COVID-19 Updates from Town Hall


Updated on January 11th, this flyer has information on the plan for who gets vaccinated when, with the current phase (1A) having people ages 65+ vaccinated along with the other tiers. Photo Courtesy of: OC Health Care Agency

On January 7th, a virtual town hall meeting on Zoom took place regarding the information on the pandemic in Santa Ana.

The virtual town hall was primarily focused on two doctors: Frank Zaldivar, and Sarah Lopez. Most of the discussion was conducted following a PowerPoint presentation regarding the coronavirus.

According to the doctors, heart disease used to be the #1 killer in the United States, but Covid-18 recently passed it. Both Dr. Lopez and Dr. Zaldivar highly recommended getting the vaccine to protect yourself and the community in order to achieve herd immunity, which lessens the spread of the virus as a whole.

The vaccine will be delivered to people based on three tiers of importance, over a span of a couple of months. The first people receiving the vaccine will be people in critical conditions, high-risk individuals, and healthcare workers; the second phase of people are workers and moderate-risk individuals; the third phase consists of everyone else, who should be able to get the virus during the summer. 

“If we can get between 75-80% of people vaccinated by the Summer, we reached herd immunity. The ability of this virus to spread, we would really tamper that down and we’d block it,” says Dr. Lopez. 

The doctors also discussed the two types of Covid-19 tests currently available to the public: Diagnostic/PCR and the Antibody test. If anyone wants to check if they have the coronavirus, then Dr. Lopez recommends getting the PCR test. The Antibody test only shows if there had been any previous infections of covid rather than if it is currently active in someone’s system. 

It is possible to contract Covid-19 again after having already recovered from the virus, so it is recommended to get the vaccine if you never got one before. To get one, you would need to ask your primary care doctor.

“It’ll allow your immune system to have a more robust protection against Covid-19,” says Dr. Lopez. “Whether you can get infected again with Covid-19 after you’ve already had one infection, it’s rare. There have been case studies in South Korea where people that have tested positive ended up having a new infection months later, but those people ended up having a bit more mild symptoms. But that’s why we recommend that people who even test positive for Covid-19 get vaccinated.” 

Santa Ana has the highest number of cases in Orange County, having an estimate of more than 32,000 since January 6th, and has had at least 2,000 deaths due to the pandemic. 

“Yesterday was the deadliest day so far, with over four thousand reported deaths, which is an average of one Covid-19 death every 33 seconds,” says Dr. Zaldivar.

Overall, the number of people testing positive for the virus is over 20% in different Santa Ana zip codes. The last part of the presentation held trusted sources for more information: the CDPH, OC Health, and the CDC; along with the FDA, the NIH, and WHO.