A year after the first juvenile death from COVID19, another child succumbed to complications from the coronavirus, officials confirmed on Friday, but the youngster was under 5 years old.
Officials did not disclose the child’s age or gender, but said the youngster was under 5 and had underlying health issues.
Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley, who has worked to raise awareness of the impact of the highly contagious Delta variant on children in the county, said she was told the child had pre-existing conditions from the start. birth and had been infected by an adult.
“It’s just heartbreaking,” Foley said. “But really the only way out of this pandemic – and you’ve heard me say this a thousand times – is to get vaccinated.”
Dr Clayton Chau, county health director and director of the Orange County Health Care Agency, released a statement saying, “My heart goes out to his family who lost a precious young life. It is an urgent reminder that we must do all we can to protect our little ones, children and infants in our community who are not yet eligible for vaccination. ”
The county recorded four more deaths on Friday, all of which occurred in August. The death toll for August now stands at 110, far more than the 20 deaths in July.
The other COVID-19-related juvenile death in the county occurred last August.
The victim was a teenage girl with significant underlying medical conditions.
Eight residents aged 18 to 24 have succumbed to COVID-19, and 64 are in the 25 to 34 age group.
The four deaths recorded on Friday brought the total death toll to 5,299.
No deaths were reported yet in September.
The death toll for June was just 17, 23 in May, 45 in April, 199 in March, 615 in February, 1,578 in January – the deadliest month in the pandemic – and 975 in December, the next. more deadly.
Hospitalizations for the virus continued their downward trend on Friday.
The number of COVID-19 patients rose from 432 on Thursday to 426, with the number of intensive care patients rising from 132 to 130.
The county has 21.8% of its intensive care beds and 64% of its ventilators.
Believing the decline to be modest, Andrew Noymer, epidemiologist and professor of population health and disease prevention at UC Irvine, said: “It is still going in the right direction.”
Noymer said the trends in Orange County mirror what is happening in Contra Costa County, which he says is similar.
“We are seeing this also in Contra Costa County – that infections are decreasing,” Noymer said. “Looks like our summer wave is diminishing, but we’re going to have a winter wave. We’re not done with Covid.”
It is not certain that there will be an increase based on Labor Day gatherings. Noymer highlighted Easter last year when officials expected a raise and didn’t get one.
If there is a Labor Day increase, it will likely become apparent next week.
Most Orange County patients are not vaccinated, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency. The last time a fully vaccinated patient was admitted was Aug. 21, according to the OC HCA.
The OCHCA has also added new measures to its website measuring the rate of cases per 100,000 population in various age groups, which break down as follows: – In infants up to 3 years of age, the rate of cases is 6.3;
– for 4-9 year olds, it is 12.9;
– for 10-12 year olds, it is 13.5;
– for 13-14 year olds, it is 16.1;
– for 15-18 year olds, it is 15.7;
– for 19-24 year olds, it is 17.7;
– for 25-34 year olds, it is 19;
– for 35-44 year olds, it is 17;
– for 45-54 year olds, it is 14;
– for 55-64 year olds, it is 11.9;
– for 65-74 year olds, it is 8.5;
– for 75-84 year olds, it is 9.4;
– for those 85 and over, it is 7.6.
On Tuesday, the county’s weekly COVID-19 case rates and positivity showed significant drops, providing more evidence the county is emerging from the summer wave.
The county’s average daily case rate per 100,000 population fell from 18.6 last week to 16, while the test positivity rate rose from 6.8% to 5.4%.
The county’s health equity quartile rate, which measures the impact of the pandemic on underprivileged communities, fell from 7.3% to 5.8%.
The county has 2,043,693 fully vaccinated residents out of its 3.2 million people, according to data released Thursday.
This number includes 1,908,595 who received the two-dose vaccine regimen from Pfizer or Moderna and 135,098, who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. There are 288,020 residents who have received at least one dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
There are 455,692 children aged 11 and under in the county who are not yet eligible for vaccination.
The county’s case rate for fully vaccinated residents on Saturday, the latest figures available, was 4.4 per 100,000, but 26 per 100,000 for those unvaccinated.
The OCHCA reported 563 new infections on Friday, bringing the cumulative total to 289,798 cases since the start of the pandemic.
Some experts are worried about the flu season this year as more students are back in classrooms. Last year warnings of a “twindemia” went unsuccessful, and some experts said it was because of widespread masking, but more students were then learning via distance programs from their homes.
“It was way overkill last year,” Noymer said of the forecast for “twindemia.”
Noymer said the term “twindemic implies a crisis, so it is a very alarmist term.”
He added, “It remains to be seen” how many people get the flu this year.
“I think we’ll have more flu than last year,” Noymer said, adding that his “best guess” is that it will be like a normal flu season.
Noymer said the so-called Mu variant is “definitely of concern in the lab, but in the real world it doesn’t stop me from sleeping at night, but it’s something we continue to monitor.”
The Mu variant is originally from Colombia.
“It appears that in the lab he has the ability to evade the vaccine, but it remains to be seen if he will knock Delta off his perch,” Noymer said.
Delta has been shown to be much more transmissible than the other variants and is considered to be as contagious as chickenpox. It is not yet clear how transmissible Mu is.
Noymer praised the federal government’s latest vaccine mandates, but criticized the post.
“I think that makes sense,” Noymer said.
For those who oppose the warrants, “There is a testing option, so no one who has strong objections to being vaccinated will not be vaccinated against their will,” Noymer said.
It’s not just federal and local governments that mandate vaccinations, but private companies as well, Noymer said.
“It’s pretty clear that organizations can legally require it, so I totally agree, but I don’t think it’s the right rhetoric to throw the unvaccinated under the bus like (the President Joe Biden), ”Noymer said.