January 25, 2021
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Author: Phyllis Agran, M.D.

COVID-19: An Irvine Perspective

Here we are several months into the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  The numbers tell a terrible story.  Worldwide, the pandemic has afflicted over 90 million people and killed more than 1.9 million.

And, even though the U.S. population of 330 million is only 4.1 percent of the world’s 8 billion people, Americans account for more than 25 percent of all COVID-19 cases and deaths.

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COVID-19: The Real Costs We’re Paying for Our Public Policy Failure

My entire professional life in public health and as a pediatrician has been dedicated to the prevention of disease wherever possible, and to delivering appropriate medical interventions whenever necessary.  For me, diagnosing and treating an individual patient for a disease is very rewarding. 

But, even more rewarding for me — and the real payoff for society — is when we institute policies and organize our resources to prevent the spread of disease.

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The Critical Role School Nurses Play in Keeping Us All Safe

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the recommended national standard should be one full-time school nurse per school. 

Here in Irvine, there are only 21 FTE (full-time equivalent) school nurses to cover 43 schools.  That’s a problem, especially in the middle of a global pandemic.

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School Nurses: Critical to School Reopening

The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly advocates reopening America’s schools with in-person, traditional classroom learning…if it can be done safely.

But, can it be done safely? Pediatricians, school nurses, teachers, parents and community members have been struggling with the practical difficulties ensuring a safe return to school for everyone. One thing is clear: No matter what reopening plans emerge, we must have our essential school health workers — School Nurses — in the lead.

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Irvine’s Lack of Comprehensive Testing is Literally a Matter of Life & Death

Irvine is home to UCI, one of the most prestigious medical and scientific research universities in the world. It’s also a hub for major, cutting-edge medical and scientific organizations.

After 3 long months, every Irvine resident should be asking the same questions I am:  Why didn’t the City partner with UCI? Why does Irvine still have no plan in place for COVID-19 testing, tracing, isolating, and treating? 

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Latest COVID-19 Stats


Cases in OC



Now Hospitalized



Deaths in OC



Cases in Irvine



Deaths in Irvine


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