By CBSLA Staff

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County reported 19 coronavirus-related fatalities on Wednesday, raising the death toll to 1,360.

An additional 213 cases were also reported. So far, there have been 56,283 positive cases since the pandemic began.

The deaths reported knock the county out of a two-day streak of no new deaths. Before Wednesday’s numbers, the county had been seeing an improving trend in case rates and deaths. The last time the county reported double-digit deaths was Sept. 15, which saw 10 fatalities.

On Tuesday, Orange County CEO Frank Kim said that the numbers were “too high in case count and deaths.”

Officials are aiming for a weekly average of around 130 new cases daily, which would allow the county to move into the less-restrictive orange tier of the state’s COVID-19 monitoring system. The county must remain under 225 cases per day to stay in the red tier, according to Kim.

At a press conference on Wednesday, O.C. Sheriff Don Barnes said that only nine inmates currently have COVID-19. Of those, six of them were newly booked and three were transferred from one jail to another. Five months ago, the O.C. jail system reached its peak in cases when 220 inmates were infected.

The positivity rate across the county, which is reported each Tuesday, slightly increased from 3.2% last week to 3.5% this week. However, the daily case rate per 100,000 people declined from 5.2 to 4.6

Hospitalizations inched up from 160 on Tuesday to 165 on Wednesday. The number of patients in ICU also increased from 57 to 60.

Barnes said that he will restore visitation for inmates once the county reaches the orange tier. Visitation was canceled in March at the beginning of the shutdown orders.

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


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