TimesOC: Latest news in Orange County

Jose Mayorga gives a thumbs up after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine from registered nurse Mary Ezzat.
Dr. Jose Mayorga, right, gives a thumbs up after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine from registered nurse Mary Ezzat at UCI Medical Center in Orange on Wednesday.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning, and welcome to the TimesOC newsletter. It’s Friday, Dec. 18.

My name is David Carrillo Peñaloza, the author of the TimesOC newsletter and an editor for Los Angeles Times Community News.

Orange County received the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, with much fanfare.

Healthcare workers at UCI Medical Center and Providence St. Joseph’s Hospital in Orange became some of the first in the county to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Each inoculation was greeted with a round of applause.


Other county hospitals, including Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach and Irvine and Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach and Mission Viejo, administered the vaccine to healthcare workers on Thursday.

With the coronavirus soaring in Orange County, another 2,615 cases and 13 deaths reported Thursday, the vaccine is desperately needed.

“Frankly, I’m very relieved that the vaccine is here and that we now have an opportunity in the first place to protect critical healthcare personnel to take care of the community,” Dr. Michael Hurwitz, the chief of staff at Hoag, told reporter Lilly Nguyen. “I’m looking forward for people to be vaccinated, protect themselves so that we can get back to life as it was before the pandemic.”

Here are the latest headlines for our Orange County readers:

Erik Mara puts his hands up after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from registered nurse Pam Samuelson.
Erik Mara, a respiratory therapist at UCI Health, puts his hands up after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine from registered nurse Pam Samuelson at UCI Medical Center in Orange on Wednesday.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)


— ‘We can finally see an end to the storm’: O.C. healthcare workers receive COVID-19 vaccine

ICU availability in Southern California at 0% amid deluge of COVID-19 patients

— O.C. hospitals told not to divert ambulances despite influx of COVID-19 patients

— With virus at critical peak, Costa Mesa’s Fairview Developmental Center reopens to COVID-19 patients

— Next in line for California’s COVID-19 vaccine? Teachers and first responders

— Moderna vaccine set for emergency use authorization with FDA advisory panel’s endorsement

— Column: The year Orange County reminded us it’s still Orange County

— Skyrocketing coronavirus levels in California sewage point to rapid spread of virus

— Orange County bishop tests positive for the coronavirus

— Snoopy House finds temporary shelter during pandemic among nonprofit toy drive at Orange County IKEA

Enjoying this newsletter?

Your support helps us deliver the news that matters most. Subscribe to the Los Angeles Times at latimes.com/subscribe.

— The push-and-pull drama over school reopenings reaches fever pitch in L.A. and Orange counties

— Newport-Mesa Unified trustees nix plan to cut in-person learning hours for elementary students

— ‘We are slowly being poisoned’: How toxic fumes seep into the air you breathe on planes

— Irvine investigating factory for potentially toxic fumes after pressure from residents and UCI advisors

Family of Black man shot dead by Orange County sheriff’s deputies sues

— Santa Ana discusses formation of civilian police oversight commission

— Neighbors say Fullerton police should be held accountable for shooting

— UC Irvine signs memorandum of understanding with state for in-prison B.A. program

2nd lawsuit is filed over Kobe Bryant helicopter crash photos

Vanessa Bryant accuses her mother of extortion in ugly legal battle over family money


— MLB to give Negro Leagues ‘long overdue recognition’ as a major league

— Column: As heartless as it might be, Dodgers must move on from Kenley Jansen

— ‘A different type of style’: Angels resume bullpen rebuild with signing of Álex Claudio

Could the Dodgers land Trevor Bauer? There’s always a chance

Jeff Grosso autopsy reveals fentanyl played role in legendary skateboarder’s death

— Los Alamitos Race Course owner threatens to close the track for good

Get in touch

Have any questions or suggestions for the TimesOC newsletter? Email me at david.carrillo@latimes.com. If you want to sign up for the newsletter that is delivered to your inbox every Wednesday and Friday, visit latimes.com/oc-newsletter. You can also follow me on Twitter @ByDCP.

— Orange County high school football players commit on early national signing day

— Early national signing day 2020 tracker: Who’s joining USC and UCLA?

Larry Scott ‘disappointed’ USC isn’t up for College Football Playoff consideration

— UCLA will decline invitation to bowl game even if eligible

Kyle Kuzma on his role this season with the Lakers: ‘I have no idea’

— Clippers take time to bond during impromptu team meeting

NOTE: Erik Haugli will be putting together the TimesOC newsletter the next two weeks. David Carrillo Peñaloza will return in 2021.