TUSTIN, Calif. – The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Orange County and Southern California.

Liz Ibarra sees this every day, first hand. She’s a nurse practitioner at Xpress Urgent Care in Tustin. And while the debate over proposed social practices and precautions rages on, she says the virus is still very real.

What You Need To Know

  • COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise in OC and across SoCal

  • An urgent care in Tustin performing nearly 100 tests a day

  • Increase in testing seen as one factor behind increase in case numbers

  • Newly identified symptoms leading more people to get tested

“There still is COVID-positive. We’re seeing them every single day. And we’re seeing an increase in the number of COVID swabs. And the reason why is because now we have lifted some of those precautions so people are being more cautious, and we want to know. The problem is we don’t know who has it,” Ibarra said.

Between on and off-site testing, the urgent care does nearly 100 tests a day.

Yorba Linda resident Bob Painter is getting a drive-up nasal test. He says the test itself is convenient.

“It was easy. It was not comfortable, but it was not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be,” Painter said.

As of Wednesday there were over 7700 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Orange County and nearly 200 people in the county have died from the virus, with hospitalizations also trending up.

But with new, more efficient and widely available testing, Ibarra says more people are also getting tested.

As the list of symptoms seems to grow, she says more people getting tested will lead to a better understanding of the virus overall.

“It’s not that the symptoms are changing. It’s just that we’re able to see more so a trend now is that we are testing more. And we can say, ‘OK, you have COVID,’ and we’re able to kind of piece the pieces together now,” said Ibarra.