OC Health Officer's Orders & Recommendations

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OC Health Care Agency Logo CLAYTON CHAU, MD PhD
DIRECTOR/ COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER

405 W. 5TH STREET, 7TH FLOOR
SANTA ANA, CA 92701
www.ochealthinfo.com

COUNTY OF ORANGE HEALTH OFFICERS
ORDERS AND STRONG RECOMMENDATIONS
(Revised October 12, 2021)

In light of the new and recent guidance on COVID-19 isolation and quarantine issued by California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the following Orders and Strong Recommendations shall revise and replace the prior Orders and Strong Recommendations of the County Health Officer that were issued on September 28, 2021. The Orders and Strong Recommendations issued on September 28, 2021, are no longer in effect as of October 12, 2021.

Pursuant to California Health and Safety Code sections 101030, 101040, 101470, 120175, and 120130, the County Health Officer for County of Orange orders and strongly recommends the following:

ORDERS

Effective immediately, and continuing until further notice, the following shall be in effect in unincorporated and incorporated territories of Orange County, California:

  1. Self-Isolation and Self-Quarantine Orders
    • Self-isolation of Persons with COVID-19.

      Persons with COVID-19 symptoms. All Orange County residents and visitors with COVID-19 who are symptomatic (as defined below) shall immediately isolate themselves in their home or another residence.  They may discontinue self-isolation under the following conditions:
      • At least 10 days have passed since symptom onset; AND
      • At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; AND
      • Other symptoms have improved (except that loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation).
      Persons without COVID-19 symptoms. All Orange County residents and visitors with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic (i.e., they do not have any symptom(s), as defined below) shall isolate themselves immediately in their home or another residence.  They may discontinue self-isolation under the following conditions:
      • At least 10 days have passed since the first positive COVID-19 PCR or rapid antigen laboratory test.

      Additional Considerations.

      • A Person who is self-isolated may not leave his or her place of isolation except to receive necessary medical care.
      • If a more specific and individualized isolation order is issued by the County Health Officer for any county resident, the resident shall follow the specific order instead of the order herein.
      • People who are severely ill with COVID-19 might need to stay in self-isolation longer than 10 days and up to 20 days after symptoms first appeared. People with weakened immune systems may require testing to determine when they can be around others. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information. Your healthcare provider will let you know if you can resume being around other people based on the results of your testing.

      This self-isolation order DOES NOT in any way restrict access by first responders to an isolation site during an emergency.

      Definition.

      • A person is considered to “with COVID-19” if the person has:
        • Received a positive COVID-19 PCR or rapid antigen laboratory test result; and/or
        • Exhibits symptoms (as defined below).
      • People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
        • Fever or chills
        • Cough
        • 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
        • Diarrhea

        The list above does not include all possible symptoms.

    • Self-Quarantine of Persons Exposed to COVID-19 and Exemptions.


      All Orange County residents and visitors who know that they have been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with a person who has, or is suspected to have, COVID-19 and who do not have any symptoms (as defined above) shall take the following actions:

      Not Fully Vaccinated Persons

      • Stay in their home or another place of residence:
        • For at least 10 days from the date of last contact with a person who has COVID-19 without testing; OR
        • For at least 7 days with a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result. Diagnostic specimen shall be collected on Day 5 or later from the date of last contact with person with COVID-19.
      • The following persons shall quarantine themselves in their home or another place of residence for 14 days from the from the date of last contact with a person who has COVID-19:
        • All persons who reside or work in a high-risk congregate living setting (e.g., skilled nursing facilities, prisons, jails, shelters).
        • All persons who reside or work with severely immunosuppressed persons (e.g., Bone marrow or solid organ transplants, chemotherapy)
        All persons quarantined as required above shall also take the following additional actions:
        • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms through Day 14 from the date of last contact with a person who has COVID-19 and if any symptoms develop during 14 days after the last date of close contact with a person with COVID-19, they shall immediately self-isolate themselves and contact the Orange County Health Care Agency or their healthcare provider and seek COVID-19 testing.
        • Wear face coverings at all times through Day 14 and adhere to the face covering order specified in Section II, below, after Day 14;
        • Perform frequent hand hygiene; and
        • May not leave their place of quarantine during their quarantine period except to receive necessary medical care or to obtain such other goods or services necessary for their basic subsistence.

