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The number of daily coronvirus cases in Orange County has risen over 300% in the last two weeks to 2,342, the Orange County Health Care Agency data reported on Dec. 27. 


That represents the highest spike of the year since January.


Hospitalizations also appear to be on the rise, with 420 patients currently reported. That’s up from about 200 patients seen two weeks ago.


“As we anticipated, Orange County COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising steeply due to increased gatherings and traveling over the holidays,” HCA Director and County Health Officer Dr. Clayton Chau said in a statement.

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“The risk of catching and spreading COVID-19 is extremely high during this time as more people are in close contact with one another,” Chau added.


“We ask that you please continue to exercise precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including limiting or avoiding gathering with others if possible.”


Also on Dec. 27, the OCHCA announced FDA emergency use authorizations (EUA) for oral agents to treat COVID-19, including Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s Molnupiravir.


Patients eligible for Paxlovid or Molnupiravir must have mild to moderate COVID-19 and considered high-risk for developing severe disease, the agency said.