By CBSLA Staff

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County reported an additional 162 COVID-19 cases on Friday, as well as six new virus-related fatalities.

The death toll is now at 1,440, and the total number of reported cases is 58,010.

Daily case numbers have fluctuated between 200 to 300 this week, which is much higher than the average daily case count of 130 that officials are aiming for.

The number of hospitalizations went down from 168 on Thursday to 162 on Friday. The number of patients in ICU went up from 56 to 58.

Orange County officials said they expect to remain in the red tier of the state’s COVID-19 roadmap to reopening next week.

Cases are rising throughout the nation, not just in the Southland, which has public officials worried about the infection rates during the upcoming winter months, said county CEO Frank Kim.

“Everyone has the same concerns — we’re looking at the same numbers,” Kim said. “We’re not seeing (the spikes) in hospital rates, so we’re happy about that…But we’re all staring at the same thing, and there’s no way Orange County gets to the orange tier while everyone else around us is in purple.”

The county’s positivity rate is reported every Tuesday. This week is remains at 3.2%. The daily case rate per 100,000 people is at 4.6.

According to a memo Thursday from Dr. Clayton Chau, the director of the Orange County Health Agency and chief health officer for the county, efforts since this summer to tamp down the spread of COVID-19 in hot spots in Santa Ana and Anaheim  have led to a 74.4% reduction in positivity rates — from an average of 22.5% July 7 to 5.8% as of Oct. 19.

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

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