Orange County reported 528 new COVID-19 cases and two additional deaths on Saturday, bringing the district’s total to 64,586 cases and 1,524 deaths.
The increase in the latest cases – 598 cases were reported on Friday – confirms that the country is set to hit the most restricted purple layer of the state’s economic-opening road map next week, officials said.
“It’s not a record, but it’s a bow – we’ll be purple for two weeks in a row. That ship sailed,” OC CEO Frank Kim said Friday.
The number of district residents admitted to hospital with the virus dropped from 244 to 235 on Friday, with 90 people in intensive care, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.
Both deaths on Saturday were caused by residents of efficient nursing homes.
The change in the three-day mean of hospitalized patients ranged from 17.3% to 8.5%. The county has 30% intensive care unit beds and 65% ventilators.
According to OCHCA data, 1,242,434 COVID-19 trials have been performed since the outbreak, with 12,871 recorded on Saturday. There are 56,154 documented retrievals.
The county’s positive rate, which is announced every Tuesday, actually dropped from 3.6% this week to 3.3%, and the daily case rate per 100,000 population dropped from 6 to 5.6.
The county’s health equity quartile positivity rate, which measures a county’s response to viral hotspots, dropped from 5.7% to 5.5%. The county must reach at least 5.2% in that metric to upgrade from the red layer to the orange layer.
Next week, the county case rate per 100,000 could rise to about 8, which is more than 4 to 7 percent in the red layer, Kim said.
Andrew Doe, vice chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, said the county will announce next week a plan to provide residents with corona virus testing home tools to help prevent the waves of COVID-19.
The county has purchased 500,000 test kits to detect the corona virus from saliva. There are plans to make them available at public libraries and city halls across the district, he said.
“We want it to be mobile and neighborhood level so people can see the test as part of their holiday safe practices,” he said. “Before you go, see your grandparents, two or three days before the test, and after the family reunion, you will have to wait two or three days and then be tested again. Then you will know whether to go that way or come out. Together you will be safe. People are safe. “
Experts recommend a two to three day buffer because it can take a long time for a test to diagnose infection.
“We have not yet worked through the protocol, but we will have a program within the next week that includes places that are easily accessible to the public,” Doo said.
He said the increase in cases was “dangerous”. “It points to the coming of the most difficult winter, and the holiday season and the couple that people need to be very vigilant about.”
County officials will soon release recommendations on best practices for gathering during the holidays, including eating out and keeping meetings small.
“Make this a lunch where the weather is more tolerable,” he said.
Officials say the daily average of new cases coming to the Orange Layer in Orange County should be around 130, allowing businesses to reopen and already open to increase the capacity of some. But to be on the red layer County 229 must be under new daily lawsuits.
Kim said the county will fall again from the red layer to the purple. But he said there would be no change in terms of capacity allowed right now in stores and other businesses.
“You have to be in it for two weeks,” Kim said before the restrictions were triggered.
If the county is in the purple layer until November 24th, that means the restrictions will take effect after three days. That means restaurants can offer indoor food for Thanksgiving and shopping malls will have the added potential for Black Friday shopping.
“The governor has done a good job of meeting the two-week requirement,” Kim said. “It gives you a week to hold that discussion (with businesses) … hopefully, it won’t work, but if you do, it’s no surprise.”
Schools will not be closed, but the new school will not reopen unless they receive a variation from the district.
Businesses and establishments that will be closed for indoor activities will include churches, museums, zoos, fisheries, gyms, restaurants and movie theaters.