The number of coronavirus cases in Orange County has risen to 17, and Supervisor Andrew Do said Monday that discussions are underway among private healthcare providers regarding drive-thru test sites.
So far, 12 men and five women have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.
Seven are in the 18- to 49-year-old age group, six are 50 to 64 and four are 65 or older.
Eleven contracted the virus through travel, three through person-to-person spreading, and three fall in the “community acquired” category, according to the health agency.
Of the community-acquired patients, two are men and one is a woman. Two are 50 to 64 and one is older than 65.
The agency has tested 160 people and has kits available to test 1,098 people.
Do said some private healthcare providers are discussing establishing drive-through test sites, where specimens could be collected and then sent out to a laboratory for testing. Patients would be referred to those sites by their physicians if they show symptoms of the virus, he said.
“This effort is being explored by private-sector providers in conjunction with private labs that conduct testing,” Do said. “Private labs acquire their own test kits and results are not immediate.”
It could take few hours to a couple of days for results to be obtained, Do said.
“We do not know how many tests will be collected at each location or what criteria these private providers will use to determine who gets tested,” he said. “As information becomes available, we will inform the public as quickly as possible.”
Do recommended anyone who thinks they may have contracted the virus to call their doctor first and take direction from them. Authorities are discouraging calls to 911 unless it is an emergency.
The general public is encouraged to call the county’s hotline from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. any day of the week at 800-564-8448, and can check the county’s site for COVID-19 at ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus.
Do emphasized that the county does not have any control over how some agencies such as CalOptima, the insurance provider for the county’s indigent, or private healthcare companies respond to the coronavirus outbreak.
Orange County supervisors will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday to get an update on what local authorities are doing to stem the tide or the virus.
All of the county’s schools have closed down until at least the end of the month, and Orange County Superior Court officials have moved to cut down on the number of cases handled during the outbreak.
Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen announced Monday morning that he is closing his department’s offices, which provide services including passports and marriages, to the public starting Tuesday to help combat the spread of coronavirus.
The Clerk-Recorder’s offices will continue some services electronically or through the U.S. mail, and details on how to do that are on the department’s website at ocrecorder.com.
“We are committed to upholding the highest of standards in service and safety to our customers and employees, especially during this difficult time,” Nguyen said. “We will remain operational and continue to provide service to the public online or by mail.”
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