      Exemptions

      1. Asymptomatic Fully Vaccinated Persons. Persons who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to their close contact with a person with COVID-19 and have not developed any symptoms (as defined above) since their exposure are not required to quarantine.
        • People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19:
          • 14 days or more after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna); or
          • 14 days or more after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson/Janssen).
      2. Asymptomatic Persons Previously Infected. If an exposed person tested positive for COVID-19 before their new, recent close contact with a person with COVID-19 and it has been less than 3 months since they started having symptoms from that previous infection (or since their first positive COVID-19 test if asymptomatic), they do not need to quarantine, as long as they have not had any new symptoms since their recent exposure to COVID-19.


        All individuals who fall under any of the Exemptions, above, shall also take the following additional actions:

        • Test for COVID-19 3-5 days after last date of exposure (note: this requirement does not apply to Asymptomatic Previously Infected Individuals).
          • If they test positive, they shall immediately self-isolate, as ordered above, and contact their healthcare provider with any questions regarding their care.
          • If they test negative, they shall continue monitoring their symptoms.
        • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms through Day 14 and if symptoms occur, immediately isolate as ordered above, they shall immediately self-isolate themselves and contact the Orange County Health Care Agency or their healthcare provider and seek COVID-19 testing.
      3. Quarantine Exemption for Students in both Private and Public Transitional Kindergarten through Grade 12.


        Quarantine Duration for Unvaccinated Students:

        1. The following students shall quarantine, as stated under (2), below, if any of the following occur EITHER in the community OR in any indoor or at outdoor school settings, including on buses operated by public and private school systems:
          • Either the student or person with COVID-19 (or both) was (were) NOT wearing face covering when they were within 6 feet of each other for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
          • Both student and person with COVID-19 were wearing face covering when they were within 6 feet of each other for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
        2. If the student (as defined in Paragraph (A), above) remains asymptomatic (meaning they have NOT had any COVID-19 symptoms, as defined in this Order, above), the student may discontinue self-quarantine under the following conditions:
          1. Quarantine can end after Day 10 from the date of last exposure without testing for COVID-19; OR
          2. Quarantine can end after Day 7 if a test specimen (i.e., antigen diagnostic test, PCR/molecular diagnostic test, or pooled PCR/molecular test) is collected on or after Day 5 from the date of last exposure and the result is negative.
        3. All quarantined students from Day 1 through Day 14 shall:
          • Continue daily self-monitoring for symptoms through Day 14 from last known exposure; AND
          • Follow all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions (e.g., wearing a mask when around others, hand washing) through Day 14 from the Day of last known exposure.
          • If any symptoms develop during this 14-day period, the exposed student shall immediately isolate as stated in this Order, above, get tested, and contact his or her healthcare provider with any questions regarding their care.
        4. Exemption for Attending In-Person Instruction for Quarantined Unvaccinated Students – i.e., Modified Quarantine
          If unvaccinated student and person with COVID-19 were wearing face covering when they were within 6 feet of each other for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, the exposed student may continue to attend school for in-person instruction during the duration of his or her quarantine period as specified in Paragraph (B), above, if the following conditions are met:
          • The exposed student is asymptomatic; and
          • The exposed student continues to appropriately wear face covering; and
          • The exposed student undergoes at least twice weekly testing during his or her quarantine period (as specified in Paragraph (B), above); and
          • The exposed student refrains from participation in all extracurricular activities at school, including sports, and activities within the community setting for the duration of his or her quarantine period (as stated in (B), above). The exposed student may  participate in all required instructional components of the school day, except activities where a mask cannot be worn, such as while  playing certain musical instruments. The exposed student may also eat meals on campus; and
          • The exposed student complies with the conditions specified in Paragraph C, above
      4. Acute Care Hospital Staff Shortage. Acute care hospitals in collaboration with human resources and occupational health services that determine they are experiencing staff shortage and therefore are unable to provide safe patient care at their facilities may allow the following health care providers to continue to work onsite at their facilities throughout their 14-day exposure period: Asymptomatic health care providers, who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and who have had a higher-risk exposure to COVID-19 but are not known to be infected. These health care providers shall be monitored for symptoms for COVID-19 and shall immediately isolate as consistent with the isolation order above if any symptoms develop (as defined above).

