COVID-19 Testing is available across Orange County, through the OC COVID-19 Testing Network and at private labs and hospitals across the county.
Who should be tested for COVID-19?
Orange County is following the CDC’s guidelines for who should be tested for COVID-19.
How much does it cost to get tested?
There is $0 out of pocket cost for testing, though your insurance company may be billed. If you do not have health insurance and you have symptoms, you can get a free test through the OC COVID-19 Testing Network.
How long does it take to get test results?
In response to the COVID-19 emergency, many businesses have been forced to reduce employees’ hours or temporarily shut down. There are resources available to help California workers and families.
APPLY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
California workers can file unemployment claims with the Employment Development Department (EDD). In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Pandemic Assistance Program will allow part-time, self-employed, and gig economy workers to access Unemployment Insurance benefits.
The fastest way to file a claim is to apply online. It is important to apply as soon as possible. It will take up to 3 weeks to receive your first benefit payment.
To help you estimate your benefit amount, go to EDD’s Unemployment Insurance Calculator.
The length of unemployment benefits have been extended because of the COVID-19 emergency. Unemployment benefits are now available for up to 39 weeks.
If you have COVID-19, you may be eligible for Disability Insurance.
Disability Insurance provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness or injury.
Find out if you are eligible and submit a Disability Insurance claim online.
You may be eligible for CalFresh, California’s food assistance program (SNAP). Apply online for CalFresh.
The maximum income threshold for CalFresh is $2,082 for a single person and $4,292 for a family of four. See if you are eligible for CalFresh.
CalFresh provides up to $194 a month per household member on an electronic EBT card, which is similar to a debit card.
The online application takes about 10 minutes to complete. As part of the process, applicants can upload information online and have a follow-up phone interview.
If approved, applicants are issued EBT cards within 30 days.
There are many industries that are looking for workers right now.
California has launched Onwardca.org to help match job seekers with open jobs in high demand industries.
PROTECTION FROM FORECLOSURE
Guidance on Evictions and Foreclosures
Evictions: On April 6, 2020, the Judicial Council adopted Emergency Rules which effectively stop residential and commercial evictions for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. This rule applies to all eviction cases and will be in effect until 90 days after Governor Newsom lifts the COVID-19 state of emergency, or if it is amended and/or repealed by the Judicial Council.
An exception to these protections, is if a court should find that an eviction “is necessary to protect public health and safety.” E.g. If there is a domestic abuser in the home who must be evicted to protect the health and safety of another tenant living in the same household.
Additionally, Governor Newsom also issued Executive Order N-37-20. This order prohibits tenants from being evicted for nonpayment if they were previously current on their rent. Tenants are required to declare in writing, no more than seven days after rent is due, they are unable to pay all or part of their rent due to COVID-19, while providing supporting documentation.
Foreclosures: Courts are prohibited from taking action on all foreclosure cases, regardless of the stage in the process. Additionally, all legal deadlines for filing foreclosure cases are postponed, while the period for exercising rights in a foreclosure cases have been extended. On March 25, 2020, the state Department of Business Oversight secured support from national banks, state banks and credit unions for temporary delays (up to 90 days) in mortgage payments and foreclosure sales and evictions for homeowners who have economic impacts from COVID-19 so please reach out to your lender to look at options.
Important Note: While these Emergency Rules effectively puts evictions and foreclosures on hold, they do not establish new tenant rights or defenses to an eviction, nor do they address requirements for providing documentation to landowners when tenants are unable to pay rent due to a loss of income as a result of COVID-19.
PROTECTION FROM EVICTION
The Tenant, Homeowner and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act protects you from eviction if you are unable to pay some or all of your rent due to coronavirus or the quarantine between September 1, 2020, and January 31, 2021.
You’ll need to pay at least 25% of your rent for this period. You can do that monthly or in one lump sum by January 31, 2021. In both situations, you must provide your landlord with a declaration of financial hardship.
Homeowners or small landlords who don’t have federally-backed loans can contact their loan servicers to request forbearance. Your lender must provide detailed reasons if they deny your forbearance request. You can contest a denial.
These financial institutions may be able to reduce or delay your monthly payment. In addition, they will:
- Give you a streamlined process to request forbearance for coronavirus-related reasons, supported with available documentation
- Confirm approval of and terms of the forbearance program
- Provide the opportunity to extend your forbearance agreement if you continue to experience hardship due to coronavirus
Learn more about other mortgage protections and resources (PDF).
- Housing and Urban Development
- Find local non-profit organizations that can offer housing assistance.
- Learn about avoiding foreclosure.
- Locate a regional housing authority.
- Keep Your Home California
This is a federally-funded foreclosure prevention program that may be able to help you. If you are unemployed and collecting EDD benefits, you may qualify for this mortgage assistance.
Participating in Keep Your Home California will not affect your Unemployment Insurance eligibility. Find out if you qualify today: call Keep Your Home California toll free, (888) 954-KEEP (5337) or visit their website.
As the challenges around COVID-19 continues, we want to ensure that the seniors in our community have the necessary resources:
If you are in need of food resources, please know you are not alone, and there are organizations in Orange County, ready to help.
MEALS ON WHEELS, ORANGE COUNTY: 714-220-0224
Meals on Wheels delivers healthy, customized meals to Orange County Seniors.
GREAT PLATES DELIVERED: 714-480-6450
Register for this free restaurant meal delivery program with the Orange County Office on Aging.
