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Lisa Bartlett - Supervisor, Fifth District
March 13, 2020 Volume 7 Issue 11
Update on Coronavirus in Orange County

The County of Orange held a press conference today regarding our ongoing efforts and latest information in addressing the coronavirus concerns in Orange County. To view the press conference, please click here.


In addition, the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) has issued a statement supporting school closures as a precautionary step to prevent the spread of COVID-19. To view the OCDE Coronavirus Update, click here.

Currently, the County of Orange is following the guidance of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). To that end, CDPH issued new guidance Wednesday, which included urging the postponement or cancellation of large gatherings of over 250 people.Visit the CDPH website for guidance on schools, institutions of higher education, food industry, and many more.

In addition, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order yesterday that includes many actions, including key changes and suspensions to the Brown Act to enable broad use of teleconference for meetings and alternatives to in-person public participation. 

Furthermore, the Orange Health Care Agency (HCA) Operations Center (AOC) has increased activation to HIGH Level (I). AOC hours of operation will remain from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. This level of activation is increased to support public health and medical system participants and will coordinate system needs according to local policies and procedure.

Inquiries, Questions, Resource Requests:

  • Public questions/inquiries should be referred to the Public Health Referral Line 800-564-8448.
  • Media inquiries should be forwarded to or Media Line 714-834-2178.
  • All Hospitals and *Health Care Providers are encouraged to access the HCA Agency Operations Center.

Note: *If your primary business interest does NOT require a medical certification or license you are NOT a health care provider.

For the latest information on COVID-19 in Orange County, information, please visit the HCA website.

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NEW: First Locally Acquired Case of COVID-19

The OC Health Care Agency (HCA) today reported the first case of locally acquired COVID-19, more commonly known as novel coronavirus.

The individual, a woman in her 50s, appears to have acquired infection locally and is currently hospitalized in isolation and reported in stable condition. HCA’s Public Health Services staff are following-up with people who may have been exposed and an investigation is underway to determine how the individual contracted the virus. 

Details about three additional cases confirmed today include:

  • A man in his 70s who is isolated at home, travel-related exposure
  • A man in his 30s who is isolated at home, contact to a known case
  • A man in his 60s who is hospitalized in isolation, travel-related exposure

“As public and private labs increase testing capability and surveillance, we expect to see more cases of COVID-19,” said Dr. Nichole Quick, County Health Officer. “We realize the mitigation strategies that have rolled out this week by schools, businesses, and all levels of government are concerning for community members. We empathize and want to thank OC residents for their flexibility and willingness to make adjustments to their daily lives to help protect and promote the health and well-being of their neighbors.”

The most current information about COVID-19 is available on HCA's dedicated website and by following HCA on Twitter @ochealth and on Facebook @ochealthinfo. Community members are also encouraged to call HCA’s Health Referral Line 8 AM - 5 PM, 7 days a week, with medically-related COVID-19 questions at (800) 564-8448.

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COVID-19 Impacts on our Senior Population

Over the past two days, we have received many inquiries regarding the closure of local senior centers in South County, and the impact such closures may have on congregate meal programs.

The decision to temporarily close senior centers is being made by local cities in accordance with Federal, State and County guidelines. This is being done to minimize gatherings and adhere to the social distancing recommendations. As our senior population is particularly vulnerable to serious illness from COVID 19, we are supportive of these closures and cancellations of non-essential programs.

That being said, it is essential that our seniors continue to receive food. We are working diligently with Age Well Senior Services and other contracted partners to implement a consistent contingency plan to ensure our seniors continue to have access to food.

Effective Monday, March 16, all congregate meal programs will be converted to take home meals. Frozen meals and shelf-stable meals will be distributed at senior centers on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with sufficient food to last the whole week. Our home delivered meals clients will also be given several days-worth of food at each delivery.

We are also working with the State to create as much flexibility as possible while still meeting nutritional guidelines, keeping access to food for our seniors is our top priority.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. Please stay tuned to our Health Care Agency website and follow them on social media for additional information on
Facebook @ochealthinfo and Twitter @ochealth.

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Former Archdiocese of OC Musician Arrested
Click the image above to enlarge.
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Alternative 22: South County Traffic Relief

I am pleased to announce good news related to South County traffic relief! Yesterday, March 12, the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (F/ETCA) Board of Directors voted to advance Alternative 22, a NON-TOLLED extension of Los Patrones Parkway from Cow Camp to Avenida La Pata, and formally conclude efforts to build additional toll roads in South County. 

