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OC Case Rates Climb; Free Services May End Soon

New York Times data suggests that coronavirus cases in Orange County have risen about 50% in the past week, to an average of nine cases per 100,000 residents.

That’s lower than Los Angeles County’s current average, and slightly higher than neighboring Riverside and San Bernardino counties. 

Meanwhile, the tally of patients hospitalized with the virus decreased from 133 to 123.

On Wednesday, coronavirus testing providers halted their free services for uninsured residents after Congress refused to authorize more COVID federal funding.

Local county-supported clinics such as Latino Health Access will continue providing services for a short time, according to Orange County Health Care Agency Director, Dr. Clayton Chau.

The cutoff time for free vaccinations is April 5.

“We encourage everyone who is not yet vaccinated, including those who are uninsured, to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” Chau said in a statement on Mar. 18. 

To-date, over 70% of Orange County’s population has received both vaccine series, compared to the statewide average of 71%, per Mayo Clinic data. 

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Audrey Kemp
Audrey Kemp
Audrey Kemp is a staff reporter and occasional photojournalist for the Orange County Business Journal. Her beats include — but are not limited to — healthcare, startups, and education. While pursuing her bachelors in literary journalism at UC Irvine, she interned for New York-based magazine Narratively Inc., wrote for Costa Mesa-based lifestyle magazine Locale, and covered the underground music scene for two SoCal-based music publications. She is an unwavering defendant of the emdash and the Oxford comma.
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