      The above self-quarantine orders and exemptions DO NOT in any way restrict access by first responders to a quarantine site during an emergency.

  2. Face-Covering Order:
    1. Wear a Cloth Face-Covering. To help prevent the spread of droplets containing COVID-19, all County residents and visitors shall wear face coverings in accordance with and as required by the Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings issued by CDPH, effective July 28, 2021. The Guidance is attached herein as Attachment “A” and can be found at: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx. The Guidance orders, as follows:


      Masking Requirements.

      Masks are required for all individuals in the following indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status:

      • On public transit (examples: airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares) and in transportation hubs (examples: airport, bus terminal, marina, train station, seaport or other port, subway station, or any other area that provides transportation)
      • Indoors in K-12 schools, childcare
      • Emergency shelters [4] and cooling centers

      Masks are required for all individuals, in the following indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status (and surgical masks are recommended):

      • Healthcare settings
      • State and local correctional facilities and detention centers
      • Homeless shelters
      • Long Term Care Settings & Adult and Senior Care Facilities

      Additionally, masks are required for unvaccinated individuals in indoor public settings and businesses (examples: retail, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, meetings, state, and local government offices serving the public).

      Guidance for Businesses, Venue Operators or Hosts.

      In settings where masks are required only for unvaccinated individuals, businesses, venue operators or hosts may choose to:

      • Provide information to all patrons, guests and attendees regarding vaccination requirements and allow vaccinated individuals to self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry.
      • Implement vaccine verification to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask.
      • Require all patrons to wear masks.

      No person can be prevented from wearing a mask as a condition of participation in an activity or entry into a business.

      Exemptions to masks requirements.

      The following individuals are exempt from wearing masks at all times:

      • Persons younger than two years old. Very young children must not wear a mask because of the risk of suffocation.
      • Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a mask could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance.
      • Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
      • Persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.

      Face shields may be considered for members of the public who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical condition or other exemption, although they may not work as well as face coverings in their ability to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others. A cloth “drape” should be attached to the bottom edge of the face shield and tucked into the shirt to minimize gaps between the face and face shield.

  3. Vaccination and Testing for COVID-19 Orders:
    1. COVID-19 Vaccination for Workers and Service Providers of Certain Facilities. To help prevent transmission of COVID-19, all workers who provide services or work in facilities described below shall comply with the vaccination requirements as set forth in the August 5, 2021, State Health Officer Order. A copy of the State Health Officer Order is attached herein as Attachment “B” and can be found at the following link:


      https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Order-of-the-State-Public-Health-Officer-Health-Care-Worker-Vaccine-Requirement.aspx

      The State Health Officer Order orders, as follows:

      All workers who provide services or work in facilities described below shall have their first dose of a one-dose regimen or their second dose of a two-dose regimen by September 30, 2021:

       

      • General Acute Care Hospitals
      • Skilled Nursing Facilities (including Subacute Facilities)
      • Intermediate Care Facilities
      • Acute Psychiatric Hospitals
      • Adult Day Health Care Centers
      • Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and PACE Centers
      • Ambulatory Surgery Centers
      • Chemical Dependency Recovery Hospitals
      • Clinics & Doctor Offices (including behavioral health, surgical)
      • Congregate Living Health Facilities
      • Dialysis Centers
      • Hospice Facilities
      • Pediatric Day Health and Respite Care Facilities
      • Residential Substance Use Treatment and Mental Health Treatment Facilities

      Two-dose vaccines include Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna or vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization. The one-dose vaccine is Johnson and Johnson [J&J]/Janssen.

      "Worker" refers to all paid and unpaid individuals who work in indoor settings where (1) care is provided to patients, or (2) patients have access for any purpose. This includes workers serving in health care or other health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or SARS-CoV-2 airborne aerosols. Workers include, but are not limited to, nurses, nursing assistants, physicians, technicians, therapists, phlebotomists, pharmacists, students and trainees, contractual staff not employed by the health care facility, and persons not directly involved in patient care, but who could be exposed to infectious agents that can be transmitted in the health care setting (e.g., clerical, dietary, environmental services, laundry, security, engineering and facilities management, administrative, billing, and volunteer personnel).

