Orange County death toll from coronavirus rises to 3 as city-by-city data becomes available

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Two more people have died of coronavirus in Orange County, where the total number of cases rose by 71 to 321, and authorities for the first time released city-by-city data Friday.

The new figures bring the death count in Orange County to three. On Thursday, officials had announced 69 new cases.

The new city-by-city data of diagnosed cases showed Irvine, Newport Beach and Anaheim had the highest number of residents with confirmed coronavirus cases.

Cities and areas with population of less than 25,000 have been grouped together in the data, meaning smaller retirement communities such as Laguna Woods are not broken out.

Officials stressed the city figures were for where those residents with coronavirus live, not necessarily where they contracted the virus.

“The information is useful … but it’s not indicative of risk, because testing has not been done uniformly, there’s been a scarcity of testing to this point,” said David Souleles, public health services deputy agency director. “Our recommendation to all residents of Orange County is to stay home.”

Unlike Los Angeles County, where began providing city-by-city data on March 16, Orange County had not previously provided such a breakdown.

Authorities said they expect more cases and more deaths in coming weeks.

No details were released about the two patients who died. Authorities had previously said the first Orange County death was that of a man older than 65.

Earlier in the day, Orange County announced a phone hotline for residents to call with questions about COVID-19: 833-426-6411.

The number will connect O.C. residents with the following agencies for issues related to these specific concerns:

  • Orange County Health Care Agency: health referral line, behavioral health resources
  • Orange County Social Services Agency: risk benefits
  • Orange County Office on Aging: resources for seniors
  • Orange County District Attorney’s Office: scams, price gouging
  • County of Orange Emergency Operations Center Hotline: non-medical questions

Our Health Referral Line remains activated, but this is a fantastic resource to connect residents with the person who can help them best on any number of topics related to COVID-19. If your question is medical in nature, the new number will route you to us. #OCCOVID19 https://t.co/njW5aFGhd2

— Health Care Agency (@ochealth) March 27, 2020

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