Archive for the ‘Contra Costa County’ Category

Oh my heaven, on 7-11: New county health order bans indoor church services again, outdoor diners must wear masks except when eating and more

Saturday, July 11th, 2020

More than 8% of Contra Costa COVID-19 tests now positive

From Contra Costa County Health Services

Due to a sharp rise in the percentage of COVID-19 tests returning positive in the community, Contra Costa County Health Officer, Dr. Chris Farnitano today, Saturday, July 11, 2020 amended its social distancing health order to temporarily tighten face-covering requirements and prohibit indoor gatherings where there is elevated risk of spreading the virus. (See details, here and CCC Full Health Order 07-11-20)

Local data show that 8.04 percent of COVID-19 tests administered over the past seven days were positive, a sign that the virus is spreading rapidly in the county and that the community must take immediate steps to prevent our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.

Contra Costa is especially concerned about the risk of COVID-19 transmission in indoor gatherings, and in gatherings that involve removing face coverings for eating and drinking.

When Contra Costa received authorization (variance) from the California Department of Public Health in June to allow the reopening of some businesses and activities, the plan we submitted indicated that an 8% testing positivity rate would trigger the review and reconsideration of reopening activities in the county.

Other indicators show COVID-19 is on the rise in Contra Costa communities. The seven-day average number of new cases identified in the county rose from 38 on June 8 to 146 on July 8, while the seven-day average number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients rose from 17 to 54 during the same period. As of Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m. there are no 77 COVID-19 patients in Contra Costa County hospitals. (See more statistics on the CCHealth Coronavirus Dashboard)

The 209 adult intensive care unit beds in Contra Costa County hospitals are on average a little more than half-full on a given day, including COVID-19 patients and patients with other health concerns.

Given the rapid spread of local cases, Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) is concerned that the number of patients needing intensive care could quickly exceed capacity.

According to the new health order, indoor worship services are temporarily prohibited, effective on Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Services held earlier on Sunday, July 12, are not subject to this change.

Certain categories of outdoor gatherings, including worship services and social protests, are permitted at any size in Contra Costa so long as state health guidelines are followed, including physical distancing and appropriate use of face coverings. (State guidelines for outdoor worship services and protests)

In outdoor dining settings, staff and customers must now observe face covering requirements at all times, except when putting food or drink in the mouth. The new order also increases guidance for businesses that serve alcohol with meals to better align with state guidelines.

Members of extended family “social bubbles” must now always use face coverings when together, except when putting food or drink in the mouth.

Contra Costa County hopes to ease these enhanced, extraordinary safety measures as soon as possible, and will review available health system data daily to determine when it is safe to do so.

CCHS urges everyone to continue taking simple steps to protect themselves from COVID-19: Follow the social distancing order, and wear a face covering when you go out or are near other people. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, and always stay home from work or school if you are not feeling well.

In response, the following questions were sent to Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano, Board of Supervisors Chair Candace Andersen and the county health communications staff:

Why are indoor church services being shut down, again?

What statistics can you show that they were the direct cause of the spike in the recent COVID-19 cases in our county? Especially since those who attend worship services have been required to social distance and wear masks while attending an indoor service.

Might it be from other activities such as swimming or a variety of other activities?

Is everyone who gets tested given a questionnaire in which they report what their activities have been for the previous 14 days? If so, can you please provide a copy of the questionnaire?

If not, how do you know and are you merely making assumptions and an arbitrary decision to once again unfairly target people of faith who have the most First Amendment protections while exercising their freedom of religion than any other activity in our nation, since they also have the freedom of peaceful assembly?

Finally, how many of the positive cases in our county are from people outside of the county being brought into our county from elsewhere?

Please check back later for answers to these questions and more.

Visit cchealth.org/coronavirus to read the new health order, and for local information about Contra Costa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

UPDATE: Contra Costa updates public guidance for face coverings to match state’s

Tuesday, July 7th, 2020

Graphic by State of California from Gov. Newsom’s Wear a Mask campaign.

COVID-19 spreading rapidly in county; 209 new cases confirmed today

Contra Costa County today updated its health order about when and where members of the public should wear face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic to align it with current state guidance.

Local data indicate that COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in Contra Costa County. The county is currently on the California Department of Public Health’s monitoring list because of increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients in local hospitals. Today Contra Costa reports 209 new confirmed cases.

The updated order specifies that face coverings should be worn in businesses and in areas where people wait in line to enter businesses, and that everyone should wear a mask or face covering whenever they are within six feet of another person who is not a member of their household, except in very limited, industry-specific situations.

