95% of COVID patients hospitalized in Orange County are unvaccinated, OC health officials say

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Tuesday, July 20, 2021
95% of COVID patients hospitalized in OC are unvaccinated
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More than 95% of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Orange County are unvaccinated, health officials say. Also, the number of patients in the ICU has spiked to levels not seen since mid-March.

ORANGE COUNTY (KABC) -- Orange County health officials say more than 95% of those currently hospitalized for the virus in the county are unvaccinated.

The latest numbers show about 140 COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized -- with about 60 in intensive care.

The last time there were that many patients in intensive care in the county was in mid-March.

As of Monday, the case rate per 100,000 residents was 4.9 and the test positivity rate was 3.3%, with the rate at 3.4% for residents in the lower health equity quartile, which measures the rate among underprivileged residents in neighborhoods hardest hit by the pandemic.

Last Tuesday, the county's average daily new case rate per 100,000 residents jumped up from 1.5 the previous week to 2.6, while the overall test positivity rate ticked up from 1.2% to 1.8%. The county's Health Equity Quartile rate climbed from 1.4% to 1.9%.

MORE | Unvaccinated account for all COVID hospitalizations in LA County

Los Angeles County official Dr. Christina Ghaly says unvaccinated people now account for all COVID-19 hospitalizations at county-run hospitals.

The county also reported two new COVID-19 fatalities since last week, upping the cumulative total to 5,135. One fatality was in April and the other in January.

The death toll for this month is one so far. The death toll for June is 14; 22 for May; 43 for April; 198 for March; 610 for February; 1,563 for January, the deadliest month of the pandemic so far; and 967 for December, the next deadliest.

"The hope is that we don't see much more of an accelerated pace of COVID than we saw before vaccines were widely available,'' Orange County CEO Fran Kim told City News Service. "At our peak we had 79 cases per 100,000, with a 19.7% positivity rate...We're hoping we don't see those types of numbers again.''

The high number of unvaccinated patients is "hopefully a reminder to the public that when they seek the risk of COVID, they would ask questions, get educated and consider the voluntary vaccine,'' Kim said.

Orange County officials have not discussed any sort of new mask order, he said.

MORE | How many people in your area are hesitant to get the vaccine?

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City News Service contributed to this report.