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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; Collin Breaux contributed to this report

A to-be-determined Capistrano Unified School District site is expected to be a new Point of Dispensing site for the vaccine in Orange County, the district announced Friday through CUSD Insider. The estimated start date is Wednesday, Feb. 24.

“The POD is expected to dispense about 500 COVID-19 vaccines per day,” CUSD Insider said. “Capistrano Unified employees 65 and older and those in Tier 1A will be given priority on the first day to schedule their optional vaccination appointments.”

Further information is expected to be announced by the district.

As of Friday, Feb. 19, the California Department of Public Health reported that Orange County had administered 592,688 total vaccine doses of the over 6.9 million administered across the state.

OCHCA reports its detailed vaccine data every Thursday with a few days of lag. As of Monday, Feb. 15, 125,487 people had been fully vaccinated with two doses in Orange County, 54,768 more than last week on Feb. 8. Another 26,077 people had only received their first dose, 26,077 more than last week.

Of those that have received at least one dose of the vaccine, 48% were White, 25% were Asian or Pacific Islander, 12% were Hispanic, 1% were Black and 15% were listed as other.

Of those that have received at least one dose, 61% 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, 22% were Asian, 10% were Hispanic, 1% were Black and 10% were listed as other. For those under 65 with one dose, 32% 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 nearly three months ago, when the winter coronavirus surge was on the way up, and even under last summer’s highest levels.

There were 636 hospitalizations reported by the county on Friday – the lowest since Nov. 29. Friday’s total was a decrease of 329 from last week and of 1,260 from two weeks ago. The county reported a 12.8% decrease in hospitalizations over the last three days.

Orange County reported 215 ICU patients as of Thursday – the lowest since Dec. 5. Friday’s total is a decrease of 83 from last week and of 211 from two weeks ago. There are 14% of total ICU beds available, an increase from last week’s 13% and the 11.1% of two weeks ago. There are 59% of ventilators available.

The Southern California region has 14.8% of ICU beds available and is projected to reach 44.8% available ICU capacity by March 15.

The OCHCA reported 324 new COVID-19 cases and 41 new coronavirus-related deaths on Friday, which adds up to 2,990 cases and 233 deaths recorded in the last eight days. (OCHA did not report numbers last Friday due to the Presidents’ Day holiday weekend.) There were 6,581 cases and 304 deaths in the previous seven-day period.

San Juan Capistrano recorded seven deaths this week, with 26 in the last 30 days. San Clemente saw two deaths this week, with seven in the last 30 days. Dana Point recorded one coronavirus-related death this week, with nine in the last 30 days.

Over the last 30 days, there have been 27,480 cases and 1,218 deaths in Orange County. In the 30 days previous to that, there were 88,328 cases and 731 deaths, which means there were 60,848 fewer cases over the last 30 days than the previous and 487 more deaths.

The death rate is on the way down after cresting last week. This week’s 30-day number decreased to 1,218 – down from last week’s 1,345 and the 1,336 of two weeks ago but up from the 1,101 of three weeks ago.

Cumulatively, there have been 243,989 cases and 3,726 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. 9 is 640 new cases per day, which is the lowest since Nov. 16 and 382 fewer than reported a week ago with 1,022 per day on average from Feb. 1. The seven-day case average is reported on a 14-day lag.

In Orange County, there are 86,775 cases where race or ethnicity is not available or provided, but of the cases where race or ethnicity is known, 44.54% are Hispanic or Latino, 24.85% are white, 14.79% are listed as other, 11.9% are Asian and 1.26% are Black.

Of the 3,726 total deaths, 1,226 are aged 85 or older, 901 are aged 75-84, 726 are aged 65-74, 500 are aged 55-64, 242 are aged 45-54, 83 are aged 35-44, 39 are aged 25-34, eight are aged 18-24 and one is aged under 17. Of the total deaths, 1,384 are Hispanic or Latino, 1,367 are white, 700 are Asian and 34 are Black.

The county’s reported estimated amount of recoveries stands at 222,087 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, including one hitting 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. 16. While the county’s daily new cases per 100,000 (20.7) and health equity positivity rate (10.7%) all stayed in the purple level, the countywide testing positivity (7.8%) dropped to the red “substantial” level.

Where California’s counties stand in the state’s four-tiered, color-coded coronavirus monitoring system as of Feb. 16. 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 2,825 total cases and 26 total deaths, with 68 cases and two deaths in the last week. The city recorded 422 cases and seven deaths in the last 30 days, a decrease from the 1,012 cases and the six deaths of the 30 days previous to that.

San Juan Capistrano has 2,668 total cases and 59 total deaths, with 26 cases and seven deaths in the last week. The city has recorded 344 cases and 26 deaths in the last 30 days, a decrease from the 1,028 cases and an increase from the 16 deaths of the 30 days previous to that.

Dana Point has 1,380 total cases and 27 total deaths, with 27 cases and one death in the last week. The city recorded 216 cases and 9 deaths in the last 30 days, a decrease from the 490 cases and the 14 deaths of the 30 days previous to that.

Rancho Mission Viejo has 312 total cases and less than five total deaths, with six cases in the last week. The city recorded  cases in the last 30 days, a decrease from the 97 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. 13, there was a cumulative total of 3,100 cases in Orange County schools with 25 reported from Feb. 7-13 and 99 from Jan. 31-Feb. 6. Of the 3,100 total cases, there were 1,841 student cases, 679 teacher cases and 580 cases among other staff. As of Feb. 13, there were 1,766 cases in elementary and middle schools, 794 cases in high schools, 103 cases in combined K-12 schools and 437 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 two cases, and Las Palmas Elementary School, Vista del Mar Middle School and Bernice Ayer Middle School each have one case.

In Dana Point, Dana Hills High School has one case.

In San Juan Capistrano, Esencia K-8 has one case, Kinoshita Elementary School has two cases.

In schools whose boundaries include those cities, Capistrano Valley High School each has two cases and Moulton Elementary School, Fred Newhart Middle School, Niguel Hills Middle School and Tesoro High School each have one case.

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