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Posted on: February 27, 2020

OC Declares Local Emergencies to Prepare for Coronavirus

The County of Orange has declared a local emergency and a local health emergency to prepare for novel coronavirus. Officials stressed Orange County has seen just one local case, and that person has recovered.

“The County of Orange and our County Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick have declared a local emergency. We have issued these declarations in light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s comments on COVID-19 (Tuesday), along with the possibility of active COVID-19 patients being brought to Fairview Developmental Center in my district in Costa Mesa,” said Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel. “Although there are currently no cases of coronavirus in Orange County, my goal is to ensure all residents and visitors to Orange County as well as all of our resources can be prepared in the event of an outbreak.”

The declaration of both a local emergency and local health emergency assists the County of Orange to better leverage resources to prepare to County staffing needs and greater agency coordination, all while allowing for future reimbursement for County activities by state and federal governments in the event of an Orange County outbreak of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

The OC Health Care Agency (HCA) continues to engage and monitor the rapidly changing worldwide response to COVID-19. Should additional COVID-19 cases occur in Orange County, (HCA) would share that information with community members, medical providers, and colleagues at the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Orange County residents are encouraged to visit, call the OC Health Care Agency’s Health Referral Line between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday – Friday at (800) 564-8448, and monitor social media channels to ensure they have the most accurate and up to date information.

“Orange County residents need to take the proper precautions to ensure their health and welfare are protected at all times,” said Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, whose district includes Lake Forest. “The best way to receive the most up to date information on how to stay healthy and safe locally is to follow our OC Health Care Agency on Twitter and Facebook.”

Lake Forest City leaders are also closely monitoring the situation.

Officials urged residents to take simple steps to help protect themselves, such as:

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects
  • Wash your hands frequently

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