By CBSLA Staff

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — The Orange County Health Care Agency Tuesday reported 560 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and 33 deaths, bringing countywide totals to 239,766 cases and 3,416 deaths.

And while the death toll continued to climb, health officials said they have seen downward trends in other indicators such as case and positivity rates and hospitalizations.

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The daily adjusted case rate per 100,000 people dropped from 39 last Tuesday to 29.7, and the test positivity rate on a seven-day average, with a seven-day lag, dropped from 10.9% to 9.4%. And the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized declined from 1,058 Monday to 1,046 and the number of intensive care patients decreased from 331 to 324, according to OCHA.

The O.C. Board of Supervisors also received an update on the county’s vaccination progress, with Supervisor Don Wagner claiming the county was vaccinating at a higher rate than Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

According to Dr. Clayton Chau, at least 300,000 O.C. residents have been vaccinated, adding that it’s likely “a lot more than that… because the data is very confusing at the state system.”

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Chau was also hopeful that a Food and Drug Administration authorization of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which only requires one dose and does not require deep freezing, would help increase the speed of the county’s vaccination program, stating that if all goes as planned, it should arrive in O.C. by the first week of March.

Chau said the county was focusing on ways to deliver vaccines to residents 65 and older, especially higher-risk seniors and those in poorer neighborhoods. He said the county was working on getting a hotline, staffed by multi-lingual operators, up and running to help those having trouble using the Othena app and website make appointments.

County officials also said they were working with the Orange County Transportation Authority to provide free busing to and from vaccine distribution points.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)