Positively returning test stocks have plummeted and free COVID-19 swabs and other resources are increasingly deployed.
Signs of hope for Orange County’s worst-hit communities come as Orange County businesses begin to reopen under a better red-tier condition and some school districts elsewhere plan to get students back to classrooms by the end of the month Let’s make.
As the epidemic wore on, it became clear to county health officials that uniform, countywide testing and resources would not work against outbreaks in some zip codes.
So the Latino neighborhood at large was targeted with health and financial information in Spanish and other languages about available resources, which now range from free masks and tests to free hotel rooms when people are quarantined elsewhere Is required to do.
Months ago, government agencies and the nonprofit Latino Health Access brought together a joint front called the Latino Health Equity Initiative, which has been successful in reforming 10 troubled zip codes around Santa Ana and Western Anaheim , Orange County Health Dr. Claire Chow, director of said care agency and county health officer.
“I am happy to state that we are seeing a drop in positivity rates in those zip codes – in those hot spots,” Chaudhary said during a news conference on Thursday.
Test positivity is the rate at which tests are coming positive for the virus.
“Some of the drop is very dramatic,” he said, as neighborhood-level rates of over 19% – meaning nearly one-in-five swabs were coming back COVID-19 positive – to under 10% for.
Orange County had a positivity rate of 4.2% throughout this week.
In large cities with diverse needs, it is important for health officials to be granular with their strategies.
Data from the Health Care Agency showed a central Anahi zip code area of 92805, including the city, had an 11.4% test positivity this week.
This is twice the positivity rate of nearby 92807, which includes the more affluent parts of the Anaheim Hills, where it is probably easier for residents to work from home and distinguish themselves from household members with COVID-19.
An ethnic disparity in the effects of the epidemic has also become apparent.
Latino and Hispanic people make up 35% of Orange County’s population and 46% of COVID-19 cases and 44% of deaths, while non-Hispanic whites and Asians account for fewer deaths than cases and their population shares. Are according to For health care agency data.
The virus’s hot spot seen in some neighborhoods consists of school officials in both communities, who take an approach to planning an infection from distance education to full-fledged learning. In Orange County, districts are being counted on September 22, when it is expected to introduce broader restrictions on in-person learning in the coming weeks, and to resume several settings in the weeks that follow.
Anaheim Union High School District Superintendent Michael Matsuda recently said that we need to see some higher trends in our community. “It is still dangerously high. I believe in reopening, but we have to be responsible. ”
The leaders of the Santa Ana district also have not set any time for reopening.
On Wednesday, a fleet of city vehicles, which make up Santa Ana’s new CARES Mobile Resource Center, rolled into Madison Park with an arsenal of resources for residents to fight the epidemic in their neighborhood.
The zip code area around the park, 92707, has a positive test rate of 11.3%.
Residents lined up for free masks, hand sanitizers and swab tests, as well as helping to apply for rental assistance and other city initiatives. Spanish and Vietnamese speaking staff were on hand.
Daisy Peres, senior management assistant and a CARES organizer in Santa Ana, said the first obstacle for many people in need of help.
“Half the population () has no access to the car, so we want to live near or in the vicinity of our residents,” said Perez.
But as the epidemic spreads, resources and offerings must adapt. Santa Ana officials have learned that residents of the entire city, including under-affected zip codes, need assistance.
“So we’ve decided to expand,” Perez said, to reach people who want to test and use the city’s services, but hang out at home with school-aged children , Trying to help them navigate distance education.
“They just haven’t come out and are not able to use these resources because they are focusing on their children’s education,” Perez said.
Now, the city is offering free tests to every resident, not just those who are symptomatic. Perez said he hoped the new campaign would attract the attention of some smaller resources, such as a proposal for city residents to stay in hotels for two weeks. So that they can separate family members from COVID-19.
Perez said that only three families have taken the city to that offer. “We want our residents to know that it is available for free.”The health care agency’s overall strategy to pay particular attention to the troubled zip code has not been changed, Chau said, but a new state health department measure of health equity that is expected to be introduced within a week of such disparities May push against anew.
During a news conference on Tuesday, California Health and Human Services Secretary Drs. Mark Gali said the comparison of test positivity between high and low-income communities within counties could be compared to new metrics that counties would have to meet in addition to case rates and testing. Positivity targets for progress to lower restrictive levels in the state’s new epidemic tracking system.
Chow said the health care agency is working on its new health equity initiative and indicated that it could also be introduced early next week.