Yesterday, the Orange County Board of Supervisors declared a local emergency and County Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick declared a local health emergency as part of broader preparedness efforts related to novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. These actions will help ensure that the County of Orange’s ability to respond to a potential outbreak, should one occur, will remain flexible and can evolve as this rapidly changing situation does.
As a County employee, it’s important that you also understand what these actions do not mean. They do not mean that we have a COVID-19 outbreak at this time. To date, Orange County has one confirmed case, a man in his 50s who has recovered. Again, these declarations serve to ensure that our resource, staffing and communication needs continue to be met in order to best protect and promote the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors.
It’s also crucial for you to know where to turn for factual, reliable information and resources. The OC Health Care Agency (HCA) should be your first stop for information. County employees are encouraged to visit www.ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus, follow the HCA on social media (Twitter: @ochealth and Facebook: @ochealthinfo), or to call their Health Referral Line with general questions from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1 (800) 564-8448.
Any employee requests for medical accommodations related to a diagnosed case of COVID-19, should that become necessary, will need be directed to the County’s Employee Health Services team at (714) 565-3782. Know that Employee Health will coordinate any requests with HCA’s Public Health Services staff as well as Human Resource Services on an as needed basis. For general questions related to work schedule accommodations unrelated to a diagnosed case of COVID-19, supervisors and managers should consult with Human Resource Services.
So what else can you do as County employees? Educating yourselves and your loved ones can help create greater awareness and help reduce the likelihood of infection by practicing behaviors to minimize all respiratory illnesses. These steps include:
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects
- Wash your hands frequently
We will continue to keep you all apprised of future actions by the Orange County Board of Supervisors and the HCA regarding COVID-19.
Chairwoman Michelle Steel
Board of Supervisors
County Executive Officer