Santa Ana (CBSLA) — Orange County reported an additional 31 coronavirus-related deaths, increasing the death toll to 1,391.
An additional 153 cases were reported, bringing the total number of cases to 56,436 since the pandemic began.
After two consecutive days of reported no new deaths, county health officials announced 19 deaths on Wednesday. So far, 51 deaths have been reported since Sunday.
However, deaths from Thursday have spread over the past few months, according to Dr. Clayton Chau, director of OC Healthcare Agency and chief health officer of the county.
“This number does not mean that 31 people have died since yesterday,” he said, adding that some of the deaths date back to June.
“I don’t know how or why it happens, but there is a delay in reporting deaths,” Chau said.
The number of new cases has declined since Wednesday, but is still higher than the daily average of about 130 new cases where the county is moving to the less restrictive orange layer of the state’s COVID-19 surveillance system.
Hospitalizations decreased from 165 on Wednesday to 164 on Thursday, and the number of patients in the intensive care unit increased from 60 to 66.
The positive rate reported every Tuesday rose from 3.2% last week to 3.5%, while the daily case rate per 100,000 people dropped from 5.2 to 4.6.
Mr Chau said Thursday that the county’s positive rate was “consistently within the orange layer for over a month.”
However, with a case rate per 100,000 people, the county remains within the deficit.
Chau called on residents to avoid family gatherings as the holiday season approaches. On Halloween, we encouraged families to celebrate at home or online, or attend drive-through events.
“It would be difficult to find and notify the exposed person,” he said, if there was an infection associated with a Halloween event.
“Don’t confuse it with other households. This is very important,” he said. “Trick-or-treat by party and face-to-face door-to-door visits increases the risk of transmitting COVID-19. You might want to buy sweets and give them to your child this year.”
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. AllRightsReserved. CityNewsService contributed to this report.)
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