Orange County has moved to the Medium COVID-19 Community Level according to the latest Community Level metrics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the OC Health Care Agency (HCA) announced today. Due to a surge in respiratory viruses and the onset of the flu season, the HCA reminds all residents that it is critical to get the updated COVID-19 booster as well as a seasonal flu shot as soon as possible.
The CDC determines COVID-19 Community Levels based on the number of local COVID-19 cases, COVID-19 hospital admissions, and COVID-19 hospital inpatient occupancy in the prior week. In the past week, the rise of new COVID-19 hospital admissions transitioned Orange County from low to medium COVID-19 community levels. The CDC provides the COVID-19 Community Levels at this stage of the pandemic as a public health tool to inform communities and individuals of when preventive measures are recommended to safeguard those at increased risk and to preserve the health care capacity. To learn more visit: CDC.
“The worsening COVID-19 Community Level indicates a higher risk for more individuals to catch COVID-19 this winter,” said Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, County Health Officer. “In order to reduce the potential for increased hospitalizations, the community is encouraged to take extra precautions to protect those at higher risks. This includes getting vaccinated and masking up when indoors.”
In addition to COVID-19, both Orange County and the United States are seeing sharp increases in flu cases, well beyond the numbers at this point in previous years. Young children and older adults are both at higher risk of severe outcomes like hospitalization and death from influenza and should be vaccinated to reduce the risk of such outcomes.
The HCA recommends residents take preventative actions to minimize risk of severe illness. Recommended ‘Individual Prevention Behaviors’ and ‘Community-level Public Health Prevention Strategies’ based on LOW and MEDIUM COVID-19 community level per the CDC are as follows.