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Parks And Golf Courses Partially Reopen in Costa Mesa, California For Recreational Activities

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Late Tuesday, city council members voted to partially reopen some parks and golf courses for limited use with mandatory safety measures put in place. City parks will be open during regular hours for walking and biking only. They will require visitors to wear masks and maintain social distancing measures. The Tennis Center, the Bark Park, the Skate Park, and Fairview Park will remain closed.   

Parks will only be used for passive recreational activities like walking or biking. No public gatherings will be allowed, such as picnics or groups of any kind. Residents will not be permitted to stop on the grass, and restrooms and playground equipment will have a phased opening

City members have advised the opening of Fairview Park be phased out as it contains different natural habitats with over 30 unique species that will require monitoring. City staff expect to open a biking trail in the park by Friday and will provide a map online to show which sections of the park are open and those in the process of opening.

City members have also worked with golf course operators and park experts to develop rules and regulations for the first stage of limited reopening. Golf courses in city limits may also partially reopen with mandatory guidelines set in place, and courses will be walking only. Golfers can use hand carts but must bring their own clubs, tees, and equipment to play. Tee times must be paid for online and will be spaced out ten minutes apart from each other. Clubhouses, driving ranges, practice putting greens, pro shops, restaurants, bars, and bag rooms will remain closed.

Those who do not follow course guidelines will be removed from the course. To ensure social distancing measures are maintained among golfers, employees will be placed all around the courses.  

Sources: 

  1. https://voiceofoc.org/2020/05/costa-mesas-parks-and-golf-courses-partially-reopen-for-recreational-activity/
  2. http://ftp.costamesaca.gov/costamesaca/council/agenda/2020/2020-05-05/NB-3-Attach-3.pdf

Covid-19

Orange County COVID-19 cases May 18

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Several North Orange Country cities continue to serve as the hotspot as coronavirus cases continue to increase in Orange County. For new cases, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Orange, and Buena Park produced half of all new cases from last week. 

A new update on Monday, May 18, 59 new cases were reported bringing the total in Orange County to 4,434, and 461 are from senior living residents and 350 from jail inmates. There were no new deaths reported Monday and the total number of deaths within the county remains at 88. Of the total deaths, 21 were people living in skilled nursing facilities.

With 24 of 25 hospitals reporting, there were 194 people in Orange County hospitalized due to the virus with 78 patients in intensive care units. On an average 1,595 people were tested each day, a reduction from 2,715 the previous week and 2,199 from the week before. Another 166 tests for the coronavirus were given on the last day, bringing the collective testing total to 80,533 in the county of 3.2 million people. For the county to reopen, the county is expected to report 1.5 tests per 1,000 residents each day.

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Sources: 

  1. https://www.ocbj.com/news/2020/may/18/covid-19-hotspots-oc/
  2. https://www.ocregister.com/2020/05/18/coronavirus-orange-county-reported-no-new-deaths-for-may-18/

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Covid-19

Coronavirus Antibody Testing is Coming to Orange County

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Orange County officials are working with UC Irvine to study how many people have been infected with COVID-19. Researchers will examine blood samples of 5,000 people for antibodies from COVID-19 to understand how many people have contracted the disease throughout the county. 

This month, samples that represent the county population will be examined, and eight to ten drive-through sites will be set up. Pin-prick tests will also be administered to collect blood and sent to UCI for an analysis of the blood samples.

Similar tests have already begun in Los Angeles, and Santa Clara counties, and the number of infections was more significant than the number of confirmed cases. Officials conducting the Orange County examinations expect to have the same result. 

Contrary to the testing administered in Los Angeles and Santa Clara, the UCI study is intended to be more extensive and rigorous by testing more individuals than the other two studies. Researchers will go to the homes of those who cannot go to the drive-through sites and try to reach under-served communities. These efforts will help to have better estimates of disease prevalence by age and race/ethnicity. To observe how subjects’ immune responses change, researchers will follow some subjects over time. 

The director and founding dean for UCI’s Program in Public Health Bernadette Boden-Albala is leading the effort with Tim-Allen Bruckner, an associate professor. The study costs about 1.5 million, the proposal says, and is the largest of three surveillance studies currently in the works at UCI. 

The LRW Group, who led the sample for Los Angeles study, has email, mobile, and land-line information for more than 800,000 adults in Orange County. The LRW Group will be charged with pulling together the sample of 5,000 people that represents the Orange County population. 

Researchers are in the process of finalizing, which finger-prick test to use, and hope to begin testing in the next couple of weeks. After data is collected, the results will be analyzed and aim to be ready for publication by fall. The study will consist of about 200 participants who have tested positive to COVID-19 or for antibodies. The participants will have blood drawn every two weeks over four months

This surveillance study will be sent to the County Board of Supervisors to inform how long to continue restrictive public health measures, identify who is at high risk for the disease, and understand the persistence of the duration of immunological responses

Sources:

  1. https://www.ocregister.com/2020/05/14/rigorous-coronavirus-antibody-testing-coming-to-o-c/
  2. https://wordofhealth.com/2020/05/11/cedars-sinai-expert-weighs-in-on-uncertainty-over-coronavirus-antibodies/

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Covid-19

UC Irvine receives $2.5 million donation for COVID-19, Treatment, and Research

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Fountain Valley-based philanthropic foundation donated $2.5 million to UC Irvine to help “save lives,  accelerate testing and advance vaccine development” for COVID-19, university officials stated. The donation from the John and Mary Tu Foundation will be divided between funding for new infectious disease research and helping pay for treatment, testing, and medical supplies, and services related to COVID-19, according to a news release from UCI on May 11. 

Approximately half of the donation will be used by the UCI Health to support drive-up coronavirus test sites in Irvine and Orange as well as increase staffing. The contribution will also help purchase equipment for COVID-19 patients at UCI Medical Center, expand telemedicine services, and help prepare the hospital for a possible surge in COVID-19 patients. 

UCI Health CEO Chad T. Lefteris stated in the release that UCI Health is well-positioned to tackle the challenges of COVID-19 poses to the county, state, nation, and global community. He also stated the donation from Tus’ is already having a positive impact on the public health of the community. The other half of the donation will help fund research projects to help to identify which patients are at high risk of experiencing complications from COVID-19 and other studies. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, deans in UCI’s scientific schools and fields of study agreed to fund research projects. John Tu pledged to match what they were able to receive, Dr. Michael J. Stamos, dean of UCI’s School of Medicine, stated. There is one project that has been funded that uses artificial intelligence to suggest which tests are needed for patients. This technology will help determine a patient’s risk of COVID-19 complications when admitted into the emergency room. UCI is already using it and has shared the technology with the UC system, Stamos stated.

Sources: 

  1. https://www.ocregister.com/2020/05/11/uc-irvine-receives-2-5-million-donation-for-coronavirus-testing-treatment-and-research/

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