COVID Orange County update: 24 additional deaths, 348 cases reported as officials catch up on backlog

Get updates on the coronavirus in Orange County including new case numbers, response efforts and latest news.
SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Twenty-four more people have succumbed to COVID-19, raising the county's death toll to 769, with 348 more coronavirus cases reported on Thursday, hiking the cumulative total to 42,171, Orange County Health Care Agency officials said.

Case counts have been up and down since Sunday as officials catch up on the backlog with the state's system, but Orange County officials on Thursday reported their statistics are now up to date.

Of the fatalities reported Thursday, three were skilled nursing facility residents and two were assisted living facility residents. Since the pandemic began, 293 of the victims who died were skilled nursing facility residents, 44 were assisted living facility residents and one was homeless.

The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in the county's hospitals dipped from 440 Wednesday to 438, according to the HCA, with the number of patients in intensive care units ticking up from 141 to 143.

But the rate of residents testing positive for COVID-19 in the county decreased from 7.7% to 7.6%. The state's desired threshold is 8%. The county's case rate per 100,000 residents increased from 109.4 to 116.2, which is far higher than the California Department of Public Health threshold of 25 per 100,000 residents.

The change in the three-day average of hospitalized patients went from -9.4% to -8.8%, which is lower than the state's threshold.

The county has 29% of intensive care unit beds available, which is better than the state's 20% threshold. And the county's hospitals also have 65% of their ventilators available, higher than the state standard of 25%.

The county reported that 518,065 COVID-19 tests have been conducted, including 13,506 reported Thursday. There have been 32,984 documented recoveries.

As local school officials prepare for classes to begin, county officials are tabulating the number of coronavirus cases by various age groups.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 414 children up to age 3 who have been infected; 567 in the 4-to-9-year-old age group; 433 from 10 to 12 years old; 418 among 13- to 14-year-olds; and 1,458 in the 15- to 18-year-old age group.

Many elementary schools are preparing applications for waivers from the county and state that would allow for in-person classroom teaching up to the sixth-grade level. The state has mandated that schools in counties on the watch list must employ distance learning until they get off the watch list.

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City News Service contributed to this report.
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