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First COVID-19 Death In Orange County

Orange County officials reported the county’s first death due to COVID-19 on March 24. The individual was a man in his 70s with underlying health conditions.

“We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the patient’s family and friends,” Orange County Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick said. “This serves as a very unfortunate reminder to the community about the importance of staying at home and social distancing when leaving the household for essential activities, or to work at an essential business, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help protect our most vulnerable neighbors.”

The Orange County Health Care Agency reported 256 cases of COVID-19 on March 26, up from 187 on March 25 and from 152 on March 24. A total of 3,605 people have been tested in the county thus far.

As of March 25, there are 3,006 active COVID-19 cases and 65 deaths statewide. The U.S. currently has over 80,000 active COVID-19 cases, surpassing China, where the virus originated.

“An increase in reported cases is one of the factors of increased testing,” Quick said. Individuals are advised to practice social distancing and practice good hygiene to prevent further spread of the disease.

In the wake of the rising number of cases, Orange County has provided new COVID-19 tools and resources. Residents are now able to sign up to receive COVID-19 notifications by text by texting OCCOVID19 to 888777. Text updates will be provided daily by the County of Orange Emergency Operations Center.

For more information on COVID-19, please visit http://www.ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Chelsea Pan is a 2019-2020 City News Co-Editor. She can be reached at citynews@newuniversity.org.