Coronavirus hospitalizations jump 97% in Orange County in less than a month

While those numbers help paint an overall picture of the virus’ toll on the region, Dr. Shruti Gohil, associate medical director of epidemiology and infection prevention at UC Irvine, has kept her eye trained specifically on hospitalization numbers, which experts say is a better indicator of severe cases in the community. “If you look at the number of people who are requiring hospitalization, it gives you a better sense of the tip of the iceberg,” Gohil said. “There’s a larger portion of the population under that tip that indicates widespread community transmission.”