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Picket Fence Media will post weekly updates on the compilation of COVID-19 statistics and information, which is reported daily by the Orange County Health Care Agency.

For COVID-19 numbers specifically in Schools and South Orange County, scroll down.

Compiled by Zach Cavanagh

The Orange County Health Care Agency began releasing more detailed COVID-19 vaccine recipient data this week as coronavirus hospitalizations and cases continued their strong decline.

As of Friday, Feb. 12, the California Department of Public Health reported that Orange County had administered 454,764 total vaccine doses of the over 5.5 million administered across the state.

OCHCA reports its detailed vaccine data every Thursday with a few days of lag. As of Monday, Feb. 8, 70,719 people had been fully vaccinated with two doses in Orange County, and another 235,297 had only received their first dose.

Of those that have received at least one dose of the vaccine, 46% were White, 26% were Asian or Pacific Islander, 11% were Hispanic, 1% were Black and 16% were listed as other.

Of those that have received at least one dose, 58% were over age 65, 10% were age 55-64, 11% were age 45-54, 10% were 35-44, 9% were 25-34 and 3% were 18-24.

Of those over age 65 that have received at least one dose, 57% were White, 23% were Asian, 9% were Hispanic, 1% were Black and 11% were listed as other. For those under 65 with one dose, 31% were White, 30% were Asian, 14% were Hispanic, 1% were Black and 23% were listed as other.

The hospital system is back down to levels of two months ago, when the winter coronavirus surge was on the way up.

There were 965 hospitalizations reported by the county on Thursday – the lowest since Dec. 7. Thursday’s total was a decrease of 931 from last Friday and of 1,089 from two Fridays ago. Thursday was the 31st day of decrease in the last 34 days since a pandemic-high 2,259 hospitalizations on Jan. 8. There had been new record highs for county COVID hospitalizations in 33 of 37 days prior to Jan. 8. The county reported an 8.2% decrease in hospitalizations over the last three days.

Orange County reported 298 ICU patients as of Thursday, which is a decrease of 128 from last week and of 218 from two weeks ago and down from the pandemic-high of 547 on Saturday, Jan. 9. There are 13% of total ICU beds available, an increase from last week’s 11.1% and the 10.1% of two weeks ago. There are 51% of ventilators available.

The Southern California region has 10.6% of ICU beds available and is projected to reach 46.3% available ICU capacity by March 8.

The OCHCA reported 779 new COVID-19 cases and 42 new coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday, which adds up to 5,689 cases and 244 deaths recorded in the last seven days. There were 6,581 cases and 304 deaths in the previous seven-day period. (OCHA did not report numbers on Friday due to the Presidents’ Day holiday weekend.)

San Juan Capistrano recorded six deaths this week, with 24 in the last 30 days. San Clemente saw one deaths this week, with 10 in the last 30 days. Dana Point recorded tw0 coronavirus-related deaths this week, with 13 in the last 30 days.

Over the last 30 days, there have been 45,314 cases and 1,345 deaths in Orange County. In the 30 days previous to that, there were 93,171 cases and 454 deaths, which means there were 47,857 fewer cases over the last 30 days than the previous and 891 more deaths.

The death rate looks to be cresting with only a slight increase to today’s 30-day number at 1,345 – a rise from last week’s 1,336, the 1,101 of two weeks ago, and 766 of three weeks ago.

Cumulatively, there have been 240,999 cases and 3,493 deaths in Orange County since the beginning of the pandemic. The county reported its first cases on March 4, 2020.

The county’s most recently reported seven-day average of new cases from Feb. 1 is 1,022 new cases per day, which is the lowest since Nov. 22 and 212 fewer than reported a week ago with 1,234 per day on average from Jan. 27. The seven-day case average is reported on a 14-day lag.

In Orange County, there are 87,619 cases where race or ethnicity is not available or provided, but of the cases where race or ethnicity is known, 44.29% are Hispanic or Latino, 24.83% are white, 15.24% are listed as other, 11.81% are Asian and 1.27% are Black.

