LEADING THE DISCUSSION
Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Voice of OC has lead the discussion on the pandemic and its impacts in Orange County.
On this page, you’ll find an archive of our virtual town halls, in addition to every key news article, community opinion piece or press release thats been written since the pandemic began.
This page also provides key data for residents to be able to monitor infections, hospitalizations, demographics and vaccinations in a contextualized way with daily charts to compare current conditions to historical trends over the past two years.
In addition, this page offers residents an FAQ on COVID-19 in Orange County, with basic information on possible symptoms, isolation protocols and key community support that’s available to help residents having a hard time.
Have an issue in Orange County that you think needs more discussion? Send us your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DAILY: As of Wednesday, November 16: 1,172 new weekly cases, a 5% 7-day positivity rate, 14 new deaths (7,555 total) and 112 hospitalizations with 20 in ICU, per OC Health Care Agency data.
VACCINES: As of the most recent vaccine data through Wednesday, November 16, 2,360,214 people are fully vaccinated and 2,577,016 people have at least one dose, according to the OC Health Care Agency. The agency shows 1,415,511 residents have a booster dose.
Here’s the latest on the virus numbers across Orange County from county data:
Infections | Hospitalizations & Deaths | City-by-City Data
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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: http://bit.ly/occovidvaccine.
What is COVID-19? Do I have it?
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:
- • Find information on unemployment and disability benefits.
- • The Orange County Social Services Agency, despite closing its lobby, is processing online filings for assistance programs. This includes emergency cash assistance for immediate needs like rent or medical bills. The phone line has averaged a 30 minute wait time and offers a callback service, but people are encouraged to apply for benefits online.
- • Residents can apply for any of these programs by calling 800-281-9799.
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.