SANTA ANA, Calif.—Orange County’s coronavirus hospitalizations increased by 10 and five additional people were in intensive care, according to data released yesterday.
The latest increases are the first since late summer, as the Delta variant hit its peak.
Some experts say they remain cautious.
“The flu is right around the corner,” said Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, the deputy county health officer.
Chinsio-Kwong said she is concerned the upcoming holiday season, starting with Halloween, will spur another winter surge.
She encouraged parents to get their children vaccinated for the upcoming flu season, and noted it takes two weeks to develop full immunity.
According to Chinsio-Kwong it is “technically safe to go trick-or-treating, especially if it’s outdoors,” but she recommended continued efforts to avoid infection such as social distancing, good hand hygiene, and wearing a mask.
“Kids love to eat candy and so do I, but it means removing your mask,” Chinsio-Kwong said. “This should be a fun and exciting time and it should be safe, but use some caution if you’re indoors.”
She also suggested Halloween and Dia de los Muertos festivities could be used as an excuse to decorate masks.
Recent data brought the county’s cumulative totals to 299,594 cases and 5,475 fatalities since the pandemic began, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA).
The county had just over a quarter of its intensive care unit beds available and nearly 70 percent of its ventilators.
According to the latest vaccination data, the number of fully vaccinated residents in Orange County is now just over 2.1 million.
Currently, there are 224 residents hospitalized with the virus and 49 of those are in intensive care.