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Coronavirus Cases, Hospitalizations Decline in OC

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The average case rate in Orange County has declined about 54% in the past two weeks to four cases per 100,000 residents on Apr. 6, according to the New York Times.

The Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) also reported the lowest number of COVID hospitalizations seen since last summer: 67 hospitalizations, including 11 ICU patients.

Federal Funding

As Congressional efforts to pass more COVID aid slow, resources remain in shorter supply for OC’s uninsured residents.

Here’s what’s still available, according to OCHCA Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong:

The California Department of Health Care Services currently offers a COVID uninsured group program that can cover testing, treatment and vaccination to residents who qualify. More information about that resource can be found here.

The HCA’s Mobile Point of Dispensing (POD) sites also offer testing and vaccines for uninsured residents. Book an appointment on the Othena portal and visit the OCHCA’s website for more information.Prior to the cutoff on Apr. 5, providers, clinics and pharmacies were offering testing and vaccination to everyone free of charge.

“More federal relief is needed and welcomed to ensure the most vulnerable in our community have continued access to testing, treatment and vaccination,” Chinsio-Kwong told the Business Journal in an email.

Second Booster

Pharmacies and clinics throughout the county can administer second booster shots for eligible individuals — which include certain immunocompromised individuals, people age 50 and over and adult recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — at least four months after their first booster.

During the recent Omicron surge, booster recipients were 21 times less likely to die and 7 times less likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19 compared to those who were unvaccinated, the CDC reports.

Qualified residents can schedule their second booster dose online or in person at local pharmacies and clinics that carry the vaccine.

Audrey Kemp
Audrey Kemp
Audrey Kemp is a staff reporter and occasional photojournalist for the Orange County Business Journal. Her beats include — but are not limited to — healthcare, startups, and education. While pursuing her bachelors in literary journalism at UC Irvine, she interned for New York-based magazine Narratively Inc., wrote for Costa Mesa-based lifestyle magazine Locale, and covered the underground music scene for two SoCal-based music publications. She is an unwavering defendant of the emdash and the Oxford comma.

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