Orange County: The battle over wearing a face mask

Orange County: The battle over wearing a face mask

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The battle over wearing a face mask is intensifying in Orange County, even after the state issued new guidelines last week mandating face coverings in high-risk settings.

Groups for and against the use of face masks have formed in the county, with the Orange County Labor Federation holding a news conference at 11 a.m. Monday, calling on county supervisors to enforce Gov. Gavin Newsom’s mask order. Anti-mask protesters interrupted a planned press conference held by a pro-mask group last week.

On Thursday, the state Department of Public Health issued new guidelines mandating face coverings in most situations while indoors, but also outside when a person cannot maintain six feet of social distance. The order includes inside of, or in line to enter, any indoor public space, as well as anyone using public transportation.

In general, state law supersedes local laws.

There are exemptions to the statewide order that include children age 2 and younger because of the risk of suffocation, and for people with a variety of medical or psychological issues that make mask-wearing a hazard.

Orange County Labor Federation says many people are not complying with the order and it is not being enforced. The group plans to call on county officials to reinstate the face-covering mandate, which was rolled back last week to “strongly recommended.”

petition on asking O.C. health leaders to make face coverings mandatory again garnered nearly 40,000 signatures by Monday morning.

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said in a statement he would not make any efforts to enforce the mandate.

“It is each person’s responsibility to wear a face covering and follow other recommended safeguards, in order to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Barnes said. “It is not law enforcement’s responsibility to enforce it.”

Barnes said he expects residents to “continue to use common sense approaches for the benefit of their own health, as well as the collective health of other county residents.”

“We must do what is necessary to stop the transmission of COVID-19, enabling us to further open remaining businesses, places of recreation and the hospitality industry,” Barnes said.

Dr. Clayton Chau, the Health Care Agency director and interim chief health officer, who rolled back a previous county mandate for facial coverings, said recent research shows they are effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

“The mask is to protect others, to protect your neighbors,” Chau said. “And from a public health point of view, we want to protect our neighbors.”

Supervisor Lisa Bartlett told City News Service the state issued a mandate requiring face coverings because “the governor is watching what’s happening in other states that have opened up their economies prior to California opening up its economy — Arizona, Texas and Florida — and those states are experiencing significant increases in COVID-19 and hospitalizations. Therefore, I think the governor decided that he needed to change the face-covering policy for California in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

Bartlett noted, “We are still experiencing a number of hospitalizations and deaths from skilled nursing facilities” and community transmission is also on the rise” in the county.

“If we continue to have spikes in positivity rates and hospitalizations, one of my greatest fears is we would have to potentially shut down our economies again,” Bartlett said.

Chau said the “hot spots” of Santa Ana and Anaheim “keep me up at night” with concern. He said about two weeks ago, a task force was formed among officialswith the county and both cities to discuss ways to tackle the rising case counts.

Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel said at a news conference that officials were “reviewing” the governor’s order. Then she told reporters she had “good news” that on Friday, nail salons, massage parlors, tattoo shops and other like services were opening again to the public.

The state last Friday authorized the reopening of nail salons on June 19. Workers and customers will be required to wear face coverings, according to the state guidelines.

Steel downplayed the rising hospitalization and death rates, noting that half of the fatalities are from nursing homes. She also said the hospitalization rates are below the state standards.

Chau said the county’s hospitalization rate is 10.2 per 100,000 population, about the same as San Bernardino County and below Los Angeles County’s 13.8 per 100,000. Sixty-four percent of the county’s hospital beds are occupied, Chau said.

County health officials reported 413 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, by far O.C.’s highest single-day total since the pandemic began.

The Orange County Health Care Agency also reported 10 additional deaths, bringing the county’s totals to 9,988 cases and 267 fatalities.

The numbers come at the end of what county officials called their deadliest week yet, with 55 COVID-19 deaths reported between June 13-19.

Disneyland announces health and safety protocols for July 17 reopening

Disneyland announces health and safety protocols for July 17 reopening

Article taken from USA Today

As Disneyland prepares to reopen after closing during the coronavirus pandemic, the theme park revealed its safety guidelines for guests.

Disneyland Resort plans to reopen Disneyland and sister theme park Disney’s California Adventure on July 17, one week after Walt Disney World plans to reopen in Florida. Anaheim, California’s Downtown Disney District is set to reopen July 9. And Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel will open July 23, pending state and local government approval.

What can guests expect? In addition to following state and local guidelines, the Disneyland website says, the park will have “enhanced health and safety measures,” including the following:

  • Mandatory face coverings for cast members and guests.
  • Hand-washing stations and physical barriers, where appropriate.
  • Reduced theme park capacity to enable physical distancing.
  • Signs to help guests “move responsibly throughout the property.”
  • Temperature checks on all guests before they enter the Downtown Disney District or the theme parks.
  • Health screenings and temperature checks daily for cast members.
  • Cashless transactions are recommended, and mobile orders are being expanded to reduce cast member and guest interactions.
  • Parades, nighttime shows and meet-and-greets with Disney characters will not resume immediately. Characters will roam the parks, though.

Disney World announced its reopening plans in late May and plans to reopen the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on July 11, followed by Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios on July 15.

Visitors to the Florida theme parks will encounter similar health and safety measures as those announced for Disney parks in California.

Disney World will enforce social distancing and face mask requirements with a “social-distancing squad,” consisting of Disney cast members.

Disney World released an enhanced health acknowledgment on its website, which explains that by entering the park, guests confirm they do not have COVID-19 symptoms identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste or smell and more.

Guests must not be under “any self-quarantine orders” nor have been “in contact with someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 symptoms without completing a 14-day quarantine.”

“Guests who cannot confirm all of the above criteria must not enter Walt Disney World Resort,” the acknowledgment says.

A tornado in Orlando, FL

A tornado in Orlando, FL

A tornado spun through downtown Orlando, Florida, on June 6, after it was spawned by the outer edges of Tropical Storm Cristobal.

At least one tornado spawned by Tropical Storm Cristobal touched down in the Orlando area Saturday night.

Orange County Fire Rescue said in a twitter post that deputies and fire rescue personnel were clearing power lines and checking on residents around 8:15 p.m. Several power lines were down on the southeast side of the city.

There were reports of damage to residential areas, according to the City of Orlando. The American Red Cross was also responding.

Almost half of new cancer patients lose their entire life savings

Almost half of new cancer patients lose their entire life savings


March 5, 2020

According to a new study published in the American Journal of Medicine, 42% of new cancer patients lose all of their life savings in two years because of treatment. The average amount a cancer patient lost was $92,098.

After tracking 9.5 million cancer patients from 2000 to 2012, researchers also learned that 62% of all cancer patients are in debt because of their treatment, and 55% of them owe at least $10,000.

Overall, the total medical costs for cancer are $80 billion in the US.

According to a new study published in the American Journal of Medicine, 42% of new cancer patients lose their entire life savings in two years because of treatment

Even if you have insurance, it may not cover all the medical costs associated with cancer. From high deductibles to large copayments, cancer patients can end up with a huge stack of bills.

In addition, 40% to 85% of all cancer patients have to quit working while undergoing treatment, which creates a financial burden that can last for six months or longer.