Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Novel Coronavirus - COVID-19 - What You Should Know

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  • Orange County has one confirmed case of novel coronavirus, who has fully recovered
  • There have been no cases associated with person to person transmission in Orange County identified at this time
  • Risk of infection to public in Orange County is believed to be low
  • At this time, there is no recommendation to cancel business or social events
  • All residents should practice good health hygiene which includes washing your hands, staying home if you are sick, avoiding close contact with people who are sick and covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve (not hands). 

There is an outbreak of pneumonia in China, which has been identified to be caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (or COVID-19). There are ongoing investigations by many countries to learn more about the outbreak, and the situation is rapidly evolving. On Friday, January 31, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared COVID-19 a public health emergency in the United States. The declaration went into effect at 2 p.m. PST on Sunday, February, 2, 2020.

As part of the emergency declaration, persons returning to the United States through select airports and considered to be at highest risk are being quarantined and monitored by public health officials. Locally, it's important to note that John Wayne Airport is not among this predetermined list of airports. All other returning travelers from China will face a health screening and face up to two weeks of monitored self-quarantine to ensure they pose no health risk. At this time, Orange County, CA continues to have only one confirmed case of COVID-19 a man in his 50s who has recovered. There have been no cases associated with person to person transmission in Orange County identified at this time. There is no evidence of person to person transmission occurring here. The risk to the public in Orange County, CA and throughout the United States remains low.

The OC Health Care Agency (HCA) is working with federal, state, and local partners including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and health care providers to prepare and appropriately care for people who may be at risk for illness associated with COVID-19 or who have tested positive for COVID-19. This is a rapidly changing situation, and we will share more as we are updated from our colleagues at the state and/or federal level.

Some key points include:

  • CDC guidance indicates that people who have casual contact with a case (in the same grocery store or movie theater) are at minimal risk of developing infection.
  • If you have not been to China, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Italy or been in close contact with someone who has been to one of these countries and is sick, your risk is very low.
  • If you have been to China, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Italy and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, within 14 days after you left one of these countries, you should:
      • Seek medical care. Before you go to a doctor's office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
      • Avoid contact with others.
      • Not travel while sick.
      • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.

The OC Health Care Agency will join other California counties that have had a local, positive case of novel coronavirus — or COVID-19 — in increasing our local surveillance. As part of this surveillance, Orange County residents who present to some hospitals here with flu symptoms and are tested for influenza may also be tested for novel coronavirus, if they give consent. This will help the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gather more data about potential spread of this new virus and better inform their response.


For the most updated information on this outbreak please visit CDC COVID-19, the link can also be found under links to Additional Resources below.

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Healthcare Professionals

If you are a healthcare provider and have questions or concerns, please call the Orange County Health Care Agency, Communicable Disease Control Division at 714-834-8180. Please see additional resources for providers below.

COVID-19 Interim Guidance Documents

Links to Additional Resources

Page Last Updated: February 28, 2020