Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question related to the City of Irvine’s response to COVID-19, please read the frequently asked questions below for general guidance and for questions pertaining to businesses. Questions are derived from general phone calls, social media posts, and those posed during the City’s Virtual Town Hall Meetings. For further assistance, email the City of Irvine’s non-medical COVID-19 Helpline at covid19help@cityofirvine.org. Additionally, you may call the Orange County Health Care Agency COVID-19 Hotline at 714-834-2000 or email them at ETeam@ochca.com

Blueprint for a Safer Economy
& Regional Stay-at-Home Order
Testing & Vaccines Case Rates & Data
City Services & Facilities Business Resources

Blueprint for a Safer Economy & Regional Stay at Home Order

What stage are we in under the Governor’s new plan? 
California has a blueprint for reducing COVID-19 in the state, with criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities. Effective June 15, the state of California has moved Beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and fully reopened the economy. Learn more about the opening here

When and where do I have to wear a face covering in Irvine?
As of June 15, the California Department of Public Health aligned their guidance with the CDC. In this guidance,masks are not required for fully vaccinated individuals, except in certain settings, such as on public transit, in healthcare settings, in state and local correctional facilities, and in homeless shelters, emergency shelters, and cooling centers. Additionally, masks are required for unvaccinated individuals in indoor public settings and businesses. For businesses, venue operators or hosts, in settings where masks are required only for unvaccinated individuals, businesses, venue operators or hosts may choose to:

  • Provide information to all patrons, guests and attendees regarding vaccination requirements and allow vaccinated individuals to self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry.
  • Implement vaccine verification to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask. 
  • Require all patrons to wear masks.

For more information, visit cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx.

Testing & Vaccines

How can I get tested for COVID-19?
 Please visit our COVID-19 Testing webpage for testing opportunities.

The Orange County Healthcare Agency also has multiple resources for testing, include at-home testing kits that are available for all Orange County residents. Visit their website at occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/covid-19-testing for more information. 

How and when can I get a COVID-19 vaccine? 
Effective ​April 15, anyone 12 and older can receive the vaccine.These groups can now register for a vaccine appointment using Othena.com. Physicians in private practice who are uncertain about how they can get a vaccination appointment are encouraged to contact the Orange County Medical Association. Please visit the Orange County Health Care Agency's Vaccine website at: covidvaccinefacts.com or call the Vaccine Hotline at 714-628-2000 for more information. 

Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine in Irvine?
 Please visit cityofirvine.org/vaccine for more information about vaccine clinics located in Irvine and and visit our Vaccine Resources page for a extensive list of vaccine resources. 

How do I register to receive a COVID-19 vaccine?
Individuals can schedule appointments at mobile PODs by visiting Othena.com or calling the OC COVID-19 Hotline at (714) 834-2000 for BOTH first and second dose appointments. New appointment dates and locations are added regularly. Walk-ins are also welcomed. 

The state of California is using the My Turn website and application to register individuals for vaccine appointments. The Othena system will be integrated to send information to the My Turn system so you do not have to register on both systems. 

Where can I get a vaccine?
 Please visit cityofirvine.org/vaccine for information about local vaccine opportunities. View our COVID-19 vaccine map to find locations near you. 

The County closed its Super POD sites at the Anaheim Convention Center, OC Fair & Event Center, and Soka University, as well as the Santa Ana College POD, on June 6 and shifted operations to an expanding network of robust mobile PODs. Appointments made through Othena will be scheduled at mobile PODs. Community members are encouraged to access the schedule of upcoming mobile PODs by visiting Othena.com or by calling the OC COVID-19 Hotline at 714-834-2000 for both first and second dose appointments. New appointment dates and locations are added regularly and walk-ins are also welcome. Employers who would like to submit a request for a worksite COVID-19 vaccination mobile clinic for staff may visit the request page here

Can I get a vaccine at a pharmacy?
Yes; you can find a list of pharmacies where vaccines are available here

What vaccines are available? 
The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine are for those ages 18 and older. The Pfizer vaccine is for those ages 12 and older. The County is currently dispensing all three vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson) at their mobile POD sites. 

