- CDC Testing Recommendations for SARS-CoV-2
- California Department of Public Health Interim Guidance on Prioritization for COVID-19 Laboratory Testing
- Evaluating and Testing Persons for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
COVID-19 cases continue to be identified in Orange County. Any person with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should be tested as soon as symptoms develop. For the latest county surveillance data, visit
Current Status of COVID-19 Variants in Orange County (Updated June 21, 2021)
Multiple COVID-19 variants of concern have been identified in California and Orange County, the including alpha (UK), beta (South African), gamma (Brazilian) and delta (Indian) variants. The alpha variant has been identified in Southern California, including Orange County, for several months and has recently been the most common variant seen. The delta (Indian) variant has been seen in Orange County, but its prevalence is currently low.
Surveillance for COVID-19 Variants in Orange County
OCHCA is working with providers to assure prompt identification of suspect and confirmed variant cases. OCHCA requests that clinical laboratories in Orange County submit all COVID-19 positive PCR specimens with Ct value <30 for genomic sequencing to the OCHCA Laboratory. Health care providers are requested to promptly report and submit nasopharyngeal specimens to OCHCA for possible whole genome sequencing from any individuals with SARS-CoV-2 virus infection who meet any of the following criteria:
Additional recommendations for evaluation of suspect and confirmed variant cases can be found here.
COVID-19 Testing Recommendations
There has been a steady decline in COVID-19 cases in Orange County in recent months. With very low rates of infection, testing should focus on persons who have symptoms suggesting infection or a history of exposure to someone who was infected.
Testing for SARS-CoV-2 is primarily recommended when:
1) A patient has signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status or previous history of infection
2) Unvaccinated person who is a close contacts to a confirmed case, generally 5-7 days after last exposure
Assessing Positive Results in Asymptomatic, Low-Risk Patients
In the setting of low community prevalence, a positive test result in an asymptomatic person with no known or suspected exposure to COVID-19 carries a significant possibility of being a false positive. OCHCA recommends that such low-risk persons who screen positive for SARS-CoV-2 through either antigen testing or nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) testing should have a second test with a NAAT to confirm the result. They must complete full isolation unless a confirmatory test is performed and found to be negative.
Additional testing guidance resources:
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.
Providers Wishing to Vaccinate Their Patients
Providers can sign up on myCAvax at https://www.calvax.org/ to vaccinate their staff and patients.
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
Sign Up to Receive Provider Advisories
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.