Current COVID-19 Articles
- - Seniors can Obtain COVID-19 Vaccine by Appointment Only Through County’s App
- - Deadline Extended to Apply for State’s Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program
- - Some Library Services altered due to new COVID-19 restrictions
- - County Deploying Mobile Field Hospitals to Help Ease COVID-19 Burden on Local Health Care System
- - Mission Viejo City Council approves $1,000,000 COVID-19 Business Relief Grant Program
- - State Rolls Out New COVID-19 Exposure Notification System
- - County Preparing for COVID-19 Vaccine While Expanding At-Home Test Kits
- - Wellness Checks Call Program Continues for Seniors, People with Disabilities
- - The new State of the City video is Mission Viejo Strong
- - New Stay-At-Home Order Providing Minimal Impact on City Facilities
- - Orange County Expected to Enter State’s Stay-At-Home Order
- - City Continues Robust COVID-19 Public Outreach Campaign
- - Immediate Assistance for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
Seniors can Obtain COVID-19 Vaccine by Appointment Only Through County’s App
Residents 65 and older are now eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with an appointment through the County of Orange’s vaccine and management app.
To register to be notified when the County’s app “Othena” has appointments available, visit https://othena.com/individuals.php.
According to the County, the success of its phased, tiered vaccination plan depends on everyone being patient and allowing priority groups to be vaccinated first.
“Overwhelming the appointment system will make it even more challenging to dispense the limited supply of vaccine currently available,” the County said in a press release.
As vaccine becomes more plentiful, additional appointments will become available, and eligibility will expand to other groups. To learn more about the County’s phased distribution plan, visit www.COVIDVaccineFacts.com. Information is also available by contacting the County’s COVID-19 Hotline at 714-834-2000 or via email at ETeam@ochca.com.
Deadline Extended to Apply for State’s Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program
The deadline for the first round of applications for the State of California’s Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program was extended from January 8 to January 13, 2021 at 11:59 pm.
Along with the $500 million already approved for this program, Gov. Gavin Newsom is asking lawmakers for more money to help small businesses and cultural institutions affected by the pandemic. If approved, more than a billion dollars would be given to those hit hard by COVID-19.
For more information and to apply for State grant funding today, visit https://careliefgrant.com/.
Some Library Services altered due to new COVID-19 restrictions
As a result of the rapidly rising number of COVID-19 cases in Orange County, the Mission Viejo Library is shifting back to curbside service only beginning December 26th to protect our patrons and staff. You can pick up your holds at curbside Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 pm.
For help selecting materials, you can use our Curbside Concierge service: https://cityofmissionviejo.org/curbside-concierge-request-form
If you have any questions about these changes, contact 949-830-7100, ext. 5105 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about your library account, dial extension 5101.
County Deploying Mobile Field Hospitals to Help Ease COVID-19 Burden on Local Health Care System
The OC Health Care Agency is deploying mobile field hospitals (MFHs) to local hospitals this week to support facilities overwhelmed by a surge in COVID-19 patients.
The County reported 2,173 more coronavirus cases on Tuesday with 10.4 percent of adult intensive care unit beds available in the local hospital system.
The mobile units can expand current hospital capacity by adding more beds to existing grounds. They are housed in large trailers and contain canvas tents with hard flooring and temperature-controlled units equipped with running water, toilets and showers, generators and air purifiers. The Health Care Agency has eight trailers to support at least 200 patient beds.
The units can be used to expand emergency department capacity or specialty care unit beds, mass vaccination facilities and more. Fountain Valley Regional Hospital (50 beds), St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton (25 beds) and University of California, Irvine (50 beds) have requested the MFH facilities.
The County said planning is underway with additional hospitals to encourage an equitable countywide distribution of the available mobile beds.
Mission Viejo City Council approves $1,000,000 COVID-19 Business Relief Grant Program
In an extraordinary move to help local businesses hit hard by the ongoing pandemic, the Mission Viejo City Council this week approved a $1,000,000 COVID-19 Business Relief Grant Program for qualified struggling small businesses and nonprofits located in our City.
Grants up to $25,000 are available to businesses with 25 or fewer employees (full-time equivalent). Applications will be accepted until available funds are exhausted.
