SUPPORT THIS INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM
The article you’re about to read is from our reporters doing their important work — investigating, researching, and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires lots of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ businesses have been impacted. That’s why the SC Times is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider’s program here. Thank you.
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
As of Friday, Feb. 26, the California Department of Public Health reported that Orange County had administered 679,496 total vaccine doses of the over 8.2 million administered across the state.
The Orange County Health Care Agency reports its detailed vaccine data every Thursday with a few days of lag. As of Monday, Feb. 22, 125,487 people had been fully vaccinated with two doses in Orange County, 39,577 more than last week on Feb. 15. Another 261,585 people had only received their first dose.
Of those that have received at least one dose of the vaccine, 47% were White, 25% were Asian or Pacific Islander, 12% were Hispanic, 1% were Black, 9% were listed as other and 5% were unknown.
Of those that have received at least one dose, 59% were over age 65, 10% were age 55-64, 10% were age 45-54, 9% were 35-44, 8% were 25-34 and 3% were 18-24.
Of those over age 65 that have received at least one dose, 58% were White, 21% were Asian, 11% were Hispanic, 1% were Black, 6% were listed as other and 3% were unknown. For those under 65 with one dose, 32% were White, 29% were Asian, 15% were Hispanic, 1% were Black, 13% were listed as other and 9% were unknown.
The hospital system is back down to levels of nearly three months ago, when the winter coronavirus surge was on the way up, and even under last summer’s highest levels.
There were 453 hospitalizations reported by the county on Friday – the lowest since Nov. 22. Friday’s total was a decrease of 183 from last week and of 512 from two weeks ago. The county reported a 11.3% decrease in hospitalizations over the last three days.
Orange County reported 137 ICU patients as of Thursday – the lowest since Nov. 25. Friday’s total is a decrease of 78 from last week and of 161 from two weeks ago. There are 29.7% of total ICU beds available, an increase from last week’s 14% and the 13% of two weeks ago. There are 60% of ventilators available.
The Southern California region has 19.5% of ICU beds available and is projected to reach 45.2% available ICU capacity by March 22.
The OCHCA reported 349 new COVID-19 cases and three new coronavirus-related deaths on Friday, which adds up to 1,994 cases and 166 deaths recorded in the last eight days. There were 2,990 cases and 233 deaths in the previous eight-day period. (OCHA did not report numbers two Friday’s ago due to the Presidents’ Day holiday weekend, and those are included in this number.)
San Juan Capistrano recorded three deaths this week, with 25 in the last 30 days. San Clemente saw four deaths this week, with 10 in the last 30 days. Dana Point recorded one coronavirus-related death this week, with six in the last 30 days.
Over the last 30 days, there have been 18,962 cases and 1,053 deaths in Orange County. In the 30 days previous to that, there were 77,414 cases and 993 deaths, which means there were 58,452 fewer cases over the last 30 days than the previous and 60 more deaths.
The death rate continues to decrease after cresting two weeks ago. This week’s 30-day number decreased to 1,053 – down from last week’s 1,218, the 1,345 of two weeks ago and the 1,336 of three weeks ago.
Cumulatively, there have been 245,983 cases and 3,892 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. 17 is 366 new cases per day, which is the lowest since Nov. 8 and 274 fewer than reported a week ago with 640 per day on average from Feb. 9. The seven-day case average is reported on a 14-day lag.
In Orange County, there are 84,688 cases where race or ethnicity is not available or provided, but of the cases where race or ethnicity is known, 45.1% are Hispanic or Latino, 24.73% are white, 14.22% are listed as other, 11.94% are Asian and 1.26% are Black.
Of the 3,892 total deaths, 1,270 are aged 85 or older, 942 are aged 75-84, 756 are aged 65-74, 535 are aged 55-64, 253 are aged 45-54, 86 are aged 35-44, 40 are aged 25-34, nine are aged 18-24 and one is aged under 17. Of the total deaths, 1,451 are Hispanic or Latino, 1,445 are white, 725 are Asian and 36 are Black.
The county’s reported estimated amount of recoveries stands at 229,785 cases. The estimated recoveries are based on the previous 28-day’s cumulative case count.
Orange County’s tier monitoring metrics all continued to decrease this week, with two sitting in the next tier down, but the county remained 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. 23. While the county’s daily new cases per 100,000 (11.9) stayed in the purple level, the health equity positivity rate (7%) dropped down to join the countywide testing positivity (5.4%) at the red “substantial” level.
COVID-19 in South OC
Locally in South Orange County, as is everywhere else, the rise in cases and death rate have lessened.
San Clemente has 2,860 total cases and 30 total deaths, with 35 cases and four deaths in the last week. The city recorded 314 cases and 10 deaths in the last 30 days, a decrease from the 950 cases and increase from the seven deaths of the 30 days previous to that.
San Juan Capistrano has 2,692 total cases and 62 total deaths, with 24 cases and three deaths in the last week. The city has recorded 197 cases and 25 deaths in the last 30 days, a decrease from the 968 cases and an increase from the 18 deaths of the 30 days previous to that.
Dana Point has 1,429 total cases and 29 total deaths, with 49 cases and two deaths in the last week. The city recorded 154 cases and six deaths in the last 30 days, a decrease from the 467 cases and the 18 deaths of the 30 days previous to that.
Rancho Mission Viejo has 321 total cases and less than five total deaths, with nine cases in the last week. The city recorded 40 cases in the last 30 days, a decrease from the 102 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. 20, there was a cumulative total of 3,210 cases in Orange County schools with 24 reported from Feb. 14-20 and 49 from Feb. 7-13. Of the 3,210 total cases, there were 1,908 student cases, 700 teacher cases and 602 cases among other staff. As of Feb. 20, there were 1,829 cases in elementary and middle schools, 820 cases in high schools, 106 cases in combined K-12 schools and 455 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, San Clemente High School each have three cases, and Las Palmas Elementary School, Shorecliffs Middle School, Vista del Mar Middle School and Bernice Ayer Middle School each have one case.
In Dana Point, Dana Hills High School has three cases.
In San Juan Capistrano, San Juan Hills High School has one case.
In schools whose boundaries include those cities, Capistrano Valley High School has one case.