      Exemption from Vaccination. Workers may be exempt from the vaccination requirements under only upon providing the operator of the facility a declination form, signed by the individual stating either of the following: (1) the worker is declining vaccination based on Religious Beliefs, or (2) the worker is excused from receiving any COVID-19 vaccine due to Qualifying Medical Reasons.

      Eligibility for Qualified Medical Reasons Exemption. To be eligible for a Qualified Medical Reasons exemption, the worker must also provide to their employer a written statement signed by a physician, nurse practitioner, or other licensed medical professional practicing under the license of a physician stating that the individual qualifies for the exemption (but the statement should not describe the underlying medical condition or disability) and indicating the probable duration of the worker’s inability to receive the vaccine (or if the duration is unknown or permanent, so indicate).

      Condition of Entry into Facility for Exempted Workers. If an operator of facility deems a worker to have met the requirements of an exemption, the unvaccinated exempt worker must meet the following requirements when entering or working in such facility:

      • Test for COVID-19 with either PCR or antigen test that either has Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or be operating per the Laboratory Developed Test requirements by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Testing must occur twice weekly for unvaccinated exempt workers in acute health care and long-term care settings, and once weekly for such workers in other health care settings.
      • Wear a surgical mask or higher-level respirator approved by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), such as an N95 filtering facepiece respirator, at all times while in the facility.
    2. Requirements for COVID-19 Vaccination Status Verification, COVID-19 Testing, and Masking for Certain Facilities. To help prevent transmission of COVID-19, all facilities described below shall comply with the State Health Officer Order, effective August 9, 2021. A copy of the State Health Officer Order is attached herein as Attachment “C” and can be found at the following link:


      https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Order-of-the-State-Public-Health-Officer-Unvaccinated-Workers-In-High-Risk-Settings.aspx

      Acute Health Care and Long-Term Care Settings:

      • General Acute Care Hospitals
      • Skilled Nursing Facilities (including Subacute Facilities)
      • Intermediate Care Facilities

      High-Risk Congregate Settings:

      Other Health Care Settings:

      • Acute Psychiatric Hospitals
      • Adult Day Health Care Centers
      • Adult Day Programs Licensed by the California Department of Social Services
      • Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and PACE Centers
      • Ambulatory Surgery Centers
      • Chemical Dependency Recovery Hospitals
      • Clinics & Doctor Offices (including behavioral health, surgical)
      • Congregate Living Health Facilities
      • Dental Offices
      • Dialysis Centers
      • Hospice Facilities
      • Pediatric Day Health and Respite Care Facilities
      • Residential Substance Use Treatment and Mental Health Treatment Facilities
    3. Requirements for COVID-19 Vaccine Status Verification and COVID-19 Testing for School Workers in Transitional Kindergarten through Grade 12. To prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in K-12 school settings, all public and private schools serving students in transitional kindergarten through grade 12 shall comply with the State Health Officer Order, effective August 12, 2021, regarding verification of COVID-19 vaccination status and COVID-19 testing of all workers.  A copy of the State Health Officer Order is attached herein as Attachment “D” and can be found at the following link:


      https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Order-of-the-State-Public-Health-Officer-Vaccine-Verification-for-Workers-in-Schools.aspx  

      This Order does not apply to (i) home schools, (ii) child care settings, or (iii) higher education.

    4. Local Correctional Facilities and Detention Centers Health Care Worker Vaccination Requirement. To prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in local correctional facilities and detention centers, all individuals identified in the State Health Officer Order, effective August 19, 2021, regarding obtaining COVID-19 vaccination shall comply with the State Health Officer’s Order.  A copy of the State Health Officer Order is attached herein as Attachment “E” and can be found at the following link:


      https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Order-of-the-State-Public-Health-Officer-Correctional-Facilities-and-Detention-Centers-Health-Care-Worker-Vaccination-Order.aspx