Particularly during these challenging times, the City Council and City of Mission Viejo believe it's essential to support the wonderful businesses and nonprofit organizations that are the fabric of our community.
State Rolls Out New COVID-19 Exposure Notification System
California launched a voluntary smartphone tool designed to alert people if they have spent time near someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.
Announced earlier this week, the CA Notify app uses a new smartphone feature called “exposure notifications” that users opt-in to receive.
The app allows people who test positive for COVID-19 to anonymously inform people who have been in close proximity over the previous two weeks that they may have been exposed. It uses Bluetooth technology to exchange so-called anonymous keys.
Here's what to know about the mobile app.
- The tool doesn’t track people’s identities or locations but uses Bluetooth wireless signals to detect when two phones are within 6 feet of each other for at least 15 minutes, officials said.
- Residents will be able to activate the tool in their iPhone settings -- make sure you're using version 13.7 or later -- or on Android phones by downloading the CA Notify app from the Google Play store.
- The encounters are temporarily logged in a way that doesn’t reveal a person’s identity or geographic location.
- If people who have activated the technology test positive for the virus, they get a verification code from the California Department of Public Health and can use that to send an anonymous alert to other participating phone users they might have exposed over the past 14 days.
How quickly you receive the notification depends on when the other person received a positive result and how quickly he or she consented to activate notifications in CA Notify.
For more information, visit this link.
County Preparing for COVID-19 Vaccine While Expanding At-Home Test Kits
County health officials are preparing to receive 25,350 doses of Pfizer-manufactured COVID-19 vaccine on December 15. The initial supply will be sent to hospitals for high-risk health care workers as part of Phase 1a of a multi-phased plan.
This first shipment is one of several in a planned allotment of Phase 1a doses from the State health department if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves an Emergency Use Authorization for the vaccines. The additional doses, which are expected to be a combination of Pfizer and Moderna-manufactured vaccines, are slated to arrive by the end of the month if approval is granted.
For the general public, the COVID-19 vaccine is likely to become more readily accessible in spring 2021.
In other coronavirus-related news, the County’s at-home, saliva-based COVID-19 test kits are now available to all OC residents. Visit ochealthinfo.com/covidtest and register to receive a test kit shipped directly to your home at no cost. Ambry Genetics can process 4,000 tests each day with a 48-hour turnaround time for notification of results.
Wellness Checks Call Program Continues for Seniors, People with Disabilities
Mission Viejo residents can still register for our Senior Wellness Check Program to receive a call from a City staff member from the Norman Murray Community and Senior Center. The City launched this program in the spring to ensure residents, especially the most vulnerable populations, have the support they need.
The program includes a scheduled weekly or bi-weekly call to check-in on seniors and people with disabilities, provide resources, answer questions, share ideas or simply say “hello.”
City staff will make the calls Monday through Friday on the resident’s preferred day and time between 9 am and 5 pm. A relative can request the service on behalf of someone, but the participant can opt-out at any time if desired.
For more information or to register, call 949-470-3062.
The new State of the City video is Mission Viejo Strong
Summarizing the challenges of 2020 is a challenge in itself, so join Mayor Brian Goodell as he discusses important elements of the year in the State of the City video, now streaming on the City’s YouTube Channel.
The Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem and Council Members describe many of the essential services provided, difficulties encountered, and inspirations drawn from the community throughout this unique year.
The video premiered during the City Council Meeting last night and will also broadcast daily at 6 pm for the rest of the month on Mission Viejo Television, available on Cox Channel 30 and AT&T U-verse Channel 99.
New Stay-At-Home Order Providing Minimal Impact on City Facilities
With the new Stay-At-Home order in effect in Southern California, the City of Mission Viejo continues to provide services to the community while taking precautionary measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
The City’s pools are open for lap swimming, and tennis at the Tennis Pavilion; pickleball activities at the Felipe Center; and senior drive-through programs at the Norman P. Murray Center continue to operate. Fields are still available for youth sports groups for practice and skill development. Although outdoor dining at the Terrace on the Green is closed, Oso Creek Golf Course is open with the Birdie Bar providing beverage sales and grab-and-go food to golfers enjoying the City amenity.