7/9/20 CORRECTION & UPDATE: People who have certain health conditions are exempt from wearing masks that fit snugly over the mouth and nose.

The order also requires businesses that are open during the pandemic to ensure their workers and volunteers wear face coverings, and to not serve or allow entry to anyone not wearing face coverings.

Persons exempted from wearing a face covering due to a medical condition who are employed in a job involving regular contact with others should wear a non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a cloth drape on the bottom edge to contain coughs and sneezes., as long as their condition permits it.

“We encourage people who need an alternative to consider face shields when and how described by the state guidance, but it is not mandated by the county order,” added Contra Costa Health Services spokesman, Karl Fischer.

“We recognize there is a lot of detailed health guidance coming from state and local sources, and that can be confusing,” said Candace Andersen, chair of the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors. “With COVID-19 spreading more in our community, it is more important than ever to follow the state health guidance and wear a face covering whenever you go out.”

Face coverings, even if just cloth bandanas, help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by blocking virus-containing droplets that come out of our mouths and noses when we breath, speak, cough or sneeze. Face coverings are one of the simplest and most effective ways to slow the virus spread and allow for further re-opening of the economy. The World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and the California Department of Public Health all recommend face coverings due to emerging evidence of benefit in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

  • CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Cloth face coverings may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.
  • Cloth face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings.
  • Cloth face coverings should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

——————–

CCHS encourages everyone to take simple steps to protect themselves from COVID-19: Follow the shelter-in-place order, and wear a face covering when you go out or are near other people. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, and always stay home from work or school if you are not feeling well.

Visit cchealth.org/coronavirus to read the new health order, and for local information about Contra Costa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Contra Costa County off state’s Watch List as of Friday evening

Friday, July 3rd, 2020

Check marks indicate a county has fallen below the monitoring level for that criteria.

County health officials evaluating local data to determine any further business reopening

By Allen Payton

As of Friday night, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) COVID-19 website, Contra Costa County is no longer on the state’s Watch List for monitoring cases.

The state monitors three criteria, which includes elevated disease transmission with a case rate of more than 100 or a case rate of greater than 25 and positivity of more than 8%; increasing hospitalization of more than 10%, and limited hospital capacity with less than 20% of ICU beds available or less than 25% of ventilators available.

Contra Costa has fallen below the criteria which flags counties for inclusion on the watch list.

Asked if there had been an announcement about this new information since our county was included in the list as of Governor Newsom’s announcement on Wednesday, July 1, Contra Costa Health Services spokesman Karl Fischer responded, “No. Counties go on and off the watch list with some regularity, including ours.”

Asked if those businesses that were supposed to reopen on Wednesday would now be allowed to reopen on Monday, Fischer responded, “No determination has been made about changing the reopening timeline. We are evaluating the local data.”

A description of the data being monitored can be found in the Understanding the Data Being Monitored section. The data chart is updated and posted daily.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Contra Costa residents urged to celebrate Independence Day by staying at home, to stay safe from COVID-19 on July 4th and remaining dependent on the government

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020

Contra Costa Health Services Coronavirus Dashboard statistics as of Thursday morning, July 2, 2020 at 11:30 a.m.

“the more we come together in groups, the more COVID-19 spreads in the community.” – Dr. Chris Farnitano

By Allen Payton

In a rather ironic announcement Thursday, with reports of COVID-19 spreading rapidly in many Bay Area neighborhoods, members of the Association of Bay Area Health Officers (ABAHO) representing thirteen jurisdictions, urge residents to protect themselves and the community by celebrating Independence Day while remaining at home, under what amounts to house arrest, during the July 4th holiday weekend.

The Fourth of July, the day on which we as a nation celebrate the declaration of our independence from the tyrannical rule of England’s King George III, with his oppressive regulations and taxation, is traditionally a time to celebrate with firework shows, parades and cookouts. But this year the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many community leaders cancelling public events. Gatherings with others from outside your household, such as members of the extended family, are also considered potentially risky, according to the Association of Bay Area Health Officials (ABAHO).

Health officers from across the greater Bay Area say staying home this year is a healthy choice.

“Nobody wants to be cooped up, or to miss out on the holiday,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County Health Officer, a member of ABAHO. “But the more we come together in groups, the more COVID-19 spreads in the community. And the more it spreads, the more it endangers older adults and others at high risk of serious illness.”

So, instead of merely requiring those older adults and others at high risk to stay home, he wants all of us to.

