In response to rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalization trends throughout the U.S., the OC Health Care Agency (HCA) strongly advises Orange County residents and visitors to take preventative measures to reduce their risk of spreading or getting sick from COVID-19, including testing, wearing well-fitted masks and getting vaccinated.
Since early May, data has shown an increase in the seven-day average COVID-19 case rate in Orange County, from 7.6 to 18.3 per 100,000 people, and daily average cases, from 349 to 598. Hospitalizations have also increased from 81 to 131 people (including 7 pediatric), with 20 people in the ICU (3 pediatric). Most cases (87%) are among people under age 65.
CDC now recommends that children ages 5 through 11 years receive a booster shot 5 months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series. Parents are encouraged to talk to pediatricians about vaccination for this age group, as they are currently the demographic group with the lowest rate of vaccination. Additionally, second boosters are recommended for those who are age 50 and above or who are age 12 and up who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. To find out more when you qualify for a booster, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html. To find a vaccination location, visit www.myturn.ca.gov or www.othena.com.
The White House recently announced the availability of a third round of free at-home COVID-19 test kits ahead of possible summer surges. Families can now order eight more test kits by visiting www.covid.gov/tests. Residents are encouraged to test if you have symptoms, have been exposed to a known COVID-19, or before and after travel or gatherings.
Several cases of Monkeypox have been detected in different states throughout the U.S., including California. OC residents and visitors who have recently traveled to an area where monkeypox was reported or had close contact with someone suspected to have monkeypox and have symptoms (flu-like symptoms and a rash) are advised to seek immediate medical attention.
The risk of Monkeypox in the general population is very low. While this virus is rare, it is a potentially serious viral illness that typically begins with flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a widespread rash on the face and body.
Local clinicians who have any suspected cases are advised to immediately contact the HCA’s Communicable Disease Control Division. For additional information see the attached Health Advisory from the California Department of Public Health.