Orange County coronavirus cases top 400 with 4 deaths reported

Novel coronavirus cases in Orange County topped 400 Saturday as health officials reported the county’s fourth death.

With 85 new COVID-19 cases confirmed, Orange County’s total grew to 403 from 321 the day before, according to the O.C. Health Care Agency.

The increase comes as the county works to step up testing for the virus— though health officials on Friday emphasized that testing remains limited and those most at risk or suffering severe symptoms are being prioritized.

As of Saturday, 4,884 people had been tested countywide compared to 4,070 on Friday, according to the agency’s website.

Anaheim, Irvine and Newport Beach had the highest numbers of confirmed cases in O.C. Saturday.

The county for the first time released city-by-city data Friday and said the numbers will be updated on a daily basis. The figures show where those with coronavirus live, and not necessarily where they contracted the virus.

“City numbers should not be interpreted as where transmission is geographically focused or not. COVID-19 transmission is a risk countywide,” O.C. Director of Public Health David Souleles said Friday in a news conference.

Souleles said it’s no longer required that COVID-19 patients be tested and found to be negative to be considered recovered. This makes it difficult to provide data on how many in the county have already recovered—especially with the large number of cases already reported and more expected, he said.

Officials did not provide on the latest person to die of the respiratory illness.

Most COVID-19 patients in Orange County — 38% — are between the ages of 45 and 64 years old and more than half of the patients are men.

California had over 5,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and at least 100 deaths Saturday., with Gov. Gavin Newsom saying that the number of patients in intensive care unit across the state have doubled overnight.