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By Lillian Boyd and Zach Cavanagh
A teenage girl in Orange County has died in connection to COVID-19, county health officials announced Wednesday, Aug. 19.
The OC Health Care Agency (HCA) reported Orange County’s first pediatric death related to the virus and confirmed that she did have underlying medical conditions.
“We are deeply saddened by this loss of life and send our condolences to her friends and family during this very difficult time,” Dr. Clayton Chau, the acting health officer for the county, said in a statement.
According to recent data as of Wednesday, there have been 833 COVID-19-related deaths in Orange County. This is the second COVID-19-related death of someone younger than 17 in the state of California. On July 31, state officials reported the first death of a minor from the virus was between 13 and 17 and has “underlying health conditions according to the California Department of Public Health.”
The young person died at Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera, several media outlets reported.
As of Tuesday, Aug. 18, there have been about 638,000 COVID-19 cases in California with about 11,523 deaths. According to the California Department of Health, about 63,000 confirmed cases were younger than age 17.
Out of the county’s 44,507 total confirmed cases, 2,972 of them represented those 17 years of age and under. In San Clemente, there has been a total of 30 confirmed cases in children 18 years old or younger.
Orange County remains on the state’s monitoring watch list, but the county continued on a positive trend as of Wednesday.
Orange County was beyond the CDPH threshold in only one of the five reported statistical categories in the latest numbers, with a case rate per 100,000 of 98.6, still sitting well above the threshold of 25.0. The case rate represents a 14-day period with a three-day lag.
The county’s seven-day testing positivity percent landed at 5.9%, below the 8% threshold. The testing positivity is reported with a seven-day lag.
In hospital stats, the number of hospitalized and ICU cases were at their lowest since late June with 419 and 124, respectively. Orange County’s three-day average change in hospitalized patients is well below the 10% threshold at minus-3.9%.
The county has 30% of its ICU beds available and 56% of its ventilators available, both above the CPDH thresholds of 20% and 25%, respectively.
Lillian Boyd is the senior editor for Picket Fence Media and city editor for Dana Point Times. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Humboldt State University. Her work experience includes interviewing incarcerated individuals in the Los Angeles County jails, an internship at the Pentagon covering U.S. Army news as well as reporting and anchoring for a local news radio station in Virginia. Follow her on Twitter @Lillianmboyd and follow Dana Point Times at @danapointtimes.
Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is a California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.