  4. Visiting Acute Health Care and Long-Term Care Setting Order::
  5. Seasonal Flu Vaccination Order:
    1. Seasonal Flu Vaccination for Certain County Residents. All individuals who reside or work in Orange County and fall under one of the following categories, shall obtain the seasonal flu vaccination unless a medical or religious exemption applies: (i) current providers for congregate settings; (ii) current health care providers; and (iii) current emergency responders. However, nothing herein shall be construed as an obligation, on the part of employers, public or private, to require employees obtain the seasonal flu vaccination as a term or condition of employment.
      • Emergency responder shall mean military or national guard; law enforcement officers; correctional institution personnel; fire fighters; emergency medical services personnel; physicians; nurses; public health personnel; emergency medical technicians; paramedics; emergency management personnel; 911 operators; child welfare workers and service providers; public works personnel; and persons with skills or training in operating specialized equipment or other skills needed to provide aid in a declared emergency; as well as individuals who work for such facilities employing these individuals and whose work is necessary to maintain the operation of the facility.
      • Health care provider shall mean physicians; psychiatrists; nurses; nurse practitioners; nurse assistants; medical technicians; any other person who is employed to provide diagnostic services, preventive services, treatment services or other services that are integrated with and necessary to the provision of patient care and, if not provided, would adversely impact patient care; and employees who directly assist or are supervised by a direct provider of diagnostic, preventive, treatment, or other patient care services; and employees who do not provide direct heath care services to a patient but are otherwise integrated into and necessary to the provision those services – for example, a laboratory technician who processes medical test results to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of a health condition. A person is not a health care provider merely because his or her employer provides health care services or because he or she provides a service that affects the provision of health care services. For example, IT professionals, building maintenance staff, human resources personnel, cooks, food services workers, records managers, consultants, and billers are not health care providers, even if they work at a hospital of a similar health care facility.

STRONG RECOMMENDATIONS

Effective immediately, and continuing until further notice, the following shall be in effect in unincorporated and incorporated territories in Orange County, California:

  1. For Vulnerable Population. In general, the older a person is, the more health conditions a person has, and the more severe the conditions, the more important it is to take preventive measures for COVID-19 such as getting vaccinated, social distancing and wearing a mask when around people who don’t live in the same household, and practicing hand hygiene.  For more information, see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html.
  2. COVID-19 Vaccination for County Residents. All Orange County residents should receive COVID-19 vaccination in accordance with the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC guidance unless a medical contraindication applies. Minors, who are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccination in accordance with the applicable CDC guidelines, should be vaccinated in the presence of their parent or legal guardian.
  3. Seasonal Flu Vaccination for County Residents. All County residents who are six months of age or older should obtain the seasonal flu vaccination unless a medical or religious exemption applies.
  4. COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing for Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics and Home Healthcare Providers. To help prevent transmission of COVID-19, it is strongly recommended that all Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics, and Home Healthcare Providers (including In Home Supportive Services Program workers) are fully vaccinated by September 30, 2021.

    Furthermore, it is strongly recommended that all unvaccinated Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics, and Home Healthcare Providers (including In Home Supportive Services Program workers) undergo at least twice weekly testing for COVID-19 until such time they are fully vaccinated.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

  1. The Orders and Strong Recommendations, above, shall not supersede any conflicting or more restrictive orders issued by the State of California or federal government. If any portion of this document or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid, the remainder of the document, including the application of such part or provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected and shall continue in full force and effect. To this end, the provisions of the orders and strong recommendations are severable.
  2. The Orders contained in this document may be enforced by the Orange County Sheriff or Chiefs of Police pursuant to California Health and Safety Code section 101029, and California Government Code sections 26602 and 41601. A violation of a health order is subject to fine, imprisonment, or both (California Health and Safety Code section 120295).

