Voice of OC is again putting the public centerstage in civic discussions — this time focusing on answering questions the day before the statewide June 15 COVID-19 reopening.

The discussion is set for 6-7 p.m. Monday, June 14, and will be broadcast on Facebook and on this page.

This panel will answer essential questions and provide vital information the day before mask orders and other distancing measures are relaxed June 15 across the state. The experts will also discuss a potential fall wave, the possibility of booster vaccines and what hitting herd immunity means for Orange County. Send your questions ahead of the panel to

DAILY: As of Wednesday, Jan. 26: 2,592 new daily cases (-272 vs. the day prior), a 24.6% 7-day positivity rate (-0.7% vs. the day prior), 28 new deaths (6,006 cumulative) and 1,086 hospitalizations (-28 vs. the day prior) with 179 in ICU (-12 vs. the day prior), per OC Health Care Agency data.

RATES: As of Wednesday, Jan. 26, OC has 7-day averages of: 195.6 cases per 100,000 people (-31.2 vs. Monday) and 0.07 deaths per 100,000 people (-0.01 vs. Monday), per state health department data.

VACCINES: As of the most recent vaccine data through Jan. 20, 2,372,444 people are fully vaccinated (+14,683 since Jan. 13) and 2,607,570 million people have at least one dose (+21,121 since Jan. 13), according to the OC Health Care Agency. The agency shows 1,043,267 residents have a booster dose (+67,330 since Jan. 13).

Here’s the latest on the virus numbers across Orange County from county data:
Infections | Hospitalizations & Deaths | City-by-City Data

This past year has been so fraught for so many and Voice of OC has been such a welcome source of clarity in the midst of the pandemic fog.

Maxine Schmidl


How can I sign up for a vaccine?

For full details on the COVID-19 vaccine in Orange County view our Voice of OC vaccine page that is constantly updated and has links of where to register for an appointment:

What is COVID-19? Do I have it?

INFORMATION View the CDC website. View OC’s website. View the latest OC case counts.

TRANSLATIONS See the county’s guides in non-English languages. Learn key Coronavirus facts in Vietnamese and Spanish via VietRiseSee VietRISE guides in Spanish and Vietnamese.

PROTECTION To limit exposure, the CDC recommends: wash your hands often, avoid close contact with others, cover your mouth and nose with a cloth mask when around others, cover coughs and sneezes, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

SYMPTOMS The CDC identifies these key symptoms that can occur any time between 2 and 14 days after exposure: Fever or chills, cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches,  headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting or diarrhea. If you suspect Coronavirus, CALL your primary medical provider.

EMERGENCY SYMPTOMS If you display any of the following emergency warning signs, seek immediate medical attention: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face.

RISK The CDC identifies people most at risk for serious illness: Older adults, and people who have serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.

What is open?

RESIDENTS The County of Orange offers a list of notices and news on what guidance is given for families and persons.

SCHOOLS The latest information for the county is available from the Orange County Board of Education.

STATE GUIDE TO WHAT IS OPEN A full list of statewide guidelines for what is open and what is closed.

SOCIAL DISTANCING Staying away from other people is called “social distancing.” The aim is to SLOW the spread of Coronavirus so as to not overwhelm the nation’s health care systems and so that people in need can get help. The Washington Post explains: “The spread (of COVID-19) can be slowed, public health professionals say, if people practice “social distancing” by avoiding public spaces and generally limiting their movement.”

What support is available?

STRESS & ANXIETY Stress and anxiety can be triggered by the situation and resources are available to help from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America and from the American Psychology Association. Concern over this new virus can make children and families anxious, here are tips on talking with children about COVID-19.

MENTAL HEALTH The County of Orange offers a list of available mental health support services.

FIRST RESPONDERS The County of Orange offers these support services for first responders and health care workers.

BUSINESSES & ORGANIZATIONS The County of Orange offers a list of up-to-date guidelines for business and faith-based/community organizations.

FOOD ASSISTANCE Voice of OC offers a weekly list of available food pantries in Orange County. You can also apply for food benefits over the phone through the CalFresh program at 800-281-9799 or online.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION Buses and trains still offer service, but routes have been reduced so make sure to check your route ahead of time.

HOMELESSNESS The County of Orange offers a list of available shelter beds and other resources.

GENERAL FINANCIAL HELP Here are some services:

RESTAURANT OWNERS & EMPLOYEES You can find a detailed list of resources available to restaurant owners and employees.

How can I help?

VOLUNTEERING A statewide guide offers examples of ways to volunteer safely during Coronavirus. Options include, but are not limited to: donating plasma, making cloth face masks and supporting local food banks. Orange County’s Second Harvest Food Bank lists support options online.

DONATIONS An Orange County Community Resilience Fund has been started through the OC Community Foundation to raise money for local nonprofits and volunteer organizations.

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