Based on the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the OC Health Care Agency (HCA) encourages eligible children and youth ages 5 and older to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible.
According to a recent study by the CDC, hospitalization rates due to COVID-19 remain high in children ages 5 to 11, with nearly 1 in 3 hospitalized children under the age of 18 being admitted to the ICU or put on a ventilator. Nearly half of the hospitalized children in the study had no known underlying medical conditions, showing that children can be severely affected by COVID-19.
“Widespread vaccination remains the most effective way to protect yourself and everyone around you from getting sick or hospitalized with COVID,” says Dr. Clayton Chau, County Health Officer and HCA Director. “This includes protecting family members who may be at increased risk of getting very sick if they are infected. We encourage parents and legal guardians to get their eligible children vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccinating children ages 5 and older can also help keep them in school and allow them to safely participate in sports, playdates, and other group activities.”
COVID-19 vaccines are widely available throughout Orange County for children and adults ages 5 and over. Residents are encouraged to access the most convenient option available to them to get their shot, including pediatricians’ office, local retail pharmacies, healthcare providers, or online at Vaccines.gov, MyTurn.ca.gov, or Othena.com. For more information on where to go for a vaccine, visit COVIDVaccineFacts.com and click on “Find a COVID-19 Vaccine”.
Individuals who need help with booking an appointment or getting a ride to a vaccine clinic can call the OC COVID-19 Hotline at (714) 834-2000, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Please note that the hotline will not be in service on Thursday, November 25, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.)
Testing also remains a critical component of the County’s strategy to reduce viral transmission. Residents are encouraged to get tested 1-3 days before a family gathering, or prior to any travel, even if they do not have any symptoms, and to test again 3-5 days after returning home.
Self-collection, at-home COVID-19 test kits are available by visiting ochealthinfo.com/covidtest. These tests are available at no cost, may be used conveniently at home, and comes with a prepaid shipping return label.
“Testing helps support early detection and prevent the spread of possible variants,” says Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, Deputy County Health Officer. “If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or planning on gathering or traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday, please seek testing, regardless of your vaccination status.”
Status of COVID-19 Cases in Orange County
Between November 18 and November 23, the seven-day average COVID-19 case rate dropped from 7.6 to 6.8 per 100,000 people and the average number of daily COVID-19 cases decreased from 245 to 220. The positivity rate remained steady at 2.7 percent, hospitalizations dropped slightly from 194 to 187, and ICU admissions increased slightly from 47 to 48 per day.
For more information on COVID-19 information and resources, including case counts, vaccination and testing in Orange County, visit ochealthinfo.com/covid. (Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, case count updates will not be posted on Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26.)