Last weekend County Health Officer Nichole Quick issued new guidelines for Orange County. 16 reasons were listed for understanding the need for increased safety measures citing a strong likelihood of a large and increasing number of cases of community transmission, a lack of a vaccine and CDC guidelines for Covid-19.
New health orders
Nichole Quick’s orders focus on self-quarantine for exposed and positive Covid-19 patients. Self-quarantine for exposure does not apply to health professionals or law enforcement.
Who is considered for self-quarantine
All persons diagnosed with Covid-19 or showing symptoms must self isolate until three days after recovery and ten days from the appearance of symptoms or from their positive PCR result date.
Patients are considered to be diagnosed or likely to be infected when a positive PCR test is returned, Covid-19 symptoms are shown or a physician has informed the patient that they are likely to have Covid-19. Individuals in these positions may not leave their homes except for necessary medical care.
Residents who have been exposed to Covid-19 are required to self isolate for 14 days from the date of possible exposure. Patients under this risk may leave their homes for food, medical care and services for basic subsistence.
At-risk persons are classified by exposure within six feet to positive patients for 15 minutes or more.
Who is considered infectious
Self-quarantine for exposed patients applies to persons that have been around an infectious Covid-19 patient.
Covid-19 patients are considered infectious 48 hours before symptoms appeared through the end of a 14-day self-quarantine.
Face coverings have now been made mandatory in Orange County for all persons in public, a shopping atmosphere, at work and when 6-feet of distance is not able to be maintained from those not in your home.
Face coverings may be made out of household items, clothing, fabric, bandanas, scarves, medical masks, general masks, hand made masks, and towels.
Face coverings are not mandatory for children under two-years-old, people with breathing problems, those who cannot remove coverings without assistance and persons with a mental or medical health condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering.
Business health orders
All businesses permitted to open in Stage 2 must display a checklist of industry specific guidelines that they are meeting for health and safety.
The checklist must be posted in a visible location at the entrance of the business. The posting must also have validation from the business owner that they are abiding by the following rules:
New strong recommendations
Recommendations under Nichole Quick’s health order include social distancing, enforcing Governor Newsom’s ‘stay at home’ order for people over 65 and those with underlying medical conditions and avoiding groups.
Social distancing is to be enforced any time residents are around people not in their household and while out in public.
Seniors and residents that have pre-existing medical conditions are asked to stay at home consistent with California Department of Public Health’s guidance.
All residents in Orange County are asked to avoid large gatherings, stay away from crowds, not form groups and practice increased hygiene. High touch areas need to be disinfected regularly, such as door knobs, tables, chairs, light switches, countertops, handles, keyboards, phones and restrooms.
What does this mean for first responders?
The orders and recommendations issued by Nichole Quick do not interfere with first responders job duties.
Quarantine zones and isolation sites will still be accessible by first responders and city services.