COVID-19 positive numbers still rising

Published 3:04 pm Thursday, October 29, 2020

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By Dawn Burleigh

COVID-19 is still active in Orange County as the latest numbers reflect an increase of 185 total cases this week since the count began in March.

The total positive cases include PCR (473 confirmed) and Antigen (537 probable) results.

There are two different types of tests, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration, – diagnostic tests and antibody tests:

  1. A diagnostic test can show if you have an active coronavirus infection and should take steps to quarantine or isolate yourself from others. Currently there are two types of diagnostic tests which detect the virus – molecular tests, such as RT-PCR tests, that detect the virus’s genetic material, and antigen tests that detect specific proteins on the surface of the virus.
  2. An antibody test looks for antibodies that are made by your immune system in response to a threat, such as a specific virus. Antibodies can help fight infections. Antibodies can take several days or weeks to develop after you have an infection and may stay in your blood for several weeks or more after recovery. Because of this, antibody tests should not be used to diagnose an active coronavirus infection. At this time researchers do not know if the presence of antibodies means that you are immune to the coronavirus in the future.

There are some new diagnostic tests available with alternative methods and benefits.

  • Rapid, point-of-care diagnostic tests use a mucus sample from the nose or throat but can be analyzed at the doctor’s office or clinic where the sample is collected and results may be available in minutes. These may be molecular or antigen tests.
  • At-home collection tests, available only by prescription from a doctor, allow the patient to collect the sample at home and send it directly to the lab for analysis.
  • Saliva tests allow a patient to spit into a tube rather than get their nose or throat swabbed. Saliva tests may be more comfortable for some people and may be safer for health care workers who can be farther away during the sample collection.

The number of active cases in Orange County at the time the numbers were released this week rose to 1010, an increase of 176 from the previous week. The number of those reported as recovered increased by nine for the same period.

The number of those hospitalized decreased by five and is at six for this week and the number of COVOD patients on ventilators also decreased and is at zero.