“You can spread COVID-19 even if you don’t feel that sick,” the ABAHO explained in a their press release announcement. “You can pass the disease to someone else before you have symptoms, and even if you never develop any symptoms at all. When infected people come in contact with others who are high-risk, there can be deadly consequences.”

Those deadly consequences have so far amounted to 78 deaths out of 1,115,000 residents in Contra Costa County, or one death in every 14,300 people. Currently there are a total of 41 patients with the virus in our hospitals and not all of them are from our county. At the same time, some county residents who have tested positive are in hospitals in Alameda County. In addition, according to the Contra Costa Health Services Coronavirus Dashboard, as of today at 11:30 a.m. a total of 76,139 people have been tested in our county and 3,326 have contracted the virus. The good news is, to date, 2,311 who have tested positive in Contra Costa have recovered, which means there are currently 896 residents in our county who have the virus and should be staying home under self-quarantine.

Yet because of the risks they have outlined, Bay Area health officers recommend people who are not members of the same household remain physically distant. Unless you choose to follow the county’s guidelines for sexual activity, which can be found, here and recommend that “If you do have sex with others, have as few partners as possible.”

According to the ABAHO, the best ways to protect yourself and slow the spread of COVID-19 include:

  • Continuing to stay home as much as possible
  • Practicing physical distancing outside the home
  • Wearing face coverings or masks when outside your home
  • Avoiding gatherings with people outside your immediate household – (even though Contra Costa allows gathering in groups of 12 people, and as many as 100 if you’re attending an outdoor or indoor worship service or protest. So, be sure if you’re number 101 or more, to please leave and either worship or protest on your own.
  • Washing your hands thoroughly and frequently
  • Staying home from work, school or daycare if you feel sick

Bay Area residents who have symptoms are also encouraged to get tested for COVID-19, and to do so immediately. Check with your local health department for more information about testing and about efforts in your community to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, please visit cchealth.org/coronavirus.

ABOUT THE ABAHO

The Association of Bay Area Health Officials (ABAHO) represents health officers and other public health professionals from thirteen jurisdictions. ABAHO coordinates and communicates regional messages to save lives, promote and protect health, prevent injury and illness, and improve wellness in the region’s diverse communities. According to an article on CaliforniaHealthLine.org “The alliance, formally called the Association of Bay Area Health Officials, was born in 1985 in the early days of the AIDS epidemic.” That article, entitled “The Inside Story Of How The Bay Area Got Ahead Of The COVID-19 Crisis”, is dated April 21, 2020 a week after Contra Costa experienced it’s peak, so far, of 44 Coronavirus patients in county hospitals on April 14.

The members of the ABAHO and other government leaders have returned us to the days before 1776 with even more oppressive regulations than those of King George, III – who still allowed the colonists to freely worship, go to work, operate their businesses (unless they were seditious newspaper publishers), earn a living, and go about their daily lives – while instilling fear into the populace about the virus, as well as by releasing inmates from federal and state prisons, and county jails, and increasing the national debt in order to keep providing unemployment payments, grants and loans (with interest, further burdening business owners) to most, but not all those who qualify and have been approved, yet who are still waiting to receive even a penny from either the state or federal government, while at the same time allowing the homeless, protesters, looters, vandals, Antifa members, and CHOP and CHAZ residents to enjoy maximum freedom, in effect guaranteeing only to them the full exercise of the freedoms enumerated in the Bill of Rights, while restricting most of the rest of us from enjoying them.

Enjoy celebrating your freedom on Saturday!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Hold that beer: Contra Costa to postpone COVID-19 reopening timeline due to spike in cases, although expected

Monday, June 29th, 2020

Decision on bars made Sunday; gyms, nail salons, bowling alleys, arcades, hotels, museums, plus massage, body waxing and tattoo businesses will also remain closed

As Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) warned the public of the possibility on Friday, they have decided to delay the opening of businesses and activities previously planned for July 1 until the COVID-19 outbreak in Contra Costa is better contained.

The county is closely monitoring recent data showing COVID-19 activity increasing in the community, as it is statewide and throughout the country.

On Sunday, Gov. Gavin Newsom recommended that Contra Costa County, along with several other counties in the state, not reopen bars. Contra Costa is one of 15 counties on the state’s County Monitoring List. The county’s timeline had previously cleared bars (with or without food), gyms, fitness centers, personal training, massage, nail salons, tattoo, body waxing and other personal services not involving the face, indoor dining, limited indoor leisure (arcades, billiards, bowling alleys, etc.), indoor museums and hotels for tourism & individual travel to reopen July 1.