Of the 3,493 total deaths, 1,154 are aged 85 or older, 845 are aged 75-84, 675 are aged 65-74, 470 are aged 55-64, 225 are aged 45-54, 79 are aged 35-44, 38 are aged 25-34, six are aged 18-24 and one is aged under 17. Of the total deaths, 1,292 are Hispanic or Latino, 1,285 are white, 655 are Asian and 32 are Black.

The county’s reported estimated amount of recoveries stands at 209,270 cases. The estimated recoveries are based on the previous 28-day’s cumulative case count.

Orange County’s tier monitoring metrics all saw sizable decreases this week, but the county remained deep in the state’s purple “substantial” tier – the highest risk level of the state’s four-tiered, color-coded coronavirus monitoring system – in the state’s tier update on Tuesday, Feb. 9. However, the county’s daily new cases per 100,000 (29.7), countywide testing positivity (9.4%) and health equity positivity rate (12.4%) all showed decent decreases this week.

Where California’s counties stand in the state’s four-tiered, color-coded coronavirus monitoring system as of Feb 9. Graphic: California Department of Public Health

COVID-19 in South OC

Locally in South Orange County, as is everywhere else, the rise in cases has lessened, while the deaths are still making an impact.

San Clemente has 2,757 total cases and 24 total deaths, with 70 cases and one death in the last week. The city recorded 635 cases and 10 deaths in the last 30 days, a decrease from the 992 cases and increase from the one death of the 30 days previous to that.

San Juan Capistrano has 2,642 total cases and 52 total deaths, with 59 cases and five deaths in the last week. The city has recorded 560 cases and 24 deaths in the last 30 days, a decrease from the 1,015 cases and an increase from the 11 deaths of the 30 days previous to that.

Dana Point has 1,380 total cases and 27 total deaths, with 87 cases and three deaths in the last week. The city recorded 320 cases and 13 deaths in the last 30 days, a decrease from the 503 cases and an increase from the 10 deaths of the 30 days previous to that.

Rancho Mission Viejo has 312 total cases and less than five total deaths, with 12 cases in the last week. The city recorded 78 cases in the last 30 days, an decrease from the 108 cases of the 30 days previous to that. As unincorporated land with under 25,000 residents, the exact death total will not be reported for Rancho Mission Viejo until it reaches five, as it was for cases.

COVID-19 in Schools

Orange County continued to update school cases, which saw a large jump as data from earlier weeks was updated.

From Aug. 16 to Feb. 6, there was a cumulative total of 2,965 cases in Orange County schools with 57 reported from Jan. 31-Feb. 6 and 133 from Jan. 24-30. Of the 2,965 total cases, there were 1,750 student cases, 651 teacher cases and 564 cases among other staff. As of Feb. 6, there were 1,671 cases in elementary and middle schools, 765 cases in high schools, 98 cases in combined K-12 schools and 431 cases in colleges, universities and vocational schools.

The Capistrano Unified School District is reporting cases in each of its schools to an online dashboard. CUSD’s dashboard lists “active” cases on its dashboard, with the case remaining on the dashboard for 14 days from initial symptoms or test date.

In San Clemente, Vista Del Mar Elementary School has two cases, and Las Palmas Elementary School, Vista del Mar Middle School and San Clemente High School each have one case.

In Dana Point, Dana Hills High School has one case, Palisades Elementary School has two cases and R.H. Dana ENF has one case.

In San Juan Capistrano, Esencia K-8 has three cases, Kinoshita Elementary School and San Juan Elementary School each have two cases, and San Juan Hills High School each have one case. In schools whose boundaries include those cities, Tesoro High School has five cases, Niguel Hills Middle School, Fred Newhart Middle School, and Capistrano Valley High School each have two cases, and Moulton Elementary School and Viejo Elementary School each have one case.

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