Michelle Steel A Proven Record of Fighting for Orange County
Protecting Lives and Preparing our Healthcare System
- When Orange County reported its first case of COVID-19 on January 25, 2020, Michelle set up a reporting system to inform residents of updates and prioritize residents’ wellbeing.
- As COVID-19 just began to spread, Michelle ensured Orange County was prepared and fought for the safety of the community by minimizing the initial spread.
- On February 25, Orange County became one of the first areas to declare a state of emergency over COVID-19. The declaration, made when there were no known cases in Orange County, allowed the county to consolidate resources before a wider spread so no hospitals would be overrun.
- On March 2, Michelle mobilized the County Healthcare Agency to train employees and prepare equipment before the virus spread to Orange County.
- Soon thereafter, Michelle held a preparation meeting with all Orange County stakeholders to prepare the community and institute a clear plan.
- As operations shifted online, Michelle held tele-townhalls with County Health Officials to educate residents.
- As the virus spread, Michelle provided transparent and clear updates to the community, including assuring residents that they were closely monitoring ventilator capacity.
- Michelle worked immediately with local labs to improve and expand testing capabilities.
- Michelle ensured Orange County had the infrastructure and resources available to handle increased hospitalizations.
- As cases increased after reopening, Michelle ensured that Orange County remained nimble in their response and monitored hospital capacity.
- Michelle led the effort to secure increased and rapid testing for Orange County.
- As COVID-19 persisted throughout the summer, Michelle ensured a nimble response that put residents’ lives above anything else.
Providing Resources for Vulnerable and At-Risk Communities
- On March 13, Michelle announced a special weekly meeting of the Board of Supervisors to increase transparency and the flow of information as the crises grew. She also supported the early closure of schools to minimize the spread, while coordinating resources to keep low income families with children fed while schools were closed.
- Michelle coordinated responses to assist the elderly, homeless, and low-income families along with providing financial relief to unemployed individuals and struggling businesses. Michelle also requested PPE for law enforcement and public health employees along with assigning medical teams to homeless shelters.
- In August, Michelle worked with CalOptima’s PACE program to better serve Orange County’s elderly population.
Relieving Families and Businesses from Economic Strain
- Understanding the economic strain of COVID-19, Michelle worked with the County Tax Collector to review late penalties and fees for property owners if COVID-19 prevented individuals from paying property taxes.
- As Orange County weathered the crisis, Michelle worked with local businesses to anticipate how our economy would safely reopen.
- Michelle ensured that any reopening plan focused on safety precautions.
- Michelle made sure any COVID-19 updates and precautions were based in science and took the lead from local healthcare professionals to put in place an effective plan.
- Michelle secured desperately-needed money for local businesses to help them weather the crises and reduce the effects of unemployment.
- In August, Michelle worked with local restaurants to ensure they could get back to business safely and follow critical precautions to slow the spread while getting our economy moving again.