When asked Sunday about the impact of Newsom’s recommendations, Kim McCarl, Communications Assistant for Contra Costa Health Services responded, “As you know, we released a statement on Friday indicating that we would make an announcement about our timeline going forward on Monday. That is still our plan.  Bars are not currently open in Contra Costa County. We appreciate the governor’s recommendation and will certainly take it into consideration as we determine next steps. We’ll have more tomorrow.”

However, Board of Supervisors Chair Candace Andersen told KPIX5 CBS News, on Sunday that “We were slated to open them on July 1, but given the governor’s announcement, we will definitely not be opening bars on July 1st,” citing contact tracing as one of the biggest challenges. “It is very difficult in a bar where you have lots of people interacting,” she continued. “Whereas in other settings, a workplace, even a hair salon where you know who’s coming, who’s going, where you can then alert them when they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.”

Asked if she and the board had the authority to make that decision or if it was still in the hands of County Health Director Dr. Chris Farnitano and why it wasn’t shared with all the media, yesterday, Andersen responded, “I spoke with Dr. Farnitano yesterday and he told me that while we were not making a determination about the other July 1 activities until today, he was going to recommend that we follow the Governor’s guidelines regarding not opening bars. Based upon that information, I responded to the media inquiries received.”

With the sharp rise in community spread and hospitalizations, it does not make sense at this time to open additional business sectors that could further accelerate community transmission. These businesses and activities will remain closed in Contra Costa until county data indicate that the spread of the virus has slowed, as measured by at least a week of stable case numbers, hospitalizations and percent of tests that are positive. Trends will be monitored and evaluated daily.

Decision Based on Statistics

The seven-day average number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals in the county has increased by 75% from June 15 to June 29.

The seven-day average number of newly identified COVID-19 cases has increased from 38 a day to 87 a day. The percentage of COVID-19 tests that came back positive has also increased from 4% to 6%. This suggests the change is not simply due to more testing, but a true increase in community spread.

More Young People Testing Positive

We are also seeing a shift with more young people testing positive. In June, 55 percent of people testing positive in Contra Costa were 40 years and younger, compared to 38 percent for that group in April. It’s a sign that younger people are playing a major role in driving the increase in new cases and potentially infecting vulnerable individuals.

Many people who carry and spread the virus have no symptoms themselves. That is why it’s important for everyone to avoid social gatherings, observe physical distancing and wear masks or face coverings when around others.

Widespread testing is necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 so we can safely reopen the economy. Testing is the only way to find out if you are carrying the virus and interrupt its spread. People can spread the virus without knowing they are sick.

While Contra Costa have seen an increase in the numbers of people being tested over the past several weeks, we highly encourage everyone who lives and works in the county to get tested, even if they have no symptoms.

This morning, CCHS opened its eighth community COVID-19 testing site at Kennedy High School in Richmond. To make an appointment for a fast, convenient, no-cost test at any site in Contra Costa, call 1-844-421-0804 or visit cchealth.org/coronavirus – online scheduling is available at most sites.

The following questions were sent to Board Chair Andersen and county health services communications staff immediately prior to publication time:

Can someone please ask Dr. Farnitano, with all the recent reopening and protests, in which many more than 100 people were in attendance and clearly not social distancing was not practiced, during the previous three weeks, wasn’t the increase in cases and percentages expected?

If so, then why punish everyone for the actions of a few?

Also, since the new cases aren’t overwhelming our hospitals and health care industry with only 38 hospitalized, today – which was the issue we were told from the beginning was the major concern in the need to flatten the curve – and we all know that cases will increase once more businesses are reopened and activities are allowed to resume, why the delay?

UPDATE: In response, McCarl wrote, “New cases are a precursor to increased hospitalizations. We’ve seen the number of people in hospital go up as the percent of tests coming back positive have gone up. The goal is to lower the percent of positive cases before they overwhelm the healthcare system. We do that by staying home, wearing face coverings, maintaining social distance and washing hands.

You are correct that we expect to see numbers go up. It’s the rate in which they are raising that concerns us. A month ago, the percent of positive tests was in the 2-3% range. As of this morning, it’s about 6%. Our goal was under 5%, the criteria for the state monitoring is 8%. The trend is concerning.

In the past three weeks, our contact tracers have identified only a very small number of people who attended any sort of large gathers. Small being low single digits. We are seeing it spread throughout the community so pointing to one group or activity gives others a false sense of security. We all have a part to play in stopping this trend.”

