New cases continue to slide

THE OMICRON variant has fueled the surge in new COVID-19 pandemic, but new cases in Orange County are declining (Shutterstock).

New coronavirus cases in Orange County continued to drop in Thursday’s report.

According to the county health care agency, the latest tally is 1,782, down from 2,592 on Wednesday and 2,869 on Tuesday. The declines mirror similar statistics from national and state counts indicating that the recent COVID-19 surge – fielded in large part by the Omicron variant – may have crested and begun a decline.

However, other tallies are showing increases. Deaths rose to 31 from 28 on Wednesday. Hospitalizations increased from 1,006 to 1,067. The use of intensive care units to treat COVID-19 patients went from 179 to 184.

To date, county coronavirus cases are at 503,292, of which 357,191 are considered recovered. The total of deaths is at 6,037.

Nationally, The New York Times is reporting that – over a two-week period – new cases are down 21 percent, while deaths are up 34 percent. At the state level, Los Angeles Times reports that new cases are down by 24 percent while deaths have increased by 39 percent.

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