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Dear Valued Residents,

COVID has made this a summer like no other. With August half gone, we face the question of how we handle safely the need to return to school.

The coming school semester looks very different with kids parked alone in front of screens, not at their desks with their peers and teachers. I understand many families and children are struggling out there with this situation, all of them determined to safely educate their children but getting conflicting information from the State, the media, and, often, the teachers’ unions.

The County and our Health Care Director, Dr. Clayton Chau, are still waiting to hear more about the State's school waiver process. As with the County re-opening efforts a few weeks ago, we are required to follow State law and use the State COVID statistics, regardless of how unreliable we know them to be. Currently, the delay for approvals is due to the State's mishandling of CalREDIE numbers.

The good news is that Dr. Chau has been proactive, collecting waiver applications from interested schools in the interim. Many schools, in consultation with CDC experts, have made significant efforts to prepare campuses to once again safely undertake in-person instruction.

Final approval on any waivers presented from the County of Orange must come from the State. We hope for a speedy and scientifically-based process.

The State's glitch in reporting exposes a considerable problem lurking in the data at the onset of this pandemic. Policymakers have been asked to make policy decisions on incomplete data at best, and bad data at worst. How are policymakers suppose to make decisions when supplied with bad data? We have watched businesses perish, and society deteriorate. A business closure is not a minor inconvenience; it directly threatens someone’s ability to feed a child or care for a family.  As for schools, sometimes they provide the only opportunity to thrive for some children. 

The data continues to show that skilled nursing facilities, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk. This suggests a more rational government response to COVID than a total shutdown of the economy. At-risk populations should stay home for now. Instead of spending resources propping up a faltering economy, we should assist those who need it most, and the rest of us should be free to live our lives as much as possible. We have learned much about this disease since its onslaught months ago. It is now just cruel, counterproductive, and government overreach, to lock away a healthy public, drain public coffers with reckless disregard for the future, and throw people out of work.

Daycares and childcare centers have managed throughout the pandemic. Their doors have been open for in-person care over the past few months; even our local Y is operating uneventfully at a 14:1 student to adult ratio. The data are overwhelmingly on the side of having children back in school in a functional learning environment.  

Please continue to take hygienic precautions, use common sense, and live a full life. Please continue to contact the California Department of Health and let them know how vital a waiver is to your school, family, and community. My office will provide updates as well. 

Wishing everyone good health and prosperity, 

The Orange County Board of Supervisors approved a new free testing site for students and teachers as part of the State's waiver process. 
On August 11, Orange County Board of Supervisors approved a plan that will allow public and private schools to utilize county-run COVID-19 testing drive-thru sites — a required step in obtaining a school re-opening waiver application from the State.
On June 29, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) placed Orange County on its COVID-19 monitoring list, as more people are getting tested, driving up the positive case rate. Three weeks later, Governor Newsom announced in a press conference that public and private schools in counties on the monitoring list, within the prior 14 days, must open the new academic year with online learning only, until the county has been off the monitoring list for at least 14 days.
According to CDPH guidance, district superintendents, private school principals, or executive directors of a charter school, are allowed to apply for a waiver from the local county health officer to open an elementary school for in-person instruction. This waiver is currently applicable only for grades K-6, even if the grade configuration at the school includes additional grades.

Framework for K-12 Schools in California explains that school reopening plans must address 12 topics related to health and safety, in a manner consistent with guidance from CDPH and the local health department, including testing.

Waiver Application
Orange County schools may submit a completed waiver application to Applications will be reviewed by the County Health Officer in consultation with CDPH.
When applying for the waiver, the school district superintendent, private principal, or executive director of a charter school, must submit the following to the Orange County Health Officer:
  1. Consultation with labor and parent organizations, and
  2. Publication of the elementary school reopening plans on their website.
For more information about the waiver process, please visit the CDPH’s website at or the Orange County Health Care Agency’s website at

County of Orange Launches SafeDineOC COVID-Safe Restaurant Campaign 

Santa Ana, Calif. (August 6, 2020) – The County of Orange today announced the launch of a new SafeDineOC COVID-Safe Restaurant Campaign to incentivize Orange County restaurants to follow California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Restaurant owners may apply for a $1,000 grant per Orange County restaurant location for taking steps to create a COVID-safe environment for their customers and employees. The grant will reimburse restaurants for purchases of  personal protective equipment including face masks, cleaning products, employee training and costs for physical distancing of tables and chairs, as examples

The SafeDineOC campaign is sponsored by the County of Orange and managed by Orange County Business Council (OCBC), which will handle intake and approval of all restaurant applications as well as disbursement of the $1,000 grants to restaurant owners. Through its comprehensive database of restaurants, the OC Health Care Agency will ensure the promotion of the campaign to all restaurant owners in the County.

Restaurants that apply and are approved will be added to a list of COVID-safe eateries organized by city that will be available to consumers on the SafeDineOC website. This online resource will enable the public to see which restaurants offer a safe dining experience in Orange County.

The application form is in multiple languages and OCBC staff is available to answer questions. More information about the program may be found at

Restaurants that apply for the program must meet all qualifications which will be verified by OCBC. Funds will be distributed within 45 days. All restaurants must submit receipts for CARES ACT-qualified purchases for final reimbursement grant payment on purchases made March 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020.

For more information about SafeDineOC, go to

COVID-19 affects us all. You matter and so do the thoughts that drive your behaviors, emotions, and actions. If you or someone you know is experiencing anxiety or depression, find out ways to get support at or call NAMI for help at 877.910.WARM (9276)

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Looking to expand your business opportunities?
Business Networking Group (BNG) will be holding another virtual meeting on Wednesday, August 19th at noon via Zoom. BNG is a great opportunity to network and let other businesses know you are open and ready to connect.

The guest speaker will be announced soon.

Register here.

New TAPS Brewery Location

Cheers to TAPS Brewery on its new venue in Yorba Linda. Team Wagner presented a Certificate of Recognition to wish their staff many years of prosperity and success. 

New location:
23741 La Palma Ave
Yorba Linda, CA

Helping the Tustin Community

Many senior adults in the greater Tustin area do not have friends or family they can depend on for regular meal support. COVID has made it more difficult. 

Current programs like Meals on Wheels provide food Monday through Friday.  In partnership with 
Friend’s Cafe, the FRIENDS FEEDING SENIORS program provides 3 nutritious weekend dinners to Tustin seniors in need so they can remain home and stay healthy during the COVID crisis.

This important program will be funded by donations received here and by BUY A MEAL – GIVE A MEAL specials on FRIDAYS at Friend’s Cafe.

For every adult meal purchased for curbside pick up or delivery, Friend’s Cafe will donate a meal the Friends Feeding Seniors program.

Visit the Tustin Community Foundation for more. 

Thanks for reading! 
Supervisor Don Wagner is proud to represent nearly 600,000 diverse residents in the communities of Irvine, Tustin, North Tustin, Villa Park, Orange, the unincorporated canyons, and Yorba Linda. Team Wagner is honored to serve you. 

Our mailing address is:


Office number: 
(714) 834-3330

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