Orange County Wednesday reported an additional 71 COVID-19 fatalities, including 15 that occurred in December. The newly reported deaths raise the county’s death toll to 2,839. According to a UC Irvine public health expert’s projections, that number could reach 4,000 in three weeks. Andrew Noymer, a UC Irvine professor of population health and disease prevention, said that at the rate of the past week, it would take 22 days for the county’s death toll to reach 4,000. “It’s just a question of when, not if,” Noymer said.