If you thought the coronavirus pandemic was over, well, keep your … masks … on.
The predicted “winter surge” is hitting Orange County with the count of new cases and other metrics rising every day.
Thursday’s report from the county health agency of confirmed new cases showed a near-record of 3,402, up from 2,749 on Wednesday. Hospitalizations rose to 420 from 376 and the count of patients being treated for COVID-19 in intensive care units increased from 72 to 86.
The number of deaths, however, declined from five to two, reflecting the theory that while the omicron variant of the virus – while highly transmissible – generally resulted in less severe infections and fewer deaths.
To date, Orange County has had 336,163 cases, of which 309,126 are considered recovered. Deaths are at 5,890.
Nationally, new cases have risen 153 percent over the past 14 days, according to The New York Times, but deaths are down 7 percent. In California, cases are up 276 percent but deaths have fallen by 21 percent over a similar period, Los Angeles Times is reporting.
To our readers: The OCHA will not be posting case counts on Friday because of the holiday. The updates will resume on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.