The Orange County coronavirus death count has been 140 new deaths in the last 14 days ending Sunday, the highest number since the pandemic began, meaning the county is likely to remain on a list of State oversight that seriously limits business for the foreseeable future.
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Dr. Saahir Khan, who works at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange treating virus patients, said the deaths are a lagging benchmark for measuring virus progression.
“I think the deaths are the latest indicator of what is happening with the COVID-19 pandemic. So they really reflect the increase in cases and hospitalizations two weeks ago, ”Khan said in a telephone interview on Monday.
“I hope that deaths will begin to stabilize, if the plateau in hospital numbers is accurate,” he said.
Last week, OC Health Care Agency staff said that patients with the virus are being transferred from hospitals to long-term care facilities and skilled nursing facilities. But, the agency does not keep a detailed count of who goes where and how many people have been transferred.
Yes, hospitalized patients with positive COVID-19 are being discharged to long-term care facilities. The OC Health Care Agency (HCA) does not track individual transfers. However, when a hospitalized patient with a positive COVID-19 is transferred to a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF), that patient will be subtracted from the hospitalized count (by the referring hospital) and added to the SNF count via the state daily report “HCA staff said in an email last Thursday.
Khan, who is an infectious disease expert, said the transfer numbers must be traced to paint a complete picture of the OC situation.
“Now I do think we should look at how many patients are transferred to long-term intensive care centers or other higher care centers that may not be counted in the numbers. But assuming the hospitalization rate is really stagnant, I would expect [those numbers] do that too, “Khan said.
The virus has now killed 566 people in Orange County, of 34,646 confirmed cases, according to the county. Health agency.
As of Monday, more than 100 deaths have been reported since July 1. The agency notes that there could be a delay of up to eight days in reporting the deaths.
June was the deadliest month, so far, with more than 200 deaths reported that month.