Finding a solution to traffic congestion in South County that does not impact homes, businesses or resident views has indeed been a challenge, as I heard local residents' concerns about the alternatives initially presented as part of the South County Traffic Relief Effort Project.

To that end, in 2017, I tasked our OC Public Works Director, Shane Silsby, to assist me in creating a new alignment that the community could support, as well as improve regional mobility and enhance public safety. As a result, we created what is now termed Alternative 22 and worked with all stakeholders, including community leaders and local residents, to gather support.

It was reassuring to learn the community supports this Alternative, which does not impact built-out communities, stays out of environmentally sensitive areas, and will be constructed below the ridge-line. Additionally, the community is especially supportive of the fact that this new road will be built as, and will remain, a non-tolled County arterial. 

So how will Alternative 22 move forward? The County of Orange will take the lead on Alternative 22 and work with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA), and regional stakeholders to create a project plan. This plan will come to the F/ETCA Board for a status check every 120 days and again upon completion.

This is a victory for all South County residents. My goal has always been to increase regional mobility and safety for the region; and a non-tolled Los Patrones Parkway extension does exactly that. It has been three years since I developed this alternative with OC Public Works, and I am pleased to see it finally moving forward. I am proud of the work done by my team at the County, OCTA and TCA to make this alternative a reality. For more information about yesterday’s historic vote, please click here.

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I-5 South County Improvements

Today, nearly 360,000 motorists travel I-5 daily between SR-73 and El Toro Road. Transportation planners expect traffic volumes to grow 25 percent by 2045. To address this travel demand, OCTA and Caltrans are working together to implement the I-5 Widening project from SR-73 to El Toro Road. Construction will be done in three segments. Crews began work on the first segment from Oso Parkway to Alicia Parkway in 2019.

Construction will begin on the second segment, a 2.1-mile stretch between SR-73 and Oso Parkway that borders Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and Laguna Niguel.

Improvements include adding one general purpose lane to increase capacity and reconstructing Avery Parkway to expand it from four to six lanes, increase bike lane width, install sidewalks on both sides of the street, and construct monument walls under the bridge featuring a pastoral ranch theme.

Other project improvements include new and improved merging lanes and the conversion of carpool lanes to continuous access to make it easier to enter and exit. For more information about the I-5 Widening Project, please visit here.

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OCTA Transportation Needs Assessment

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is conducting a Transportation Needs Assessment (TNA) to gain insight into the mobility needs of persons living and/or working in Orange County. The purpose of the TNA is to develop service and program recommendations that OCTA can utilize to guide future planning decisions and engagement activities.

OCTA wants to hear from YOU! Take our community survey today at to provide input/feedback about transit in Orange County and your mobility needs. This survey is available for all Orange County residents (current transit riders as well as non-riders). All respondents will be given the opportunity to enter into a random drawing to win one of several $100 VISA gift cards!

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OCTA Citizens Advisory Committee Recruitment

Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is recruiting new committee members for the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). OCTA strongly encourages residents and community leaders to get involved and help improve the quality of life for all Orange County residents.

The Citizens Advisory Committee is a 34-member group that provides input on a range of transportation projects, studies and outreach activities. Appointed by OCTA’s Board of Directors, the committee’s responsibilities include identifying opportunities for community input, serving as a liaison between the public and OCTA, and participating in round-table discussions.

OCTA is seeking individuals with a demonstrated interest in community activities and transportation issues who are willing to dedicate at least 15 hours per year to meetings and activities. This is an unpaid volunteer position and committee members are asked to commit to a two-year term. Candidates must be at least 18 years old and live in Orange County. For more information, click here.

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Oso / Antonio Parkway Intersection Update
Click the image above to enlarge.
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Antonio Parkway Bridge Rehabilitation Project
Click the image above to enlarge.
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Many, if not all, non-essential programs and activities scheduled to take place in South County have either been suspended or postponed in order to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19, including my South County Pet Expo, originally scheduled for March 28. 

Please stay healthy and check the various city and organizational websites to see if a particular event has been taken off their calendar as a result of COVID-19 concerns. 

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For questions or comments regarding my E-Newsletter, please contact my office staff at (714) 834-3550 or email my Community Relations Advisor, Sergio Prince, at .
In This Issue
orange arrow OUT & ABOUT in SOUTH COUNTY
Doug Woodyard
Chief of Staff

James Dinwiddie
Deputy Chief of Staff

Sara May
Senior Policy Advisor

Yasie Goebel
Policy Advisor

Sergio Prince
Community Relations Advisor

Megan Dutra
Communications Advisor

Pauline Colvin
Executive Assistant

Rosemary Conteras
Staff Aide

Stay Updated!
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