2-1-1 can connect you with resources and support. Just dial 2-1-1.
FRIENDSHIP LINE CALIFORNIA: 1-888-670-1360
Senior Californians can call and talk to a friend – something we all need in these times. This is a line for crisis intervention and non-emergency support.
VIRTUAL DMV: https://virtual.dmv.ca.gov/
The virtual DMV hub is available to all Californians, but especially seniors. Use the hub for title transfers, vehicle registration renewals, driver’s license extensions and other tasks which might have previously required an in-office visit.
SHOPPING HOURS FOR SENIORS
- Stater Brothers, 24336 El Toro Rd, Laguna Woods, CA 92637: Will open for seniors at 7:45 AM for seniors (65+) to shop. Regular hours begin at 8:00 AM.
- Mother's Market: 24165 Paseo De Valencia, Laguna Woods, CA 92653: Will open at 6:00 AM for seniors (60+) to shop. They will also offer free grocery delivery through Instacart (code: FREE4SENIORS).
For Seniors Across Orange County:
- Albertsons: ALL Albertsons locations will be open from 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM every Tuesday and Thursdays, for the vulnerable community.
- Ralphs: ALL Ralphs will now be open from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM daily for seniors (65+), please call to confirm and bring ID
- Target: Target will be open an early every Wednesday for seniors. Please check your local locations for details.
- Whole Foods: Whole Foods will open an hour early for seniors, hour depending on location.
As always, please do not hesitate to call or email my office if you have questions or need assistance.
LEARNING AT HOMEVirtual Museums
- The British Museum, London
- The Guggenheim Museum, New York
- The Smithsonian, Washington DC
- The Musee d’Orsay, Paris
- The Getty Museum, Los Angeles
And countless more from all over the world are available here!Virtual Field Trips
More virtual field trips – choose your own adventure!Local Libraries
OC Public libraries remain closed until further notice, but there are great digital options available!
The Assembly has also rolled out some fun activities and coloring pages for kids. Check them out and download the files!HELPING KIDS COPE IN THE COVID-19 CRISIS
7 Ways to Help Kids Cope – from CHOC Children’s Hospital of Orange County:
- Meet children’s concerns with validation & compassion
- Stick with age appropriate facts
- Reassure kids by empowering them
- Look for kid-friendly methods
- Emphasize kindness
- Model positive behavior
- Be on the lookout for behavior changes
This is a very stressful time for kids and adults alike. Here are some good resources for parenting in the COVID-19 era:
- Tips on Keeping Kids Healthy, from the CDC
- Talking to Children About COVID-19, from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- How to Talk to Your Kids about COVID-19, from Stanford Children’s Health
Orange County schools continue to provide school nutrition programs, many with grab & go service. Visit your school district website for details:
- Huntington Beach City School District
- Irvine Unified School District
- Laguna Beach Unified School District
- Newport Mesa School District
The COVID-19 outbreak is stressful for many of us. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in both adults and children. Taking proactive steps to cope with stress will make you, the people you care about and your community stronger.
THINGS YOU CAN DO TO SUPPORT YOURSELF
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
- Learn more about taking care of your emotional health at the CDC’s dedicated COVID-19 website.
Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
LOCAL RESOURCES & PROGRAMS
- Orange County Behavioral Health Access | (800) 723-8641, free and immediate support and resources 24/7
- OC Links | (855) OC-LINKS, a valuable resource for anyone seeking information to any Behavioral Health Services provided by the County
- NAMI Warmline: | (877) 910-9276 or (714) 991-6412, non-crisis support for anyone struggling with mental health concerns from 9am to 3am Monday through Friday and 10am to 3am Saturday and Sunday
- Crisis Prevention Hotline | (877) 727-4747, available 24/7 for those who are contemplating suicide or having troubled thoughts
NATIONAL RESOURCES & PROGRAMS
- CDC’s Disaster Distress Line | 800.985.5990 or text 66746
- CDC provides mental health and coping during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- This is a great resource for those overwhelmed with sadness, depression, anxiety or those who may harm themselves and/or others.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline | 800.273.8255
- National Domestic Violence Hotline | (800) 799-7233, available 24/7
As we work together to fight back against COVID-19, there are many volunteer organizations in our community who are looking for additional resources and support from all of us.
We particularly want to emphasize the importance of blood donations for all available to donate, as blood centers are in urgent need:
If you’re looking for a way to get involved right now, here is a developing list of organizations who need support:
Community Action Partnership of Orange County (CAPOC) w/ Orange County Food Bank
11870 Monarch St.
Garden Grove, CA 92841
Possible volunteer tasks:
Box and deliver lunches
Meals on Wheels Orange County
1200 N Knollwood Circle
Anaheim, CA 92801
Possible volunteer tasks:
Drivers and donations
Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County
8014 Marine Way
Irvine, CA 92618
Possible volunteer tasks:
Harvest Truck Brigade, Field Distribution Team, Donations
Red Cross (Desert to the Sea Region)
please visit the website for a location close to you.
Possible volunteer tasks:
OC Animal Care
1630 Victory Rd
Tustin, CA 92782
Possible volunteer tasks:
Pathways of Hope
1231 E Chapman Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92831
Possible volunteer tasks:
Transporting, sorting, stocking food
We also encourage you to please reach out to community groups/neighborhood platforms, to see you can potentially help your community members.