Where can I find more information on vaccines?
For more information, visit the City's vaccine webpage, or visit covidvaccinefacts.com. You can also call the Orange County Health Care Agency COVID-19 hotline at 714-628-2000. Individuals who contact the HCA hotline and are unable to speak with a hotline representative may need to leave a message. Staff at the hotline are clearing and returning voice messages throughout each day. People with accessibility issues or who lack access to technology are encouraged to seek assistance from friends or family. 

How soon does it take the vaccination to start working?
Scientists believe that optimal immunity from vaccination against COVID-19 comes 2-3 weeks after the second dose. Please continue to wash your hands frequently, wear a mask and practice physical distancing outside the home, and avoid gathering with those who do not live with you.

What can I do now that I have been vaccinated?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance on March 8, 2021 for those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Read the guidance to learn how you can protect yourself and others, and what activities you may resume. Additionally, the state of California moved Beyond the Blueprint on June 15 when sectors can return to normal operations. 

Case Rates & Data

What kind of information is being reported regarding COVID-19 cases in Irvine?
COVID-19 test results and data are reported to the Orange County Health Care Agency. The County releases data regarding COVID-19 cases, including the number of positive cases and deaths reported in each city in Orange County. Data regarding disease transmission, hospital capacity, and hospitalization rates are also being reported for the County. The California Department of Public Health is tracking variants as they emerge and spread. The Delta variant and has been upgraded to a Variant of Concern, and eligible individuals who have not yet been vaccinated ara highly encouraged to do so as soon as possible to avoid contracting the virus and in order to help prevent future mutations. Additionally, the County began reporting available ICU capacity for the Southern California Region. ICU capacity numbers are reported as unadjusted, and adjusted.

     Unadjusted: The unadjusted ICU capacity percentage is the raw % of Adult ICU bed availability. 

     Adjusted: The adjusted ICU capacity number takes into account the percentage of COVID-19 positive patients in the ICU (the higher the percentage of COVID-19 positive patients in the ICU, the more the adjustment and the lower the number). This is done to preserve the capacity of the ICU to also treat non-COVID-19 conditions. If a disproportionate number of ICU beds are being utilized to treat COVID-19 patients, then patients with non-COVID medical issues may not be receiving or be able to receive the level of care they need. CDPH calculates this indictor by only counting Adult ICU beds (NICU and PICU beds are excluded) and only those hospitals with an emergency department are included. ICU bed count stays the same in both scenarios, the adjustment is strictly a mathematical one on the % of adult ICU bed available. The adjusted number is used to determine whether or not we are placed in the Regional Stay-at-Home order.

For the latest data, visit occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc

Why may there be a decrease in case numbers for the City of Irvine? Does this mean there was a recovery?
Data posted each day by the Orange County Health Care Agency are always preliminary and subject to change. Case counts are adjusted as new investigatory details emerge such as residency information showing that a person is a resident of a different city or county. In addition, the Health Care Agency began posting recovery data. While every case of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is reported to HCA, there is no practical way to find out if they’ve recovered. Moreover, many people may have experienced some symptoms of COVID-19, but were not tested, making it impossible to know the exact number of COVID-19 infections and recoveries.​

What are the actual hospitalizations by age group?
The County posts information of cases by age group, race/ethnicity, and other factors on their website at occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc.

I've heard about the State's new exposure notification app CA Notify, How can I opt-in?
The California Department of Public Health recently unveiled the CA Notify App, which allows California residents to opt-in to receive COVID-19 notifications informing them if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus. By using Bluetooth technology, and exchanging information with others who use the app, if another CA Notify user you’ve been near in the last two weeks tests positive for COVID-19 and adds their unique, anonymous verification code to the app, you’ll get an anonymous notification that you have potentially been exposed. You will be referred to COVID-19 resources so you can quickly get the testing and care you need to prevent exposing others in your community. The app is now available for Android and iPhone users. For more information about the app, visit canotify.ca.gov. A list of FAQs is also available to learn more about the new application.

