COVID-19 Death Toll Keeps Climbing in Orange County

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The state of California has resumed administering doses of Moderna vaccine to its citizens after a temporary ban due to several cases of allergic reactions.

On Jan. 29, Orange County, California, logged 107 additional COVID-19 deaths in a single report. These reports come from a wide range of sources and are not often registered immediately. The addition of 107 deaths increased the total number of deaths in the county in December to 801. For January, the death toll was 475. However, the number of hospitalizations and patients in ICUs has declined over the past few days. The state-adjusted ICU bed availability in the county remained at zero. Plus, Orange County reported 43 percent of its ventilators as being available.

Around one person in every 1,000 individuals will die from the COVID-19 infection

Andrew Noymer, a professor of population health and disease prevention, warned that if the current death rate continues, the county’s death count will reach 4,000 in just 22 days. He said that the pandemic is getting to a point where at least one person in every 1,000 individuals may die from the infection.

Noymer is enthusiastic that a new vaccine by Johnson & Johnson is on the verge of being approved for use. He said that the vaccines are showing good efficacy in Israel. However, the vaccine has only slowed down the epidemic in Israel and hasn’t stopped it from spreading.

Orange County residents who have been affected by the pandemic are finding it difficult to pay their rent and utility bills. Andrew Do, the state’s Board of Supervisors Chairman, announced rental assistance measures, taking advantage of the $65.5 million aid from the federal government.

“Orange County renters have had to bear an incredible burden throughout this pandemic… Our rental assistance will help keep our most vulnerable community members from losing their homes and a sense of security in the midst of this ongoing crisis,” he told The Epoch Times. The program is open to all county residents who have an income below 80 percent of the area median income and are at risk of homelessness.

The Health Equity Quartile Positivity Rate of Orange County measures the number of cases in the county’s needier parts that tend to have a higher number of infections. On Jan. 26, it fell to 16.6 percent compared to 21.2 percent a week before.

Orange County is currently classified as “purple,” the highest tier in California State’s coronavirus regulatory system. To improve to the lower, less-restrictive red tier, the county has to achieve three milestones: 4 to 7 daily cases per 100,000 people; health equity quartile at 5.3 to 8 percent; and a 5 to 8 percent positivity rate.

The first vaccination supersite in Orange County is Disneyland. Image: pixabay / CCO 1.0

The county recently opened its second vaccination supersite at the Soka University in Aliso Viejo. This comes two weeks after the first supersite at Disneyland was launched. While the Disneyland vaccination campaign is outdoors, the Soka University inoculation is being conducted indoors in the campus gymnasium.

Meanwhile, many more businesses in the county have opened up after California officials lifted some of the lockdown restrictions, allowing restaurants, nail salons, and barbershops to be operational.

California has implemented one of the strictest lockdown measures throughout the pandemic. Dave Rubin, the host of the Rubin Report, thinks the measures have been excessive.

In an interview with Breitbart, Rubin said that the lockdown policies have no basis in science. He blames governor Gavin Newsom for the mess.

“It’s very obvious that this was all political. I pray that he gets recalled… I’ve watched this man destroy the state after he destroyed San Francisco as [its] mayor. I want him to be sued into oblivion… That’s how we will fight this back. Once discovery starts happening, where we really start understanding these people made these decisions not based on science, but purely on politics. And they decided to destroy all of these small businesses and people’s lives,” he said in the interview.

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