Over 100,000 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases have been identified worldwide. Over 100 countries have reported cases, and multiple jurisdictions in the United States have reported local spread. Local spread of COVID-19 has not been identified in Orange County thus far, but it is likely to occur in the coming weeks.
An outbreak in a Seattle-area skilled nursing facility (SNF) has caused illness in both staff and residents, and at least 19 deaths have been reported related to that event thus far. It is imperative that any case in a long term care facility or assisted living facilitybe identified quickly so that appropriate preventive measures can be taken to prevent further facility spread.
Facilities in Orange County should immediately report any clusters of respiratory illness that do not have an identified pathogen to OCHCA. OCHCA’s public health laboratory can perform COVID-19 clinical testing for patients, and OCHCA will facilitate rapid testing of any ill residents for COVID-19, influenza, and any other respiratory pathogens as appropriate.