Orange County Updates Order on Face Coverings as COVID-19 Cases Increase


With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Orange County surpassing 1,000 and more than 17 deaths, the County of Orange Health Officer, Dr. Nichole Quick issued a recommendation Thursday that employees at essential businesses begin wearing a face covering while at work and that residents should do the same when they go out in public.

“Residents can make their own face coverings at home from a variety of materials and should refrain from purchasing personal protective equipment that is critical and in short supply for our healthcare workers, such as N95 and surgical masks,” said Dr. Quick.

The face coverings should cover the a person's nose and mouth, and can be made from a variety of materials. Homemade masks are recommended so people do not purchase personal protective equipment that is in short supply for first responders.

“Face coverings are an additional tool that may help protect staff and patrons from COVID-19, but they are not a substitute for proven protective measures like frequent hand washing, keeping your hands away from your face, practicing social distancing and staying home,” said Dr. Quick. 

On Wednesday, the Orange County Health Agency reported the number of hospitalized patients dropping from 129 on Tuesday to 99 Wednesday, with the number of patients in intensive care also decreasing from 75 to 59.

Of the county's 1,016 cases, 12, or nearly 1%, involve people under 18 years old; 9%, or 88, are between 18-24; 16%, or 164, are between 25-34; 15%, or 148, are between 35-44; 40%, or 408, are between 45-64, and 19%, or 196, are 65 or older. Men make up 52% of the county's cases.

Officials say 11,791 people have been tested for COVID-19 in the county, with another 1,637 tests available.

Anaheim has reported the most number of coronavirus cases with 104, followed by Irvine with 89, and Newport Beach with 78. Other cities, such as Huntington Beach, have seen a sharp rise in the number of cases over the last few days, with the city reporting 73.

The face covering recommendation by Dr. Quick would require an order from the county supervisors to become mandatory and enforceable by the county. On Tuesday, Supervisor Andrew Do introduced a motion that would require clerks working in the food industry to wear face coverings, but it failed after no other supervisor seconded the motion.


According to the release from the county's health department, the recommendation is in line with guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health on April 1, and is intended to curb the spread of COVID-19.

According to Sheriff Don Barnes, another four more inmates in Orange County's jails have COVID-19, increasing the total to 10, nine men and one woman after test results were returned on Monday

At least 19 inmates have been placed in “medical isolation,” meaning they are showing symptoms of coronavirus, Barnes said. Another 159 inmates are in quarantine, meaning they have had contact with someone with the virus.

Sheriff's officials have implemented a full quarantine in the men's and women's jails.

Photo: Getty Images

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