The Mission Viejo Library continues allowing appointments at 20 percent capacity (per the order) with curbside service available to the public five days a week.
Most employees are working remotely, but the building permit counter is operating under the same COVID-19 restrictions the City has had in place for the last nine months.
The City will continue providing updates via our dedicated COVID-19 webpage as they become available. For more information on how sectors are impacted and the Regional State-At-Home Order, visit covid19.ca.gov.
Orange County Expected to Enter State’s Stay-At-Home Order
With the continued surge of coronavirus cases, Orange County will enter Governor Gavin Newsom’s three-week stay-at-home order at 11:59 pm on Sunday, December 6, resulting in the temporary closure of bars, wineries, personal services, hair salons and barber shops.
The Regional Stay-Home-Order will go into effect in regions with less than 15% ICU availability, which includes Orange County. The County has reportedly dropped to 13.1%. The order prohibits private gatherings of any size, closes sector operations except for critical infrastructure and retail and requires 100% masking and physical distancing in all others. It also includes temporarily closing indoor and outdoor playgrounds; indoor recreational facilities; museums, zoos, and aquariums; movie theaters; and family entertainment centers.
The order comes as hospitalizations throughout the state has increased by 86 percent over the last two weeks.
Sectors that will remain open include schools that have received a waiver, critical infrastructure, retail (20% capacity to reduce exposure) and restaurants for take-out, pick-up and delivery. Other sectors have modified orders, which are detailed at this link.
The City of Mission Viejo will provide a status of City facilities and how this order impacts our community early next week.
City Continues Robust COVID-19 Public Outreach Campaign
Since the start of the pandemic, the City of Mission Viejo has proactively worked to keep the public apprised of COVID-19 directives from the State and County and best practices to stay healthy and safe.
To provide the community with consistent social distancing, mask and other directives and reminders, the City printed and posted signage at all 52 parks in town; along the Lake Mission Viejo walk; and in different open space areas along Oso Creek Trail. With coronavirus recommendations for playgrounds, the City posted separate signage at all playgrounds in City parks for the benefit of families, groups and individuals.
This messaging complements the robust public outreach campaign the City launched early in the year to provide residents and businesses with up-to-date news and information via a dedicated COVID-19 webpage, eNewsletter, social media channels, press releases and MVTV television segments.
The City will continue to provide the community with essential, timely news and information to help residents and businesses find resources, information and the latest health and safety directives.
Immediate Assistance for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
The State will provide temporary tax relief for eligible businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, Governor Gavin Newsom announced on November 30. The temporary tax relief entails an automatic three-month income tax extension for taxpayers filing less than $1 million in sales tax, extends the availability of existing interest and penalty-free payment agreements to companies with up to $5 million in taxable sales and provides expanded interest free payment options for larger businesses particularly affected by significant restrictions on operations based on COVID-19 transmissions.
The announcement builds on the state’s business support throughout the pandemic, including the Main Street Hiring Tax Credit, which authorizes $100 million in hiring tax credit for qualified small businesses. The credit is equal to $1,000 per qualified employee, up to $100,000 for each small business employer. The application opened on December 1. A full list of existing state support for businesses can be found at this link.
The Governor also announced the following immediate support and relief:
Tax Relief for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration will:
- Provide an automatic three-month extension for taxpayers filing less than $1 million in sales tax on the return and extend the availability existing interest and penalty free payment agreements to companies (with up to $5 million in taxable sales)
- Broaden opportunities for more businesses to enter into interest-free payment arrangements.
- Expand interest-free payment options for larger businesses particularly affected by significant restrictions on operations based on COVID-19 transmissions.
$500 Million for New COVID Relief Grant for Small Business
The Governor announced the creation of a $500 million COVID Relief Grant administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development for small businesses that have been impacted by COVID and the health and safety restrictions. Funds would be awarded to selected intermediaries with established networks of Community Development Financial Institutions to distribute relief through grants of up to $25,000 to underserved micro and small businesses throughout the state by early 2021. Non-profits would also be eligible for these grants. CalOSBA is establishing the program and will make it available to small businesses as soon as possible – for updates on availability visit this link.
Additional COVID-19 information available here:
COVID-19 video messages are posted on YouTube.