State Updates New COVID Guidelines

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Advice on indoor masking, testing for mega-events and testing for travel

In response to the increase in cases and hospitalizations statewide due to COVID-19 and to slow the spread of the Delta and Omicron variants, the California Department of Public Health has released the following updated guidelines:

• Universal interior masking. Masks must be worn in all indoor public places, regardless of vaccination status, between December 15, 2021 and January 15, 2022.

• Tests for mega-events. People attending Mega Events (indoor crowds of 1,000 or more, or outdoor crowds of 10,000 or more) must provide proof of vaccination, negative antigen testing within one day of the event, or negative PCR testing in the two days before entering the event, facility or place.

• Recommendations for travelers. All travelers arriving and returning to California from other states or countries are recommended to be tested for COVID-19 three to five days after arrival, regardless of their immunization status.

The indoor masking requirement went into effect on December 15, 2021, and the state will make further recommendations after January 15.

Dr Clayton Chau, director of the HCA and county health official, said: “As expected, we are starting to see an increase in cases, not only here in Orange County, but across the state and the country, due to the increase in holiday gatherings and travel. We support the latest state measures designed to provide additional protection for all of us and our loved ones. As I mentioned earlier, we have all the tools available to tackle the spread of COVID-19 and its variants through vaccination, testing and prevention measures, including masking. “

Between December 8 and 13, the average seven-day COVID-19 case rate fell from 7.7 to 9.9 per 100,000 people, and the average daily number of COVID-19 cases rose from 250 to 322. There was a slight decrease in the positivity rate. from 3.4 to 3.2 percent and hospitalizations from 196 to 194, while intensive care admissions increased slightly from 59 to 63 per day.

Eligibility for booster doses of Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine is now extended to people aged 16 and 17 who can receive a Pfizer booster dose six months after completing their primary vaccination series.

Residents who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or who are eligible for their booster dose are encouraged to access the most convenient option available to be vaccinated. For more information on where to go for a vaccine, visit www.COVIDVaccineFacts.com and click on “Find a COVID-19 vaccine”.

Home self-collection COVID-19 test kits are being distributed to travelers at John Wayne Airport in Terminals A and C and are available free of charge by visiting ochealthinfo.com/covidtest.

For more information on COVID-19 and resources, including the number of cases, vaccination and testing in Orange County, visit ochealthinfo.com/covid.

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