OC Health Officer's Orders & Recommendations

For the PDF English version, click here.
For translation, please click on the black "Translate" button on the top right to translate the same order displayed below.


OC Health Care Agency Logo

CLAYTON CHAU, MD PhD
DIRECTOR/COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER

REGINA CHINSIO-KWONG, DO
DEPUTY COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER

MATTHEW ZAHN, MD
DEPUTY COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER/MEDICAL DIRECTOR CDCD

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

COUNTY OF ORANGE HEALTH OFFICER'S
ORDERS AND STRONG RECOMMENDATIONS
(Revised January 14, 2022)

In light of the recent quarantine and isolation guidelines announced/issued by Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) and 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 January 4, 2022. The Orders and Strong Recommendations issued on January 4, 2022, are no longer in effect as of January 14, 2022.

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

    NOTE: Refer to the Definition Section below for the meaning of terms used in this isolation and quarantine orders, e.g., exposure to COVID-19, symptoms, etc.

    1. Self-isolation of Persons with COVID-19

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

      1. Persons who test positive for COVID-19. Persons who test positive for COVID-19 shall immediately isolate themselves in their home or another suitable place for at least 5 days. They may discontinue self-isolation after day 5 from the date they test positive IF:

        • COVID-19 symptoms are not present and a diagnostic specimen collected on day 5 or later tests negative.
          • An antigen test, nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), or LAMP test are acceptable, however, if it is recommended that persons use an antigen test for ending isolation. Use of Over-the-Counter tests are also acceptable to end isolation.
        • If unable to test, choose not to test, or test positive by repeat testing, and symptoms are not present or not resolving, isolation shall continue through day 10 and may end after 10 days regardless of whether symptoms are present or resolving.
        • They should continue to wear a well-fitting mask at all times around other people through at least day 10.
      2. Persons who have symptoms. Persons who have COVID-19 symptomatic shall immediately isolate themselves in their home or another suitable place for 5 days from the date of their symptom onset. They may end isolation IF:
        • A diagnostic specimen collected as early as the onset of their symptoms or later tests negative.
          • An antigen test, nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), or LAMP test are acceptable, however, if it is recommended that persons use an antigen test for ending isolation. Use of Over-the-Counter tests are also acceptable to end isolation.
        • If fever is present, isolation shall continue until fever resolves without the use of fever-reducing medications.
        • If symptoms other than fever are not resolving, isolation shall continue (i) until symptoms are resolving or (ii) for 10 days regardless of whether symptoms are resolving or not.
        • If unable to test, choose not to test, or test positive by repeat testing, and symptoms are not present or not resolving, isolation shall continue through day 10 and may end after 10 days regardless of whether symptoms are present or resolving.
        • They should continue to wear a well-fitting mask at all times around other people through at least day 10.
      3. Additional Considerations for Self-Isolation.
        • 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 5 days and up to 20 days after symptoms first appeared. People with weakened immune systems should talk to their healthcare provider for more information.
    2. Exemption from Isolation
      • Health care providers who (i) work at general acute care hospitals, acute psychiatric hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities; (ii) have tested positive for COVID-19; and (iii) do not have any symptoms are not required to isolate per this Order. This exemption is effective through February 1, 2022. They shall wear an N95 respirator for source control. Facilities implementing this exemption (i) must have made every attempt to bring in additional registry or contract staff and must have considered modifications to non-essential procedures; and (ii) should preferably assign them to work with COVID-19 positive patients.
    3. Self-Quarantine of Persons Exposed to COVID-19

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

      1. Not-up-to-date personas. Persons who (i) do not have symptoms; (ii) are not-up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination; and (iii) know they have been exposed to COVID-19 shall quarantine for at least 5 days after their most recent exposure to COVID-19. Self-quarantine may end after day 5 IF:
         
