(Santa Ana, CA) – In response to rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalization trends throughout the U.S., combined with easing public health restrictions for travel and upcoming holidays leading to larger gatherings, the OC Health Care Agency strongly advises Orange County residents and visitors to take preventative measures to reduce their risk of getting sick or hospitalized from COVID-19, including testing, masking, and getting vaccinated.
Since April 18, 2022, data has shown an increase in the seven-day average COVID-19 case rate in Orange County, from 4.8 to 10.5 per 100,000 people, and daily average cases, from 155 to 339. Hospitalizations have also increased from 60 to 117 people (including 10 pediatric), with 17 people in the ICU (2 pediatric). The majority of cases are among people under age 65.
“We must come together as a community to help support one another and reduce the risk of transmission, especially to those who may be at higher risk or unknowingly be at risk of getting infected,” says Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, County Health Officer. “Think about your elderly grandparent, coworker, healthcare worker, restaurant server, flight attendant, and all the other people you may come into contact with each day. Many of them can do their part to protect themselves but they also depend on us to do what we can to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This means staying home if you feel sick, getting an FDA-authorized COVID-19 test if you experience symptoms or exposure, wearing a mask in crowded indoor spaces and as required or recommended by State and CDC guidance, and getting all recommended primary and booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine when you are eligible.”
Additional ways to prevent COVID-19 include washing and sanitizing hands frequently, keeping a safe physical distance from others to reduce exposure, increasing indoor ventilation by opening doors and windows to reduce trapped virus particles, and following the State’s isolation and quarantine guidance if you test positive for or are exposed to someone with COVID-19. The CDC also recommends that everyone aged 2 and older – including passengers and workers – properly wear a well-fitting mask or respirator over the nose and mouth in indoor areas of public transportation and transportation hubs.
Various therapeutic treatments are available for people who have mild to moderate COVID-19 and who are at risk for disease progression. (For more information about medical conditions that can lead to more severe COVID-19 illness, click here.) They are encouraged to talk to a healthcare provider about whether they qualify for treatment and where they may be able to find treatment. Additionally, individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and may have inadequate immune response to COVID-19 vaccination may seek pre-exposure prophylaxis with Evusheld.
For more information on COVID-19 information and resources, including case counts, vaccination and testing in Orange County, visit ochealthinfo.com/covid.