SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County health care officials reported 335 new COVID-19 cases and 15 additional deaths Tuesday.

To date, the county has reported 912 fatalities and a cumulative total of 46,642 cases.

Of the deaths reported Tuesday, three were skilled nursing facility residents and two lived in assisted living facilities. Of the total death toll, 347 were skilled nursing facility residents and 56 lived in assisted living facilities.

Dr. Clayton Chau, the county’s interim chief health officer and director of the Orange County Health Care Agency, told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that he was “optimistically confident” that the county will remain off the state’s watch list.

On Sunday, the county was taken off California’s watchlist containing areas of concern during the coronavirus pandemic.

The state mandates a county must be off the watch list for 15 days before all schools can reopen. The county could be placed back on the watch list should it be flagged for exceeding any one of six different metrics for three consecutive days. Those metrics are the case rate, the percentage of positive tests, the average number of tests a county is able to perform daily, changes in the number of hospitalized patients and the percentage of ventilators and intensive care beds available.

Hospitalizations in the area decreased from 388 Monday to 385 Tuesday, with the number of intensive care unit patients decreasing from 116 to 113.

The county has 33% of intensive care unit beds available, which is better than the state’s 20% threshold. And the county’s hospitals have 58% of their ventilators available, well above the state standard of 25%.

The county’s case rate per 100,000 residents dropped from 85.1 to 83.3, which is still far higher than the California Department of Public Health threshold of 25 per 100,000 residents.

Of the 46,642 cases, there have been 38,450 documented recoveries. The county has also reported 605,495 COVID-19 tests have been conducted, including 8,108 reported on Tuesday.

Also Tuesday, county officials announced a new “super site” for COVID-19 testing, like the one at Anaheim Convention Center, will open Wednesday at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa.

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


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