OC Cases Stabilizing, ‘Number of Hospitalized Is Comparatively Low’

By City News Service
City News Service
City News Service
April 21, 2020Updated: April 21, 2020

SANTA ANA (CNS)—The number of COVID-19 cases in Orange County stands at 1,676 on April 21, with 33 deaths—14 in just under a week.

The latest figures reflect disclosures on April 20 that there had been another 41 cases and another death.

“Despite a fluctuation of cases, we have seen in Orange County the number of hospitalized is comparatively low,” Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel said in an afternoon briefing. “We are starting to see a stabilization of the number of cases in this area.”

The number of hospitalized patients dropped from 156 on April 19 to 128 on April 20, with the number of intensive care patients also dropping, from 56 to 42.

County CEO Frank Kim said he is worried that forecasts of warmer weather this week will entice residents to head for the beaches, noting that his staff has seen widespread violations of social distancing at beaches and parks. If large crowds gather in those locations, “we may need to take additional steps, which could include closure of those park facilities,” he said.

Steel and Supervisor Don Wagner said their ad-hoc committee studying attempts to lift some quarantine restrictions will be meeting with various business leaders on April 21.

Referring to protests in Orange County, among elsewhere nationwide, appealing for a lifting of stay-at-home restrictions, he said, “What you’re seeing is a number of people around the county rightly asking the question, how do we get the county back open for business? We are trying to provide those answers.”

Wagner added, “Am I going to tell you every protester is standing six feet apart? Of course not. But is that a reason to put an end to these protests and silence these people? Of course not.”

Anaheim has the most COVID-19 cases in the county with 207, followed by Santa Ana with 166, Huntington Beach with 138, and Irvine with 118. Those are Orange County’s four largest cities.

Anaheim saw 18 new cases reported April 18, and city officials said they believe part of that increase was related to an outbreak at the Anaheim Healthcare Center skilled nursing facility, where 15 patients have tested positive for COVID-19.

“While the number is still roughly in line with our share of the county’s population, we will continue to monitor our share of cases as an indicator,” Anaheim officials said in a statement.

Anaheim Healthcare Center at 501 S. Beach Blvd. is one of a dozen skilled nursing facilities in Orange County on a state list of 261 nursing homes that have experienced one or more cases of COVID-19.

The department’s website said the list released over the weekend was a snapshot representing 86 percent of the state’s 1,224 skilled-nursing facilities that had reported data.

The number of people tested for COVID-19 in Orange County stands at 18,766, with enough kits for 2,491 more specimens.

Of the county’s total cases, 2 percent, or 30, involve people under 18 years old; 8 percent, or 128, are between 18-24; 16 percent, or 271, are between 25-34; 14 percent, or 239, are between 35-44; 39 percent, or 652, are between 45-64, and 21 percent, or 356, are 65 or older.

Men make up 52 percent of the county’s cases, and 61 percent of its fatalities.

Of the deaths, 6 percent were 25 to 34 years old, 3 percent were 35 to 44, 33 percent were 45 to 64, and 58 percent were 65 or older, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.