City Services & Facilities

Can I get assistance with funeral-related expenses if a loved one has passed due to COVID-19?
As a resource during this troubling time, you can view FEMA's Federal Expense Reimbursement plan which will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. 

What are the fiscal impacts to the City budget and any delays and/or cancellations or planned projects?
The COVID-19 pandemic constitutes an unprecedented challenge in all facets. The City is working with our federal and state representatives, as well as the County Board of Supervisors to receive all available funding, such as Federal aid allocated in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (or CARES) Act.

Is there any financial assistance for Irvine residents from the City of Irvine?
The City has created and staffed several hotlines to connect the public with resources that include financial assistance programs. Please visit the cityofirvine.org/covid19 website for a complete list of available City resources for individuals and families, small businesses, and seniors.

What are the guidelines for Rent/Eviction/Utility payments during this time?
City Council Resolution No. 20-29 pertaining to evictions, foreclosures, rent increases, or service and utility disconnections has been extended through May 12, 2021. This resolution falls in line with the Governor’s Eviction Moratorium, signed into law January 29, which extends through June 30, 2021.  

How can I donate personal protective equipment (PPE)?
Kaiser Permanente and Hoag hospitals are accepting PPE donations. For Kaiser donations, email kpcovid-19donations@kp.org with your name, information about what you're trying to donate, and a contact number; someone from Kaiser will get back to you. For Hoag donations (money and PPE): Public can contact the Hoag Hospital Foundation Administrator Angelina Morano at 949-764-7221. 

Further Inquiries

How can residents access daily information regarding COVID-19? What communication channels are used to provide this information?
The City of Irvine posts updated information daily to its website, social media accounts, press releases, and email communication, in addition to active communication by the Irvine City Council. Should a resident have a questions, they are welcome to contact the COVID-19 Helpline at covid19help@cityofirvine.org

Who do I call if I have questions about COVID-19? 
The City has established an COVID-19 Helpline email at covid19help@cityofirvine.org. Additionally, you may call the Orange County Health Care Agency COVID-19 Hotline at 714-834-2000 or email them at ETeam@ochca.com

Who can I call with medical questions related to COVID-19?
Call the County of Orange COVID-19 Health Referral Hotline at 800-564-8448.

Business FAQ's

What is being done about rent relief for businesses that were forced to shut down? Can the City provide business owners rent relief?
In June 2020, the City of Irvine awarded 506 small businesses impacted by COVID-19 one-time grants of up to $10,000 through the Small Business Support Program. Businesses who were granted support include dining and entertainment, automotive, professional and personal services, communications, and technology. Funding for the program came from a $5 million grant from the County of Orange, through the federally approved CARES Act. In addition, the City's 3rd District Small Business Support Grant Program helped cover the costs of business interruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and related Stay-At-Home Orders. City Council Resolution No. 20-29 pertaining to evictions, foreclosures, rent increases, or service and utility disconnections has been extended through May 12, 2021, and falls in line with the Governor's Tenant and Landlord Protection Legislation which extends through June 30, 2021. 

Where can businesses – especially small, independent businesses – get financial assistance?
The County of Orange is currently developing proposals for the County Supervisors to enact funding for small businesses and cities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, eligible businesses can apply to the Orange County Workforce Development Layoff Aversion Support Fund Program. Apply at Oconestop.com.

Do you foresee adoption of an eviction moratorium for commercial property?  What concessions are you expecting commercial landlords and tenants to accept? Are there plans to help Irvine residents, or restaurants and hospitality businesses?
In late September and July, the City of Irvine opened a Rental Assistance Program for residents to apply for assistance with lease termination fees or rental payments due to the pandemic. Nearly 2,000 applications were submitted through the program. The program was created using $2,000,000 of federal CARES Act funding. Additionally, in June, the City of Irvine awarded 506 small businesses impacted by COVID-19 one-time grants of up to $10,000 through the Small Business Support Program. Businesses who were granted support include dining and entertainment, automotive, professional and personal services, communications, and technology. Funding for the program came from a $5 million grant from the County of Orange, through the federally approved CARES Act.