        • Person has not developed any symptoms and a diagnostic specimen collected on day 5 or later tests negative.
          • Use of Over-the-Counter tests are acceptable to end quarantine.
        • If the person is unable to test or chooses not to test, s/he shall quarantine for 10 days after most recent exposure to COVID-19.
        • Additionally, the person should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around other people through at least day 10 after most recent exposure to COVID-19.
    4. Exemptions from Quarantine
      1. Asymptomatic up-to-date persons. Persons who (i) are up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccinations prior to their exposure to COVID-19; and (ii) have not developed any symptoms since their exposure to COVID-19 are not required to quarantine.
        • They should test on day 5 from date of exposure to COVID-19. If they test positive, they shall immediately self-isolate, as ordered above, and contact their healthcare provider with any questions regarding their care.
        • They should continue to wear a well-fitting mask at all times around other people through at least day 10 after their exposure to COVID-19.
      2. Asymptomatic persons previously infected. Persons who (i) are exposed to COVIV-19; (ii) test positive for COVID-19 before their new, recent exposure to COVID-19; and (iii) 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), are not required to quarantine per this Order, as long as they have not had any new symptoms since their recent exposure to COVID-19.
      3. Exposed Asymptomatic Emergency Responders and Health Care Workers. During critical staffing shortages, exposed emergency responders and health care workers who do not have any symptoms are not required to quarantine. They should wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for at least 10 days after their most recent exposure to COVID-19 and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.
      4. Non-health care provider and non-emergency workers. All non-health care provider and non-emergency responder workers (i) who are fully vaccinated and eligible for a booster shot but have not yet obtained their booster shot; and (ii) who do not have symptoms are not required to quarantine per this Order if:
        • A diagnostic specimen collected on day 5 or later tests negative (use of Over-the-Counter tests are acceptable); and
        • The worker wears a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days from date of last exposure to COVID-19; and
        • The worker does not develop any symptoms.
      5. Quarantine of Students in both Private and Public Transitional Kindergarten through Grade 12. Schools/school districts may choose from between the following two models for students who are exposed to COVID-19:

        Option 1. Individual Management – Students in both private and public transitional kindergarten through grade 12 shall follow the isolation and self-quarantine orders above with the following Modified Quarantine exemption:
        Modified Quarantine. If a not-up-to-date student is exposed to COVID-19 and both were wearing mask then the exposed student may continue to attend school for in-person instruction during the duration of his or her quarantine period if the following conditions are met:
        • The exposed student does not develop any symptoms; AND
        • The exposed student continues to appropriately wear well-fitting mask; AND
        • The exposed student undergoes testing for COVID-19 at least twice during the 5 days quarantine period (use of Over-the-Counter tests are acceptable); 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. 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.
        • If the exposed student is unable to test or chooses not to test, s/he shall quarantine for 10 days after most recent exposure to COVID-19.
        Option 2. Group Tracing Approach – For this option, schools will notify groups of students. Groups of students mean those students who spent more than 15 minutes (over a 24-hour period) in the same indoor airspace (e.g., classroom) with someone who has COVID-19, regardless of their vaccination status or previous COVID-19 disease. Notification would be to groups of exposed students (e.g., classmates, teammates, cohorts) rather than the individual students identified in Option 1 (Individual Management), above. The notification will provide the following information:
        • Exposure to COVID-19;
        • Last known date of exposure to COVID-19;
        • The option to continue to attend school so long as they are free of any symptoms (those who develop symptoms shall isolate per the isolation order, above);
        • Recommendation to undergo testing 3 to 5 days after most recent exposure to COVID-19;
        • Shall wear a well-fitting mask;
        • If unable to wear a mask due to a documented exemption the student must quarantine at home until the student has obtained a negative result for the test administered on day 3 to 5 after most recent exposure to COVID-19.
        • Students so notified who participate in activities where it is not practicable to participate with a mask on will refrain from that activity until negative results is obtained from the test administered on day 3 to -5 after most recent last exposure to COVID-19.  If they are participating in routine testing program, at least once per week they may continue with all activities, so long as they remain asymptomatic and test negative.
        In the event of wide-scale and or repeated exposures, broader (grade-wide or campus-wide) once weekly testing for COVID-19 may be chosen in lieu of group notification until such time as exposure events become less frequent.
    5. Definitions

      The following definitions shall govern the meaning of terms in the isolation and quarantine orders, above.

      1. Symptom(s). Whenever the term “symptom” is used, it shall mean COVID-19 symptom.  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.

