By CBSLA Staff

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County’s COVID-19 positivity rates and hospitalizations continued to improve Tuesday.

The number of people hospitalized with coronavirus in Orange County declined from 1,362 on Monday to 1,330 on Tuesday, with the number of patients in intensive care dropping from 384 to 370.

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The county’s state-adjusted ICU bed availability remains at zero, and the unadjusted figure decreased from 10.9% Monday to 10%.

“Look at the hospital numbers, that’s a dramatic drop,” said Orange County CEO Frank Kim. “The ICU numbers are on an accelerating downward path, which is good.”

Kim said the county’s positivity rate has declined nearly 50% since its peak Jan. 10.

Meanwhile Monday, health officials reported 53 additional and fatalities and 768 coronavirus cases, the first time since Dec. 31 that the health department has reported fewer than 1,000 cases.

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The county’s caseload now stands at 234,162, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

Of the fatalities reported Tuesday, nine were skilled nursing facility residents and 10 were assisted living facility residents.

Kim said he was encouraged by news from the county’s lobbyist that the federal government will begin sending a million doses of vaccine weekly to the nation’s largest pharmacy chains, starting Feb. 11.

“To me, this is big news,” Kim said. “This kind of restores the order in how people access healthcare. We’re holding up this gap that currently exists, but ultimately vaccinations should happen through traditional healthcare delivery systems.”

County officials expect that Johnson & Johnson will seek emergency authorization next week for its one-dose vaccine, which could be available by mid-month, Kim said.

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