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Contra Costa Health Services evaluating COVID-19 reopening timeline

Friday, June 26th, 2020

Timeline for July and August now contains qualifier

Friday, June 26, 2020 – Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) is evaluating whether the county should continue its current reopening timeline, due to recent data showing COVID-19 activity is increasing in the community. The timeline for the reopening of businesses and activities scheduled for July 1st and 15th, as well as the school reopening scheduled for July and August include an asterisk and the following qualifier: “In light of rapidly increasing case numbers and hospitilizations, anticipated re-opening dates may need to be postponed. Our community’s actions are more important than ever to stop the spread.”

CCHS is closely monitoring key data indicators that show how the virus is spreading in the county and will announce a decision about the timeline Monday.

During the past seven days, the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals in the county has increased 42%.

The seven-day average number of newly identified COVID-19 cases has increased from 39 a day to 68 a day. The positivity rate of test results – the percentage of COVID-19 tests that came back positive – has also increased. This suggests the change is not simply due to more testing, but indicates a true increase in community spread.

We are also seeing a shift with more young people testing positive. In June, 55% of cases were 40 years and under compared to 38% for that group in April. It’s a sign that younger people are playing a major role in driving the increase in new cases and potentially infecting vulnerable individuals. This highlights why it’s important for everyone to avoid social gatherings, observe physical distancing and wear masks or face coverings when around others.

CCHS encourages all residents to get tested. Increased testing for COVID-19 is a critical part of the community effort to slow local spread of the virus, and necessary to continue reopening in the future.

Contra Costa’s data are consistent with increases in COVID-19 activity now being experienced in communities across the state and the nation. To view the Contra Costa Health Services Coronavirus Dashboard for more statistics, click here.

There is concern that these increases may lead to a surge in very ill people that could overwhelm the local healthcare system. We realize many people are eager to resume normal activities. However, if we adjust the reopening timeline, it will be because we have a chance to prevent the pandemic from getting out of control in the county.

Any change to the timeline would immediately affect businesses and activities that are currently scheduled to resume July 1, including indoor dining, bars, gyms, hotels and some personal care services, including nail salons and tattoo parlors.

CCHS is releasing this information today to provide businesses and residents as much time as possible to prepare for a potential change to the timeline.

With the Fourth of July weekend approaching, CCHS also reminds everyone that it’s a healthy choice to observe physical distancing when outside the home – maintain six feet of space whenever possible – and to wear face coverings. Anyone who feels sick should stay home. People should also wash their hands frequently.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Contra Costa receiving COVID-19 patients from as far away as Imperial County on the Mexico border

Wednesday, June 24th, 2020

Google Maps of California and Imperial County, showing location of and distance to Contra Costa County.

By Allen Payton

In response to some concerns by county residents and questions to county Supervisor Candace Andersen and health services spokespeople, it was revealed this week that Contra Costa is accepting patients from hospitals as far away as Imperial County along the border with Mexico. That’s because our county has mutual aid agreements with that and other counties in the state.

In response to a resident’s question “is CCC getting patients from other counties that are overloaded (such as Imperial County, or other counties)?” Gayle Israel, Chief of Staff for Board of Supervisors Chair Candace Andersen, wrote in an email, “We have two patients in Contra Costa hospitals from Imperial County. Also have 15 Contra Costa residents in Alameda County Hospitals. Reporting shows hospitalizations by county where hospitalized, not by residency. So, we are +13 beyond what is reported on our hospitalized dashboard.”

Asked by the Herald why the patients from Imperial County are in Contra Costa, Will Harper, Communications Specialist for Contra Costa Health Services responded, “We took on these patients as part of a mutual aid agreement to provide relief to hospitals in Imperial County,”

Asked if there are patients transferred to hospitals in Contra Costa County from any other county in the state, he responded, “Yes. We have mutual aid agreements with counties and offer help when they become over capacity.”

In addition, the resident asked Supervisor Andersen, “how many of the hospitalizations are from the four active nursing home outbreaks, and how many of the deaths are from the nursing home outbreaks?”

Israel responded,Ten of the 11 deaths since Friday were from congregate care facilities, nine from the same facility. Had a record number of cases over the weekend, but also hit target for first time for tests per day – higher amount of tests = higher cases. Health Officer says we have the data for # of hospitalizations from congregate care facilities, but he didn’t have at his fingertips. We are asking for that information – however, we have been told all along that those critically ill in skilled nursing facilities are not typically transferred to hospitals, so that number is likely low.”

