SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County health officials reported five additional coronavirus-related deaths Wednesday bringing the county’s total to 131 as the number of people hospitalized rose to 274.

The number of patients in intensive care dipped Wednesday from 106 to 101.

According to officials, most of the county’s deaths stem from outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities.

Last week, Orange County officials announced 14 deaths, the highest daily death toll since the pandemic began. Out of the deaths, 10 were people living in skilled nursing facilities.

As of March 20, 626 people in skilled nursing home facilities had tested positive for COVID-19, and 276 staff workers had contracted the coronavirus, according to HCA Healthcare.

The county reported 116 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 5,646, while the number of people tested for the virus since the pandemic began stood at 109,013.

In an order that went into effect Saturday, Orange County Public Health made cloth face-coverings a requirement for all residents and visitors in public places, while visiting businesses, at work, or if unable to maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from people who are not of their households.

The updated public health order came as Orange County clears the way for reopening retail stores, dining rooms, and personal services like hair salons.

Previously, Orange County had mandated masks only for workers who interact with the public.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)


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