      2. Up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination. Persons 12 years and older are considered up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccination if they have completed a primary series of COVID-19 vaccine and have either received a booster shot or are not yet recommended to receive a booster dose according to current CDC guidance.  Those less than 12 years of age are considered up-to-date with their COVID-19 Vaccinations if they have completed their primary series according to CDC guidance:
        CDC COVID-19 Primary Vaccine Series Guidance
        CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shot Guidance
      3. Not-up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination. All persons who do not meet the criteria under up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination, as defined above, are considered not-up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccination.
      4. Exposed to COVID-19 or exposure to COVID-19. These terms mean to be within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
      5. Emergency responder. This term includes 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.
      6. Health care provider. This term includes 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.
  2. Face-Covering Order:
    • 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 December 15, 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 all indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status from December 15, 2021, through February 15, 2022. Full guidance can be found at: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Get-the-Most-out-of-Masking.aspx.

      In workplaces, employers are subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) or in some workplaces the Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) Standard and should consult those regulations for additional applicable requirements.

      See State Health Officer Order, issued on July 26, 2021 (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), for a full list of high-risk congregate and other healthcare settings where surgical masks are required for unvaccinated workers, and recommendations for respirator use for unvaccinated workers in healthcare and long-term care facilities in situations or settings not covered by Cal OSHA ETS or ATD.

      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.

      The County Health Officer strongly recommends that all mask wearers consistently and correctly wear a mask that offers good filtration to get the best protection. To improve efficacy, the mask should fit to minimize gaps between the face and mask. The mask should also fully cover the nose and mouth. If wearing a fabric face covering, three layers should be worn to offer better filtration.

      The County Health Officer also strongly recommends wearing a face shield for members of the public who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical condition or other exemption (except for children younger than 2 years old), 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 COVID-19 vaccination and booster dose requirements as set forth in the December 22, 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

      Facilities covered by this order include:

      • 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

      The word, "worker," as used in this Order shall have the same meaning as defined in the State Health Officer’s Order, dated December 22, 2021. See https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Order-of-the-State-Public-Health-Officer-Health-Care-Worker-Vaccine-Requirement.aspx
       

    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

      Facilities covered by this order include:

      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 December 22, 2021, shall comply with the State Health Officer’s Order with regards to obtaining COVID-19 vaccination and booster doses. 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-Health-Care-Worker-Vaccine-Requirement.aspx

    5. Adult Care Facilities and Direct Care Worker Vaccination Requirements.

      To help prevent transmission of COVID-19, all individuals specified below shall comply with the COVID-19 vaccination and booster does requirements as set forth in the December 22, 2021, State Health Officer Order. A copy of the State Health Officer Order is attached herein as Attachment "F" 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-Adult-Care-Facilities-and-Direct-Care-Worker-Vaccine-Requirement.aspx

      Individuals covered by this order include:

      • All workers who provide services or work in Adult and Senior Care Facilities licensed by the California Department of Social Services;
      • All in-home direct care services workers, including registered home care aides and certified home health aides, except for those workers who only provide services to a recipient with whom they live or who are a family member of the recipient for whom they provide services;
      • All waiver personal care services (WPCS) providers, as defined by the California Department of Health Care Services, and in-home supportive services (IHSS) providers, as defined by the California Department of Social Services, except for those workers who only provide services to a recipient with whom they live or who are a family member of the recipient for whom they provide services;
      • All hospice workers who are providing services in the home or in a licensed facility; and
      • All regional center employees, as well as service provider workers, who provide services to a consumer through the network of Regional Centers serving individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities, except for those workers who only provide services to a recipient with whom they live or who are a family member of the recipient for whom they provide services.
       
  4. Visiting Acute Health Care and Long-Term Care Setting Order:

    Requirements for Visiting Acute Health Care and Long-Term Care Settings.

    To help prevent transmission of COVID-19, all acute health care and long-term care settings shall comply with the indoor visitation requirements set forth in the State Health Officer, effective January 7, 2022 through February 7, 2022. A copy of the State Health Officer Order is attached herein as Attachment "G" 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-Requirements-for-Visitors-in-Acute-Health-Care-and-Long-Term-Care-Settings.aspx

  5. Seasonal Flu Vaccination Order:

    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 Populations. 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, including boosters, 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 January 14, 2022, the County has reported a total of 430,675 recorded confirmed COVID-19 cases and 5,921 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 December 15, 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: January 14, 2022

Order Bottom

Clayton Chau MD, PhD
County Health Officer
County of Orange