It has been a long 19 months with many obstacles along the way, but you have faced every challenge head-on. This last wave of COVID-19 Delta variant cases that began in late June made for an extremely challenging time for everyone. As the spread of COVID-19 was getting deadlier, I signed an Executive Order declaring a state of local emergency on July 28th—nearly three months ago to the day.
Thankfully, due to the high number of vaccinated Orange County residents, the wearing of masks and other safety measures—our numbers have plummeted. In fact, the 14-day positivity rate is currently 3.51%—making the rate at 5% or below for 17 days—since October 11th.
Due to the low positivity rate, I am pleased to announce that I allowed the Executive Order to expire at 3:04 p.m. today. We will no longer be under a State of Local Emergency. Effective today, I am suspending all required weekly COVID-19 testing for employees who are not fully vaccinated.
While this is good news, if things start to turn in the wrong direction and the numbers start to increase, I reserve the right to put the Executive Order back in place and reinstate employee testing to make sure we do everything possible to slow the spread. I hope that will never be the case.
As a precautionary measure, employees will continue wearing masks inside Orange County facilities in accordance with the County’s Safety Manual
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the pandemic seriously by getting vaccinated, wearing masks and following other safety protocols.