SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County health officials reported seven additional coronavirus-related deaths Thursday along with a jump in hospitalizations.

The county’s total number of deaths now stands at 306.

Orange County also reported 506 new coronavirus cases, raising the cumulative to 11,511.

The number of people hospitalized jumped from 363 on Wednesday to 394 Thursday. The number of patients in intensive care increased from 145 to 147.

Officials reported 26 deaths Wednesday, marking the county’s deadliest day since the pandemic began. On Thursday, healthcare officials revealed more worrying news: over half the county’s patients are under 44.

“These are not patients who are just going through drive through testing,” said Dr. Daniel Chow from UCI Health Center. “These are patients who are sick enough to visit our ER.”

Dr. Chow, co-director of the Center for Artificial Intelligence at UCI, collects data to identify vulnerable patients, and he found them. Santa Ana, Anaheim, and Garden Grove are among the cities Dr. Chow found are being most impacted by COVID-19.

“I think social distancing is not necessarily a luxury that all people can afford,” he said.

Last week, officials confirmed the county’s deadliest week since the pandemic began. From June 14 to Sunday, 52 COVID-19 deaths were reported in Orange County. From June 7 to June 14, the county reported 45 deaths.

Of the deaths, 157 were residents of nursing homes.

As of Monday, 1,188 residents of nursing homes have tested positive for COVID-19 in Orange County and 697 staffers have been infected.

A total of 231,902 tests have been completed, and the number of documented recoveries stands at 5,326.

This past weekend, the agency reported a record number of COVID-19 cases and blamed it in part on a backlog in the reporting of test results.

Santa Ana has the most cases with 2,415 cases, followed by Anaheim with 2,207. The high numbers in Orange County’s two largest cities are
attributed to their population size and the presence of multiple nursing homes in both cities.

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

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