Health officials in Orange County say while it may look like the spread of coronavirus is slowing, that likely isn't the case.
According to the O.C. Register, a backlog of tests and a lag in data is making it appear as though new cases are slowing down.
Officials say the drop from around 221 cases last week to 150 this week is a result of slow reporting from labs.
Health officials believe the actual case rate is higher, but it's unclear how much higher.
O.C. health officials on Thursday reported another 17 COVID-19 fatalities, raising the death toll over 600, along with 506 more coronavirus diagnoses to bring the cumulative case total to 35,778, but hospitalization numbers declined.
The number of patients being treated for COVID-19 in Orange County hospitals dropped from 626 to 592, while the number of patients in intensive care dropped from 204 to 189, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.
Since Sunday, the county has reported 42 coronavirus-related deaths.
Last week, the county reported 70 deaths, down from 73 the week before.