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, call the City of Irvine’s non-medical COVID-19 Helpline at 949-724-8250 daily between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or email 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
Compliance 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 new blueprint for reducing COVID-19 in the state, with criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities. Effective March 31, the City of Irvine is in the Orange Tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. With low and stable COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations, and 20 million doses of the vaccine administered throughout California, Governor Newsom announced on April 5, that the State plans for a full reopening on June 15 as part of the Beyond the Blueprint plan.The mask mandate will remain in place for the foreseeable future, and the reopening plan depends on all of us continuing to do our part – wearing masks and getting vaccinated when eligible. 

When and where do I have to wear a face covering in Irvine?
On November 16, 2020 Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health strengthened the face covering guidance to require individuals to wear a mask whenever outside of the home, with limited exceptions. All Irvine residents and visitors must conform to these guidelines, except in few exceptions. View the face covering guidance, which includes exceptions.  

How long do I have to quarantine if I've been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19? 
On December 14, the California Department of Public Health issued updated guidance concerning the recommended quarantine period for individuals following a "close contact" exposure to someone with COVID-19. The agency advises that all asymptomatic contacts may discontinue quarantine after day 10 from the date of last exposure with or without testing. Additionally, during critical staffing shortages, healthcare workers, emergency response workers, and social service staff who have been exposed to COVID-19 can shorten their quarantine to 7 days if they test negative after day 5 or later. For more information on this guidance, visit the CDPH website.  

What will reopen under other tiers and when can I expect my business to reopen?
The California Department of Public Health has laid out a plan for certain business sectors to reopen with modifications under each blueprint tier. View the plan here. Additionally, With low and stable COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations, and 20 million doses of the vaccine administered throughout California, Governor Newsom announced on April 5, that the State plans for a full reopening on June 15 as part of the Beyond the Blueprint plan.The mask mandate will remain in place for the foreseeable future, and the reopening plan depends on all of us continuing to do our part – wearing masks and getting vaccinated when eligible. 

Testing & Vaccines

How can I get tested for COVID-19?
The City of Irvine launched the COVID-19 drive-up Testing Program for in partnership with Curogram and multiple laboratories for those who live and work in Irvine. View the Irvine COVID-19 Drive-Up Testing FAQ webpage for more information about how to register for a test and specific requirements. Additionally, COVID-19 testing is currently provided for many, but not all, residents through the County of Orange and the State at multiple locations. Please visit our COVID-19 Testing webpage for testing opportunities and to learn how you can qualify.  

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. 

Does the County and City have a plan and timeline for COVID-19 vaccines?
Effective April 15, anyone ages 16 and older can receive the COVID-19 vaccine. You can learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine on the Health Care Agency's website at https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/covid-19-vaccine-resources and our vaccine webpage. Please note, vaccine supply is limited. As Orange County receives more vaccines, more appointment slots will become available. 

How and when can I get a COVID-19 vaccine? 
Given the limited initial supply of COVID-19 vaccines, distribution will be limited at first and increase over time. ​April 15, anyone 16 and older can register to 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. 

How do I register to receive a COVID-19 vaccine?
The County of Orange is working with CuraPatient and their Othena app to track, schedule, and manage COVID-19 vaccine administration for Orange County residents. This system will connect individuals with vaccine distributors, set up appointments, and walk you through the entire vaccination process. The website and  is now available in Spanish and Vietnamese, and the app is available in Spanish as well. Please visit http://Othena.com, click on "first time user" at the top of the page, and complete the pre-screening questionnaire. Eligible individuals who registered for a vaccine may not be able to immediately receive an appointment since there are many more people than available doses of vaccine. 

  • Appointment notifications to those in the “digital waiting room” will be prioritized based on factors including age, time of registration and available vaccine supply.
  •  Eligible individuals will be notified to schedule an appointment by email or notification through the Othena app; those individuals are advised to regularly monitor their email and the Othena app for updates.
  • Registered users will be able to select from available times, dates, and locations, yet vaccine supply dictates appointment availability and it may not always be possible to schedule an appointment at a preferred location.
  • For more information, visit covidvaccinefacts.com or call the Orange County Health Care Agency Hotline at 714-628-2000. This hotline can also help seniors and those who are not tech savvy with the registration process. 

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?
Orange County has Super Point-of-Dispensing (POD) sites at Disneyland, Soka University in Aliso Viejo, OC Fair and Events Center, and the Anaheim Convention Center. You must have an appointment before visiting one of these sites. Anyone showing up without an appointment will be turned away. The County is planning additional Super PODs throughout the county as the supply of COVID-19 vaccines available in the County increases. The Super PODs will operate from 8 am to 5 pm, 7 days a week. The regional Super PODs will increase efficiency and provide multiple vaccine distribution points throughout Orange County. All residents interested in being vaccinated are encouraged to register at Othena.com to be notified when there are appointments available. Visit our vaccine webpage for more information. 

