SANTA ANA (CNS) — Orange County hospitals have more than 200 patients with COVID-19, with the number in intensive care units also rising, according to data released Friday by the Orange County Health Care Agency.
The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 rose to 230 on Wednesday and 212 on Thursday, from 213 on Tuesday. The number of patients in intensive care rose from 23 on Tuesday to 29 on Wednesday and 32 on Thursday.
Officials can’t determine how many of the patients currently hospitalized were admitted directly for COVID-19 or tested positive while being treated for another illness. But from June 1 to June 22, 100 unvaccinated patients were admitted directly for COVID-19 and 22 were unvaccinated, according to the agency.
According to the county, 83.3% of patients are unvaccinated and 87% of patients in the ICU are unvaccinated.
The county has 25.9% of its ICU beds, which is above the 20% level if officials are concerned.
The county’s test positivity rate rose to 15.8% on Thursday from 15.3% Monday and rose to 15.7% from 14.6% in the health equity quartile, which measures communities hardest hit by the pandemic.
The county’s daily case rate per 100,000 people is 31 averaging seven days with a seven-day lag and 30.6 for the adjusted rate, also averaging seven days and a seven-day lag.
Andrew Noymer, an epidemiologist and UC Irvine professor of population health and disease prevention, has told the City News Service he will be concerned if hospital admissions surpass 200.
“I don’t like to see that, and I don’t like it when intensive care units sneak up,” Noymer said on Tuesday.
“It’s not a crisis or anything, but it’s not moving in the right direction,” Noymer said. “It looked like we were going to find a peak, which is good because then it will go down again, but it could have been a false peak.”
The county recorded 3,826 more infections Tuesday through Thursday, bringing the cumulative case count to 604,055. The county also recorded 23 more deaths, bringing the death toll to 7,126.
Twelve of the deaths occurred in June, bringing the death toll to 27 in the last month. The May death toll stands at 32 and the April death toll stands at 33.
One of the deaths occurred in March, bringing the death toll to 88 that month. Three of the deaths occurred in February, bringing the death toll to 342. Three more occurred in January, bringing the death toll that month to 565. The death toll in December is 117.
One death occurred in November, bringing the month’s death toll to 123. One death occurred in September and another dates back to July last year.
The OCHCA will provide regular COVID updates on Tuesdays and Fridays.
The case rate per 100,000 population for fully vaccinated residents who received a booster shot decreased from 35.8. on June 19th to January 30th on June 26, according to the latest available data. The case rate for residents who were fully vaccinated without a booster shot increased from 21.5 on June 19 to 17.9 on June 26 and from 34.7 on June 19 to 30.1 on June 26.
The number of vaccines administered in Orange County rose to 2,326,588 from 2,324,587 on Tuesday, according to data. That number includes an increase from 2,185,776 to 2,187,900 residents who received the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccination schedule.
Noymer encouraged anyone who was eligible for a booster shot to do so.
“I think anyone who’s eligible for a third shot should have the third shot now,” Noymer said.
For those eligible for a fourth shot, Noymer advised waiting until the fall. Authorities are expected to approve a booster to combat the Omicron variant soon, but anyone who is eligible for a booster now shouldn’t wait as they can also get the Omicron variant dose later, Noymer said.
The number of residents who received Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine fell to 138,688 from 138,811 as officials continue to adjust to a new accounting of shots given in counties across California.
Refresher shots increased from 1,329,788 to 1,335,414.
In the 5-11 age group, the number of vaccinated children increased from 92,210 to 92,483 compared to 176,097 unvaccinated children.