As a result, communications staff for county health services were asked if a statistic can be included on the County Health Services’ Coronavirus Hospital Dashboard that shows in which other counties Contra Costa patients are located and which patients in Contra Costa hospitals are from other counties, Harper responded, “currently, there is not, though we are always working to expand the amount of data on our website and have added many dashboards over the past 1-2 months.”

Some county residents have expressed concern that people are crossing the border from Mexico, which for now is closed to non-essential travel, testing positive and filling up hospitals in California, and might be increasing the state’s Coronavirus statistics, resulting in a negative impact on decisions by government officials regarding reopening businesses, schools, sports and other activities. In addition, a video about what is happening in Riverside County, that COVID-19 patients are being flown in from Imperial County, raised questions about how the patients arrived in Contra Costa County.

The following additional questions were asked of county health services spokespeople.

People are wondering are those patients you referred to American citizens, or at least residents of Imperial County, or are they Mexican citizens or residents who have come across the border and entered the hospitals, there? Also, how did they arrive in Contra Costa? Do you know if they were flown, here to our county?

Please check back later for answers to the questions and any other updates to this report.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

103 new COVID-19 cases reported in Contra Costa Friday, largest one day increase, yet

Sunday, June 21st, 2020

Charts from CCHealth Coronavirus Dashboard.

Will it affect the county’s planned Road Ahead reopenings?

By Allen Payton

Contra Costa County experienced the greatest one-day spike in COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic at 103 between Thursday, June 18 and Friday, June 19, 2020. According to CCHealth’s Coronavirus Dashboard, the number of cases increased from 2,146 on Thursday to 2,249 on Friday. There was another increase of 45 cases between Friday and Saturday for a total of 2,294 people who have tested positive for the virus in the county, to date.

That has some residents concerned that the county might pull back on some of the planned openings of businesses and activities that are scheduled for July 1st and 15th, as well as schools in July and August, as well. (See related article)

However, in addition to that statistic, the county had 2,457 residents get tested for the Coronavirus between Thursday, June 18 and Friday, June 19, which was also the greatest one-day statistic, in that category.

As of Sunday, June 21, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. there are currently 30 people in the hospital in the county who are infected. There have been a total of 62 deaths attributed to the Coronavirus, which is slightly more than one-tenth (1/10th) of one percent of those who have been tested in the county, which currently stands at 57,989. Also, of the 2,294 people who have tested positive, 1,734 have recovered or 75.6%. That means there are currently 468 people in the county with the virus who are quarantined at home.

Of those who have tested positive, 2.7% have died. That statistic, which has remained fairly constant and actually dropped by 1/10th of one percent in the last month, might alleviate the concerns by county health officials.

However, with residents wondering if the spike in cases could have been caused by all the people participating in protests in the county over the past few weeks, an email was sent Sunday to county health spokesperson, Kim McCarl asking that question. She was also asked if those who test positive are asked what activities they have participated in over the previous two weeks and if there are any concerns by County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano and county health staff that the spike in cases could impact the Road Ahead schedule for reopening.

6/22/20 UPDATE: Will Harper, Media Relations Specialist for Contra Costa Health Services, responded, “We are closely monitoring recent increases in the number of COVID cases and hospitalizations in the county. We expected some increases as more businesses and activities reopened and as we expanded testing. Still, the upward trend is concerning and could affect our reopening timeline.

As people do venture outside their homes and back to normal social interactions, it’s important to do everything possible to reduce the risk for getting or spreading COVID-19. Wear a mask. Maintain six feet social distance. Wash your hands often. Stay home when you are sick.

Regarding the impact of protests: It is challenging to link cases to specific events, especially a gathering where you may not know anyone else who was there with you. We have a small number of reports tied to recent cases that did attend protests, but it is hard to attribute their presence at the protest with their infection versus other contacts they may have had in the past 14 days.”

Asked, again if people who get tested are asked about their activities over the previous 14 days, Harper responded “No, they don’t go back 14 days.” 6/24/20 UPDATE: He later clarified that statement writing, “we do contact investigation/tracing for contacts during the infectious period, which is defined as 2 days prior to symptom onset until patient is isolated (for symptomatic) and 2 days prior to COVID test date until patient is isolated (for asymptomatic).But we also ask where they may have been exposed 14 days from symptom onset/test date. This can be useful information, although keep in mind that we wouldn’t call people (ie close contacts) beyond the 48-hour infectious period mentioned above.”

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter