said.

The county recorded two more COVID-related deaths Thursday, both of which occurred last month.

The death toll in December is now 64. The district’s deputy health officer, Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong said Friday that 50 of those who died in December were unvaccinated and seven were seniors.

The November death toll stands at 103. The October death toll is 127, with 196 in September and 182 in August.

In contrast, the death toll before the Delta variant triggered a summer surge was 31 in July, 19 in June, 26 in May, 47 in April, 202 in March, and 620 in February.

January 2021 remains the deadliest month of the pandemic with a death toll of 1,598, before December 2020 is the next deadliest month with 985 people lost to the virus.

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