O.C. reports 187 cases of the coronavirus, a 50% jump in 2 days

Local News
People stand in front of the closed Huntington Beach Pier on March 24, 2020. (Credit: Michael Heiman / Getty Images)

People stand in front of the closed Huntington Beach Pier on March 24, 2020. (Credit: Michael Heiman / Getty Images)

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Orange County climbed to 187 Wednesday, a day after the county announced its first death related to the disease.

The fatality announced Tuesday night was a man in his 70s with underlying conditions, according to the O.C. Health Care Agency. Officials have not provided additional information on the man, but confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that he was a local resident.

The number of known COVID-19 patients in the county has surged by nearly 50% in two days, up from 152 on Tuesday and 125 Monday, public health officials say.

More than half of the patients — 102 of them — are under 49 years old, with only one younger than 18.

At least 57 of the cases are believed to be the result of community spread, with 62 determined travel-related and 17 incidents of person-to-person spread. The remainder are still under investigation.

On Tuesday, O.C. also confirmed its first known case among the local jail population.

Men in the county continue to contract the disease at a higher rate, with 117 men infected compared to 70 women. According to CNN, that trend is global, and this may be because they’re more likely to have underlying conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and chronic lung disease.

More than 2,440 people have been tested across the county so far, and health officials say they currently have the capacity to test 1,328 more.

Though Orange County has the third-highest population of any in the state, it ranks fifth in COVID-19 cases, falling behind Los Angeles, San Diego and several Bay Area counties. It also has the fewest deaths among the hardest-hit counties statewide.

As authorities work to contain the virus’ spread, parking lots at O.C. beaches, parks and hiking trails are closed to deter people from congregating there, following a similar move made statewide by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

For more information on local resources available and O.C.’s coronavirus response, text OCCOVID19 to 888777 to sign up for the county’s public alerts.

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