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Orange County reaches milestone in COVID-19 vaccinations, OC Health Care Agency urges precautions ahead of July 4th weekend

Public health officials at the OC Health Care Agency (HCA) have announced that, as of June 27, 2021, 70% of Orange County residents age 18 and older have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, reaching a huge milestone for the County.

“Vaccination has proven to be a vital component in reducing test positivity rates in our county over the last several months,” said Dr. Clayton Chau, HCA Director and County Health Officer. “Since the reopening of our state on June 15, with many people no longer wearing masks or physically distancing, we’ve seen a slight increase in our seven-day positivity rate from 0.9% to 1.1% in the lowest HPI quartile areas. Of most interest is the fact that over 90%, of new positive cases were among people who are not fully vaccinated. In fact, over 95% of persons hospitalized with COVID-19 had not been fully vaccinated. We know the vaccines work. We are continuing to offer them to our community and encourage everyone who are not vaccinated to do so.”

As the Fourth of July is upon us, we want to remind the public that new strains of the virus, called variants, also pose a threat to our ability to contain the spread of COVID-19, according to Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, Deputy County Health Officer. “We know that other parts of the world are experiencing a new surge in COVID cases, often related to the Delta strain, which has been found to be highly transmissible. In recent weeks, the Delta strain represents an increasing proportion of positive tests in the US, California, as well as in Orange County. Studies have shown that current COVID-19 vaccines are also effective against the Delta strain, as well as other variants. This is another reason why we are encouraging people to get vaccinated if they haven’t already done so.”

Dr. Chinsio-Kwong added, “If you have symptoms, whether or not you have been vaccinated, we encourage you to order a free test. Testing allows us to identify variant strains, assist others who may be infected and take proactive steps to contain the disease.”

Anticipating community and family gatherings in celebration of Independence Day, the OC HCA strongly advises residents to continue practicing safe measures, which include:

  • Following current mask guidance from the California Department of Public Health
  • Avoiding large crowds especially if you or someone you live with are unvaccinated or have high health risk of contracting COVID-19, and
  • Adhering to travel guidance and preventative tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

To schedule a vaccination at a County of Orange mobile vaccination clinic, visit www.Othena.com or call the OC COVID-19 Hotline at (714) 834-2000. To order a self-collection, at-home COVID-19 test kit, visit ww.ochealthinfo.com/covidtest

This article was released by the Orange County Health Care Agency.