FV Newsletter

Jan 25


The original item was published from January 20, 2022 4:34 PM to January 25, 2022 9:48 AM

With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surging in Orange County, the OC Health Agency strongly urges residents and visitors to strictly follow proper masking, proper hand hygiene, physical distancing, and other non-medical preventative measures to minimize further spread of this highly transmissible variant. 

During the current surge, Orange County residents and visitors are advised to:

  • Get fully vaccinated and boosted to maximize your immunity against COVID-19 
  • Wear a well-fitting mask as an added layer of protection against viruses that can spread through respiratory droplets. The State’s indoor masking mandate for everyone regardless of vaccination status has been extended until February 15, 2022
  • Keep a safe distance from others outside of your household, to avoid close contact with people who may be unvaccinated or asymptomatic
  • If you recently attended a high-risk event, traveled, or came into close contact with someone who has COVID-19, self-monitor for symptoms and get tested
  • If you are sick, stay home, follow isolation guidance and get tested

Updates on COVID-19 Testing
In an effort to increase access to free COVID-19 testing, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that beginning January 15, 2022, individuals covered by private health insurance or group health plan will be able to purchase over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 tests approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and have those costs covered by their plan or insurance. For more information, click here.
Testing shortages and supply chain issues are continuing across the U.S. People recently exposed to COVID-19, or who have mild symptoms, are advised to follow the State’s isolation and quarantine guidance and to be patient in searching for testing options. You can locate nearby testing services through the State’s website at covid19.ca.gov/get-tested.
Self-collection, at-home COVID-19 Test Kits continue to be available at no cost to people who work or live in Orange County and can be ordered online at ochealthinfo.com/covidtest. Due to the increased demand for COVID-19 testing, however, requestors are encouraged to be patient as test kits may be delayed beyond the usual processing time.
People without symptoms, or who have mild symptoms and are at low risk of severe disease, should not go to the hospital or emergency room to obtain screening testing. Hospitals are focused on people who are sick and need urgent care.
As testing shortages continue throughout the U.S., reports are surfacing about pop-up testing operations that may be unlicensed and out to scam people. Asking what laboratory they are sending to or requesting to see their healthcare credential will be helpful as most tests require a licensed professional to gather specimens. Legitimate testing sites will NOT ask for social security numbers or other data designed to collect your personal information.
Fraud related to COVID-19 can be reported to the HHS Office of Inspector General by calling 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477) or online at oig.hhs.gov/fraud/report-fraud.

Get tested 24 hours before and 3-5 days after gathering or traveling: 

  • Self-collection, at-home COVID-19 Test Kits are available at no cost to people who work or live in Orange County and can be ordered online at ochealthinfo.com/covidtest
  • An email address is required for each individual requesting a test kit. 
  • Each kit comes with a prepaid shipping return label and results are provided within 24-48 hours upon receipt of the specimen. 

People without symptoms, or who have mild symptoms and are at low risk of severe disease, should not go to the hospital or emergency room to obtain screening testing. Hospitals are focused on people who are sick and need urgent care.
Rapid tests are currently in short supply nationwide; people who are in need of quicker test results are encouraged to check with their healthcare provider or local retail pharmacy for the availability of rapid tests.
California mask mandate extended to February 15:

  • According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), universal masking indoors is now required through February 15, 2022, to slow the spread of COVID-19. 
  • For full guidance on effective masks as well as guidance for improved fit and protection, click here
  • For additional frequently asked questions about the State’s universal masking mandate, click here.

Follow COVID-19 safety precautions: 

  • Limit or avoid large gatherings, especially indoors
  • Keep a safe distance from others who may be unvaccinated
  • Wash and sanitize your hands often and thoroughly
  • Ensure good ventilation by keeping doors and windows open
  • Regularly self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and 
  • Stay home if you are sick

Revised Cal/OSHA ETS and County Health Orders
Cal/OSHA has issued revised Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) that will go into effect on January 14, 2022. The ETS requires employers to develop a written COVID-19 Prevention Program to address health hazards and unsafe conditions due to COVID-19. Important revisions include requirements on COVID-19 case investigations in the workplace, face coverings, testing and exclusion, and return to work. For more information, click here
The County of Orange Health Officer’s Orders and Strong Recommendations have been updated to align with recent quarantine and isolation guidelines issued by the CDC and CDPH. For the latest County Health Order, click here.
Recommendations for Pfizer Booster and Additional Primary Doses
On January 4 and January 5, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the following recommendations for the Comirnaty (Pfizer) COVID-19 vaccine to be administered:

  • As a booster dose in individuals ages 12-17
  • As a booster dose 5 months after primary vaccination, for individuals age 12 and older
  • As a third additional primary dose for moderately or severely immunocompromised children ages 5-11, 28 days after their second dose

The recommendations apply only to the Pfizer vaccine, not to the Moderna or Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines.
Vaccines continue to be widely available throughout Orange County for walk-in, same-day, and future appointments. Individuals who are not yet vaccinated or boosted against COVID-19, or are eligible for a third dose (due to immunocompromise conditions) are encouraged to visit a local pharmacy or healthcare provider, or go online to Vaccines.gov, MyTurn.ca.gov or Othena.com, to schedule a vaccination appointment.
For more information on COVID-19 information and resources, including case counts, vaccination and testing in Orange County, visit ochealthinfo.com/covid.