Additionally, The County is hosting pop-up mobile clinics to vaccinate vulnerable seniors in critically underserved communities. This outreach effort isn’t intended for the general public, who typically have resources that many communities of color and lower-income do not have available to them. The County is working in collaboration with community partners to support these grassroots efforts to reach seniors close to home and offer more vaccination options for this vulnerable population. Vaccinations at mobile clinics are only available for those in the targeted community and who have scheduled appointments. If you are a senior in Irvine looking to be vaccinated, call the Lakeview Senior Center at 949-724-6900 to be added to a list to be notified of future vaccination events for seniors. No events are scheduled at this time. 

Can I get a vaccine at a pharmacy?

  1. CVS Pharmacy is administering COVID-19 vaccines at certain locations. A list of specific stores will be available on cvs.com as stores receive shipments of the vaccine and appointments become available. People prioritized to get shots under public health guidelines – currently, health care workers, seniors age 65 and older and long-term care residents – must register in advance on CVS’s website or through the CVS Pharmacy app. Anyone without internet access can call customer service at 800-746-7287.
  2. Rite Aid is receiving vaccine allocations from the federal government for pharmacies in California. Visit Rite Aid's website for more information and to register for a vaccine, or call 800-748-3243.

  3. Walgreens offers an online scheduling and eligibility program to register for updates when appointments are available. For more information visit Walgreen's website, or call 800-925-4733. 

What vaccines are available? 
The County is currently dispensing:

  • The Pfizer vaccine at the OC Fairground site
  • The Moderna vaccine at the Disneyland Super POD site
  • The Pfizer vaccine at the Soka University Super POD site
  • The Moderna vaccine at the Anaheim Convention Center. Everyone who received their first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Disneyland will receive their second dose at the Anaheim Convention Center Super POD site at the same date and time as originally scheduled.

The required 2nd dose for individuals must be the same vaccine (e.g. both 1st and 2nd dose should be Moderna vaccine). Eligible users will receive email and app notifications to schedule appointments based on the time and date of registration. Please check your registered email address or Othena app profile daily, as well as your spam folder. The County is continuing to receive vaccines and appropriately allocate doses among traditional healthcare providers (hospitals, pharmacies, etc.) and POD sites. While the County of Orange is actively administering approximately 20% of the vaccines available for Orange County residents and workers through Othena, traditional healthcare providers, including hospitals, pharmacies, and community health centers, have received the other 80% of vaccine doses. for more information, visit covidvaccinefacts.com

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. The County is working to establish resources to assist people who do not have internet access. This process is still in the planning stages and more information will be provided soon. 

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. We don’t yet know if those who are fully vaccinated may be able to transmit the virus to others. 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. 

How can I help during the vaccination process?
Volunteers are needed to assist Orange County government staff with COVID-19 vaccinations at Points of Distribution (POD) sites this year. The County of Orange is looking to establish two teams of volunteers: those willing to serve as medical trained volunteers, and those willing to serve as general support volunteers. For more information, and to register as a volunteer, please visit the volunteer portal at oneoc.org. *Please use Google Chrome to access this form. 

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. 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.

Compliance

How do I report violations of social distancing that I see in the community or at local businesses?
If you observe large gatherings or other violations, please call the Irvine Police Department non-emergency number at 949-724-7200.

How do I report a business that is not compliant with wearing face coverings?
Call the City of Irvine’s COVID-19 Helpline to report any business not compliant with the City’s orders. That hotline number is 949-724-8250. Additionally, you can email covid19help@cityofirvine.org

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. 

How is the city helping the homeless and people needing food?
IPD’s Homeless Liaison Officers (HLO) have been conducting outreach to members of the homeless community during the pandemic. HLOs attempt to connect the individual or family to available local and county resources, including temporary housing, public transportation needs, food, etc. HLOs have been providing resource bags (basic toiletries, bottle of water, a few granola bars, and a few other basics that were donated by a local church) to those who would like one. If members of the community are concerned about the welfare of an individual experiencing homelessness, they can email outreach@cityofirvine.org. For emergency situations, please call 9-1-1. For an individual or family in need of food, we would engage the Emergency Operations Center to get them connected to the appropriate resource. Anyone with a food need, or any other resource need, should call the COVID-19 Helpline at 949-724-8250 or email us at covid19help@cityofirvine.org

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.

