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Press Release

As Winter Virus Cases Increase, the OC Health Care Agency Reminds Residents to Get Vaccinated and Take Precautions

(Santa Ana, CA) – To address the recent increase in reported respiratory virus activity in Orange County (OC), the OC Health Care Agency (HCA) Public Health Services recommends residents get vaccinated and be vigilant about preventive measures to reduce the spread of winter viruses.
Reported cases of COVID-19, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), and influenza disease are all rising, based on the percentage of positive test results reported to the HCA over the past six weeks. According to the HCA’s Communicable Disease Control Division, these patterns are in line with the regular seasonal epidemiology of these viruses.

Vaccines are available for the prevention of disease caused by all three of these viruses, and are especially important for people at higher risk of severe illness. This season’s influenza and COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for those 6-months of age and older, while RSV vaccine or preventive antibody is recommended for select populations including infants and young children, pregnant people, and adults 60 years and older (visit and People should talk their health care provider, or local pharmacy, about getting vaccinated. For those who do not have a provider, are uninsured, or underinsured, call the HCA’s Health Referral Line (800) 564-8448 [TDD: (800) 801-7100] about accessing services.

“Getting vaccinated against COVID-19, influenza and RSV and practicing preventive measures can help minimize the spread and severity of these viruses and help reduce the burden on our local hospitals,” said Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, County Health Officer and the HCA’s Chief Medical Officer. “All three vaccines may be administered during the same visit for those eligible for all and getting vaccinated now can still provide protection against severe illness throughout the winter respiratory virus season.”

To help mitigate the spread of respiratory illnesses during the winter surge, the HCA encourages residents to follow preventive measures, including:

  • Stay home when you are sick and symptomatic.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper shirt sleeve (elbow).
  • Mask when in large group settings.
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially before and after eating and using the restroom.

Additionally, as families and communities gather to celebrate the holidays, the HCA encourages residents to review the following information should you experience COVID-19 symptoms or are exposed:

  • Testing before gatherings will help mitigate the spread. Free test kits can be ordered by visiting COVID Home Tests | USPS, or for additional options, visit No-Cost COVID-19 Testing​ (
  • Act fast to seek COVID-19 treatment if confirmed positive, as treatment must begin within 5-7 days of when symptoms start. Effective treatments are now widely available for COVID-19.  Treatments such as the Paxlovid pill are safe and effective for preventing COVID-19 illness from becoming serious and may lower the risk of long COVID. Visit COVID-19 Test to Treat Locator English ( for helping finding treatment options.
  • Follow Isolation and Quarantine Recommendations issued by the California Department of Public Health if you test positive or are exposed to a close contact who has tested positive. See guidance.

Visit for current information on Orange County COVID-19 testing positivity and hospitalization levels.
The OC Health Care Agency (HCA) is a regional interdisciplinary health jurisdiction and an accredited health department, charged with protecting and promoting individual, family and community health through partnership and coordination of public and private sector resources. Visit to learn more about services and resources.