ORANGE COUNTY TO PRIORITIZE TESTING FOR FIRST RESPONDERS

Thursday, July 30, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, July 30, 2020
 

ORANGE COUNTY TO PRIORITIZE TESTING
FOR FIRST RESPONDERS

Irvine – Following Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris’s July 22nd letter requesting the Orange County Board of Supervisors and Orange County Health Agency refocus testing priorities for first responders, today, the OC Heath Agency announced expedited for testing for the people on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Anaheim Convention Center, Orange County’s Testing Super Site, can serve more than 1,000 people daily. This appointment-based drive-thru site, and future sites, will now allow first responders expedited access. Accelerated test results enable quick identification of cases, quick treatment for those people and immediate isolation to prevent spread. Early testing also helps to identify anyone who came into contact with infected people so they too can be quickly treated.

“As I have engaged with the first responders in my district, I have heard growing concerns from many departments and individuals who have had to wait a week or longer to receive test results,” commented Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach). “Firefighters, police officers and paramedics face danger every day to keep all of us safe. It’s imperative we provide them with the tools and resources to protect themselves and others, especially as they help us navigate this pandemic and provide urgent care to our community members.  I appreciate Dr. Clayton Chau for recognizing the urgent need for expedited test results for first responders. I will continue to work with the OC Health Agency to ensure that viral and antibody tests are widely available.”

Orange County Update (As of July 29, 2020)
- Total positive cases (includes deaths): 34,833
- Total fatalities: 581
- Cumulative tests reported: 399,424
- Hospitalizations currently: 640
- ICU cases currently: 203

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has the following guidance on testing:

Two kinds of tests are available for COVID-19: viral tests and antibody tests.
• A viral test tells you if you have a current infection.
• An antibody test might tell you if you had a past infection. An antibody test might not show if you have a current infection because it can take 1–3 weeks after infection for your body to make antibodies.
• If you test positive for COVID-19 by a viral test, know what protective steps to take if you are sick or caring for someone.
• If you test negative for COVID-19 by a viral test, you probably were not infected at the time your sample was collected. However, that does not mean you will not get sick. The test result only means that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing. You might test negative if the sample was collected early in your infection and test positive later during your illness. You could also be exposed to COVID-19 after the test and get infected then.

Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris’s original letter to the OC Board is viewable here. 

###