Why are community centers still being staffed?
Community Centers will be staffed during this time to monitor public use of parks, playgrounds, and athletic fields in an effort to ensure our community can enjoy City park amenities in a healthy and responsible manner, now and in the future.

How do people with disabilities acquire resources like masks or other needs?
The City’s Emergency Operation Center can help coordinate resources for those living with a disability that may need assistance during this time. Call the City of Irvine COVID-19 Helpline at 949-724-8250 daily between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m or email covid19help@cityofirvine.org

Which parks and trails are open during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The City’s parks and trails remain open for passive use. To promote proper social distancing, some trails have been temporarily modified and converted to one-way trails.

Are Community Centers open?
There will be no drop-in use of centers.  All social distancing measures and reduced facility and program capacities will be observed. For additional information, visit yourirvine.org

Are athletic fields and courts open?

In keeping with State guidance for outdoor recreation, City athletic fields, basketball courts, and volleyball courts are open for drop-in use (defined here by the Community Services policy) by individuals within the same household, while wearing a face covering and maintaining physical distance from others outside of their household. No gatherings, no interaction between households, and no drop-in use for games, scrimmages, practices, or organized play of any kind. For the latest information, visit our City Facility Updates webpage

What is open at the Orange County Great Park?
For the latest information regarding what is open at the Orange County Great Park, visit our City Facility Updates webpage

Are playgrounds open?
As of December 9, 2020, new guidance from the California Department of Public Health allows playgrounds to reopen under the Regional Stay-at-Home Order. Visitors to the playgrounds are asked to follow health guidelines and wear a mask, stay 6 feet from others not in your household, and wash/sanitize hands before and after use. 

How can I volunteer?
The County has shared some ways community members can assist with efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19 by volunteering or donating. The most effective ways to support non-profit organizations is through monetary donations. OC United Way and Orange County Community Foundation have established monetary funds to support local non-profits and individuals within Orange County. Monetary donations are the best way to provide support for our local food banks, including OC Food Bank and Second Harvest Food Bank. For information about volunteering for a non-profit, visit oneoc.org. In addition, if you have a donation, you can contact the City of Irvine COVID-19 Helpline at 949-724-8250 or email at covid19help@cityofirvine.org

In addition, volunteers are needed to assist Orange County government staff with COVID-19 vaccinations at Points of Distribution (POD) sites this year. The County of Orange is looking to establish two teams of volunteers: those willing to serve as medical trained volunteers, and those willing to serve as general support volunteers. For more information, and to register as a volunteer, please visit the volunteer portal at oneoc.org. *Please use Google Chrome to access this form. 

What if I need childcare?
In order to ensure essential workers can find care the City partnered with child care agencies throughout the County to survey providers to find those who are still open and providing care. We now have that list posted on the City’s website both on the Finding Child Care webpage as well as linked to the COVID-19 webpage. 

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. In addition, you can contact the City of Irvine COVID-19 Helpline at 949-724-8250 or covid19help@cityofirvine.org as our EOC has donation support set up.

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 call the COVID-19 Helpline, daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 949-724-8250 or email us at covid19help@cityofirvine.org

Who do I call if I have questions about COVID-19? 
The City has established an COVID-19 Helpline for non-medical COVID-19 questions that pertain to Irvine. Community members can call 949-724-8250 daily between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m or email us 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

Who can businesses contact if they are in need of aid during the COVID-19 pandemic?
 Irvine businesses can call the City’s Economic Development office 949-724-6024.

When can businesses reopen, specifically office-based business, and religious organizations?
The California Department of Public Health has plans for each business sector to open per blueprint tier. View the list and compare opening per tier status here

When can private schools and tutoring centers open?
View your school’s status here. Schools in the Widespread (purple) tier aren’t permitted to reopen for in-person instruction, unless they receive a waiver from their local health department for TK-6 grades. Schools can reopen for in-person instruction once their county has been in the Substantial (red) tier for at least two weeks. Schools must follow these guidelines when they reopen or if they have to close again. 

What is the plan for businesses that don’t neatly fit into a specific sector and therefore can’t identify a phase for reopening?
You may contact the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, or the Orange County Business Council for assistance.

Is there a Standard Handbook available for businesses to reopen for employees?
Business should follow the Governor’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy for reopening stages, as well as the Statewide Industry Guidance for relevant plans and preparations for reopening, specific for your industry.  

What is being done about rent relief for businesses that were forced to shut down, and due to the new social distancing requirements, cannot operate the business at a capacity level for viability? Can the City provide business owners rent relief?
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. 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.