Orange County Reports Falling COVID-19 Hospitalization Numbers

Despite the decline in hospitalizations the county's state-adjusted ICU bed availability remains at zero.

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Orange County reported 1,279 new cases of COVID-19 and 43 additional deaths Saturday, bringing the county's totals to 231,036 cases and 3,018 fatalities. The number of coronavirus patients in county hospitals continued its downward trend, declining from 1,521 Friday to 1,442, with the number of patients in intensive care dropping from 426 to 394. 

The county's state-adjusted ICU bed availability remains at zero, and the unadjusted figure decreased slightly from 10.1% Friday to 9.9%. The state created the adjusted metric to reflect the difference in beds available for COVID-19 patients and non-coronavirus patients. The county has 47% of its ventilators available. Of the fatalities reported Saturday, two were residents of assisted living facilities. 

Since the pandemic began, 323 ALF residents have died, along with 827 residents of skilled nursing facilities. The death reports are staggered because they come from a variety of sources and are not always logged immediately. 

The county's large-scale vaccination site at Disneyland, which was shut down Friday because of stormy weather, was scheduled to reopen on Saturday. Vaccines were also being doled out at an indoor site at Soka University in Aliso Viejo. 

The rain moved out just in time for outdoor dining to begin again, but not without several new restrictions. Hetty Chang reports for NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Jan. 29, 2021. 

The Orange County Health Care Agency reported 22,215 tests on Saturday, for a total of 2,665,629. There have been 173,862 documented recoveries, according to the OCHCA.

Orange County CEO Frank Kim said earlier this week he was “obviously concerned” that the county had to shut down the Disneyland site, and frustrated that officials don't have a long-term view of when vaccines will arrive. 

“We need an estimate two weeks out,” Kim said. “That would address a lot of concerns people have. We can't schedule beyond two or three days out.” 

Kim said hospitals are also ramping up inoculations. 

Outbreaks -- defined as at least two cases over the past two weeks -- were reported in 26 skilled nursing facilities and 37 elderly assisted living facilities in the county as of Friday.

Fairview Developmental Center in Costa Mesa -- which was set up to handle overflow from local hospitals -- was treating 30 patients, 20 from Orange County, seven from Los Angeles County, two from Riverside County and one San Bernardino County.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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