COVID-19 disease rates are increasing exponentially countywide. Private gatherings have been a primary source of disease clusters. All Orange County residents, particularly healthcare providers, need to take measures inside and outside of the workplace to slow its spread. For the latest surveillance data, visit https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc.
- Webinar 1-22-21: “COVID Treatment – First Do No Harm” - PDF | Video, COVID-19 Vaccine Update - PDF
COVID-19 Vaccine Update
COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the United States (U.S.) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and have been recommended for use by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). OCHCA is working with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and community partners to plan the allocation and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine.
How the County’s Vaccine Recommendations Are Developed
The CDC’s Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices (ACIP) has developed a framework which provides a phased approach for distribution of vaccine while the supply is limited. CDPH has established more specific priority tiers. Finally, the OCHCA has convened a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Advisory Group to provide additional local guidance as needed to ensure equitable access to vaccination.
COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation
Initial vaccine allocations were distributed to local hospitals and hospital systems to vaccinate HCWs. CVS and Walgreens have also been vaccinating skilled nursing facility residents and staff under the CDC Pharmacy Plan. More recently, OCHCA has established Points of Dispensing (PODs) at Disneyland and SOKA University. Vaccination is offered at these sites by appointment only to at-risk populations.
An updated number of vaccine doses given in Orange County can be found here.
Populations currently recommended to be vaccinated in Orange County:
- All healthcare personnel at risk of COVID-19 exposure
- Long-term care facility residents and employees.
- Adults 65 years of age and older.
- Law enforcement working in high-risk settings
How to Sign Up to Be Vaccinated:
- Individuals who live or work in Orange County, CA can register online to be vaccinated through the Othena appointment process at www.Othena.com.
- Individuals who register through Othena will be scheduled for an appointment if one is available. If an appointment is not available due to limited vaccine supply, they will be registered in the system and will receive an email to schedule a vaccination appointment when one becomes available.
- Anyone who received their first vaccine dose through the Othena system (which began January 6) will automatically receive their 2nd dose appointment confirmation through Othena. Everyone who received their 1st dose through their health system, employer, or other group should receive the 2nd dose from the same source.
- Due to limited supplies, OCHCA asks that only those in risk groups currently recommended to be vaccinated (see above) sign up. HCWs will need to provide proof of their work at PODs.
Providers Wishing to Vaccinate Their Patients
Providers can sign up on myCAvax at https://www.calvax.org/ to vaccinate their staff and patients. Due to limited vaccine supply, there will likely be a delay before providers who sign up are allocated vaccine.
Licensed clinical professional who are interested in helping with our mass vaccination efforts at the point of dispensing (“SuperPOD”) sites are asked to visit: https://oneoc.org/.
COVID-19 Treatment Guidance
For a review of COVID-19 treatment and vaccine guidance, including the importance of avoiding unnecessary therapies, please see the webinar recorded January 22, 2021: “COVID Treatment – First Do No Harm” - PDF | Video, COVID-19 Vaccine Update - PDF
Any person with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should be tested as soon as symptoms develop. Providers are particularly recommended to emphasize testing of high priority groups as defined by the CDC. This includes:
- Hospitalized patients
- Symptomatic healthcare workers
- Symptomatic residents and staff of congregate living facilities including skilled nursing facilities, assisted living sites, and correctional facilities.
Summary of OCHCA Testing Guidance for Providers
- Health professionals who wish to receive OC Health Care Agency (HCA) provider advisories can register HERE.
- HCA can assist with testing these highest risk groups if other laboratory testing options are not available. Please call (714) 834-8180 for more information.
Additional testing guidance resources:
California Crisis Care Continuum Guidelines for Health Care Facilities
With unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases, the California Department of Public Health has outlined resources and expectations for all health facilities. These guidelines can be found HERE.
Patients with positive results from either PCR or antigen testing are reportable to public health. Laboratories are to report both PCR and antigen positive results. Providers need to report within one business day all cases with positive antigen tests that will not be reported by laboratories.
Providers should report hospitalized patients, deaths, and any suspect or confirmed cases who are homeless or living in congregate living settings within one business day to (714) 834-8180. Clinical laboratories are routinely reporting COVID-19 positive test results to HCA.