REASONS FOR THE ORDERS AND STRONG RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. On February 26, 2020, the County of Orange Health Officer declared a Local Health Emergency based on an imminent and proximate threat to public health from the introduction of COVID-19 in Orange County.
  2. On February 26, 2020, the Chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors, acting as the Chair of Emergency Management Council, proclaimed a Local Emergency in that the imminent and proximate threat to public health from the introduction of COVID-19 created conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the territorial limits of Orange County.
  3. On March 2, 2020, the Orange County Board of Supervisors adopted Resolutions No. 20-011 and No. 20-012 ratifying the Local Health Emergency and Local Emergency, referenced above.
  4. On March 4, 2020, the Governor of the State of California declared a State of Emergency to exist in California as a result of the threat of COVID-19.
  5. As of  October 12, 2021, the County has reported a total of 299,041 recorded confirmed COVID-19 cases and 5,499 of COVID-19 related deaths.
  6. Safe and effective authorized COVID-19 vaccines are recommended by the CDC. According to CDC, anyone infected with COVID-19 can spread it, even if they do NOT have symptoms.  The novel coronavirus is spread in 3 ways:1) Breathing in air when close to an infected person who is exhaling small droplets and particles that contain the virus. 2) Having these small droplets and particles that contain virus land on the eyes, nose, or mouth, especially through splashes and sprays like a cough or sneeze. 3)  Touching eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that have the virus on them. See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html.
  7. CDC requires face coverings on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html.
  8. The CDPH issued a revised Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings, effective July 28, 2021, available at: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx
  9. According to the CDC and CDPH, older adults, individuals with medical conditions, and pregnant and recently pregnant persons are at higher risk of severe illness when they contract COVID-19. See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/index.html; see also https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/PublicHealthGuidanceSelfIsolationforOlderAdultsandThoseWhoHaveElevatedRisk.aspx.
  10. The Orders and the Strong Recommendations contained in this document are based on the following facts, in addition to the facts stated under the foregoing paragraphs: (i) Safe and effective FDA authorized COVID-19 vaccines have become widely available, but many Orange County residents have not yet had the opportunity to be vaccinated, or have not completed their vaccination series to be fully vaccinated; (ii) there are currently limited therapeutic options proven effective that consistently prevents the severe illness associated with COVID-19; (iii) the current consensus among public health officials for slowing down the transmission of and avoiding contracting COVID-19 is for unvaccinated persons to avoid gathering and practice social distancing, frequently wash hands with soap, wearing face covering and get vaccinated; (iv) some individuals who contract COVID-19 have no symptoms or have only mild symptoms and so are unaware that they carry the virus and are transmitting it to others; (v) current evidence shows that the novel coronavirus can survive on surfaces and can be indirectly transmitted between individuals; (vi) older adults and individuals with medical conditions are at higher risk of severe illness; (vii) sustained COVID-19 community transmission continues to occur; (viii) the age, condition, and health of a significant portion of Orange County’s residents place them at risk for serious health complications, including hospitalization and death, from COVID-19; (ix) younger and otherwise healthy people are also at risk for serious negative health outcomes and for transmitting the novel coronavirus to others.
  11. The orders and strong recommendations contained in this document are necessary and less restrictive preventive measures to control and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Orange County, help preserve critical and limited healthcare capacity in Orange County and save the lives of Orange County residents.
  12. The California Health and Safety Code section 120175 requires the County of Orange Health Officer knowing or having reason to believe that any case of a communicable disease exists or has recently existed within the County to take measures as may be necessary to prevent the spread of the disease or occurrence of additional cases.
  13. The California Health and Safety Code sections 101030 and 101470 require the county health officer to enforce and observe in the unincorporated territory of the county and within the city boundaries located with a county all of the following: (a) Orders and ordinances of the board of supervisors, pertaining to the public health and sanitary matters; (b) Orders, including quarantine and other regulations, prescribed by the department; and (c) Statutes relating to public health.
  14. The California Health and Safety Code section 101040 authorizes the County of Orange Health Officer to take any preventive measure that may be necessary to protect and preserve the public health from any public health hazard during any “state of war emergency,” “state of emergency,” or “local emergency,” as defined by Section 8558 of the Government Code, within his or her jurisdiction. “Preventive measure” means abatement, correction, removal, or any other protective step that may be taken against any public health hazard that is caused by a disaster and affects the public health.
  15. The California Health and Safety Code section 120130 (d) authorizes the County of Orange Health Officer to require strict or modified isolation, or quarantine, for any case of contagious, infectious, or communicable disease, when such action is necessary for the protection of the public health.

 

 

IT IS SO ORDERED:

Date: October 12, 2021

Order Bottom

Clayton Chau MD, PhD
County Health Officer
County of Orange