original article published at https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2020/12/15/orange-county-rcovid-19-cases-hospitalizations/
SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County set new records for coronavirus cases and hospitalizations Monday as its intensive care units reached zero capacity in the state’s “adjusted” category.
County health officials reported an additional 3,250 COVID-19 cases bringing the total caseload to 105,754.
Hospitalizations also jumped from 1,236 Sunday to 1,287 Monday. Of those hospitalized, 288 patients were in intensive care units, up from 284 the day before.
The updated numbers set a new record for both hospitalizations and ICU patients — a daily occurrence since last week.
Meanwhile, the county’s ICU bed availability shrunk from 11.2% Sunday to 9.3% Monday in the unadjusted category, but is at zero for the “adjusted” metric that the state has created to reflect the difference in beds available for COVID-19 patients and non-coronavirus patients.
The Southern California region’s percentage of ICU beds available stood at 2.7% as of Monday.
No new fatalities were reported Monday, leaving the death toll at 1,694. On Sunday, 14 COVID-19 fatalities were reported. Last week, the county reported 62 fatalities.
Prior to this month, the record for ICU patients in Orange was 245 during a mid-July surge. Overall hospitalizations have been breaking records daily since Dec. 2.
Orange County, which had 53% of its ventilators available as of Monday, is awaiting its first shipment of vaccines, expected to arrive Wednesday. About 25,000 doses are expected, according to Orange County CEO Frank Kim.
The county has the necessary deep freezers and dry ice available to store the medicine, he said, noting that frontline hospital workers are expected to be among the first to receive the Pfizer vaccine.
The plan is to use the doses as soon as possible.
“Once it is in, we’re just going to get it all out in 48 hours,” Kim said. “I don’t want to sit on it. The minute it comes in I don’t care what time of day it is, I’ll push it out.”
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)