Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Quarantine 15? Not in Antioch – ranked among fittest cities in California study reveals

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020
  • Overall fitness score of 83.58, ranked 87th in state out of 300 cities and communities

  • Contributing factors to fitness scores include exercise opportunities, access to healthy food, air pollution and drinking water quality.

  • Infographic showing top cities in California according to overall fitness score.

With the pandemic restricting our usual exercise regimes due to social distancing regulations, many Americans have had to adapt their fitness goals and align them with at-home workouts. Combined with the fact that many of us are comfort eating while in the midst of a global health crisis, this may have led some to gain the so-called, ‘Quarantine 15’ without even realizing. However, the good news about working or studying from home is not having to worry about your daily commute taking up too much time that could be used to achieve your at-home fitness goals for the day. But what happens if you don’t have adequate space in your home and don’t live near an open outdoor area in order to work out?

BarBend.com, the world’s leading strength training resource and news outlet, compiled a comprehensive list of the top fittest cities across California, using data backed by studies based on a variety of factors. These were combined to create an overall fitness score out of 100 for each city on the list. Fitness factors in this study include exercise opportunities, access to healthy food, air pollution, drinking water violations, physical inactivity, obesity and smoking, amongst others.

It was found that Antioch emerged in 87th position with an overall fitness score of 83.58. The city has a high rate of exercise opportunities at 970 (per 1,000 people) suggesting that the surrounding environment can play a key role in determining people’s fitness level.

According to the CHR’s county health ranking model, “individuals who live closer to sidewalks, parks and gyms are more likely to exercise”, therefore access to exercise opportunities is crucial in maintaining a healthy population. Additionally, residents who live in neighborhoods with access to grocery stores that allow them to obtain healthy foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, are more likely to have healthier diets than those who do not have access to these kinds of supermarkets. Considering the Golden State is abundant in national parks and natural landscapes, the great outdoors provides the perfect background for recreational activities, such as rock climbing, hiking, swimming and cycling. Additionally, Antioch was found to have low air pollution, low rates of physical inactivity, obesity and smoking.

View the top cities for fitness across California (including Antioch data)
“As you can see, there are a variety of external factors that can have an impact on a town’s overall fitness, which can be detrimental to the population’s health, especially where some don’t have access to sufficient space for their at-home workouts,” says Max Whiteside from BarBend.com. “If this is the case, you can still try and keep fit while going about your work for the day by standing, instead of sitting in front of your laptop, taking frequent breaks in which you can complete some lunges and squats, making mobility work a part of your daily routine. Remember your own bodyweight can also be a useful workout tool!”

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

Kelly-Moore Paint agrees to $1.43 million settlement with 10 DA’s for illegal dumping of hazardous waste

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020

Violated state environmental protection laws

By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa County District Attorney

Martinez, Calif. – Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton announced Monday, a $1.43 million settlement against Kelly-Moore Paint Company (Kelly-Moore) to resolve allegations that the company violated California state laws governing hazardous waste by routinely and illegally disposing of paint colorants, paint, electronic devices, aerosol products, and other hazardous wastes into company waste bins destined for municipal landfills not authorized to accept hazardous waste. The lawsuit also resolves allegations that Kelly-Moore failed to shred customer records containing confidential information before disposal.

“My office will always strive to protect the environment and public health by holding companies accountable for violating our environmental laws. This settlement not only acts as a deterrent against other potential violators but more importantly contains injunctive provisions to ensure Kelly Moore will maintain environmental compliance into the foreseeable future.,” stated Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton.

Kelly-Moore is a retail paint company in North America. In California the company owns or operates approximately 106 retail stores, including nine stores in Contra Costa County as part of this settlement.

The investigation of Kelly-Moore was initiated by the California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC). From March 2016 through December 2018, inspectors from the DTSC, and investigators from other district attorney offices statewide, conducted a series of undercover inspections of waste bins originating at 29 separate Kelly-Moore locations. These inspections found numerous instances of unlawful disposal of hazardous waste paint colorants, paint, electronic devices, aerosol products, and other hazardous wastes. Kelly-Moore also violated laws meant to protect vulnerable confidential consumer information by unlawfully disposing of customer records without having rendered personal information unreadable.

When Kelly-Moore officials were notified by the prosecutors of the unlawful disposals, they immediately agreed to cooperate with the People and promptly implemented measures and dedicated additional resources towards environmental compliance at its stores. Stores are required to properly manage hazardous waste and to retain their waste in segregated, labeled containers to minimize the risk of exposure to employees and customers and to ensure that incompatible wastes do not combine to cause dangerous chemical reactions. Hazardous waste produced by Kelly-Moore stores through damage, spills, and returns is being collected by state-registered haulers, taken to proper disposal facilities, and properly documented and accounted for.

The settlement requires a monetary payment of $1.43 million. This consists of $825,000 for civil penalties, $178,750 for supplemental environmental projects, and $425,000 for reimbursement of investigative and enforcement costs. Kelly-Moore gets a credit of $125,000 against the penalties if it undertakes at least $250,000 in environmental enhancement work not required by law. In addition, the settlement includes provisions requiring Kelly-Moore to employ a California-based compliance employee to oversee Kelly-Moore’s hazardous waste compliance program and to undergo a trash receptacle audit to ensure hazardous wastes and confidential consumer information is properly disposed of at all stores. The results of the audit must be shared with the public. The company must also comply with 28 injunctive requirements pertaining to environmental and confidential consumer information protection laws.

Joining District Attorney Becton in this lawsuit are the District Attorneys of Alameda, Monterey, Placer, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma and Yolo Counties.

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 Hazardous Materials Commission seeks applicants 

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020

WHAT: The Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials Commission seeks applicants for four open seats.

The commission is a voluntary body appointed by the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors that makes policy recommendations to the board and county staff regarding hazardous materials and hazardous waste.

WHO: The commission’s 14 members and alternates serve four-year terms and include representatives of industry, labor, civic groups, environmental organizations, environmental engineers, the public and the Contra Costa Mayors Conference.

The current openings are for a representative from an environmental organization and one alternate, and the Environmental Justice seat, for a member of a county community disproportionately impacted by hazardous materials releases, and one alternate.

All candidates must live or work in Contra Costa County, have a demonstrated interest in hazardous materials issues and an understanding and commitment to the principles of environmental justice as defined in county policy. Candidates must be able to commit to one to two meetings per month, or to fill in as needed for alternates.

Candidates for the Environmental seat must be nominated by an environmental organization.

WHEN: Mail completed applications to the Clerk of the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, 651 Pine St., First Floor, Martinez, CA 94553. Applications must be received by September 30.

Interviews for qualified applicants will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on October 9, by Zoom or telephone.

HOW: For an application form or more information, contact Michael Kent, the executive assistant to the commission at 925-250-3227. Applications are also available online or from the Clerk of the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, 651 Pine Street, First Floor, in Martinez.

 

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 updates health order to match state’s COVID-19 Blueprint – nail salons, massage can reopen indoors

Monday, September 14th, 2020

Even card rooms can open, again – outdoors, but not piercing, tattooing or non-medical electrolysis (you’ll still have to keep plucking out those hairs, yourself!)

Contra Costa County today aligned its COVID-19 social distancing health order with California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, so the county no longer has different reopening rules for businesses and activities beyond what the state requires or allows.

The change, effective at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, simplifies the plan for reducing the spread of COVID-19 in Contra Costa so that residents and local businesses can better understand and identify the steps we all need to take to keep ourselves, our families, workers and customers safer during the pandemic.

The update to Contra Costa’s health order does allow some additional businesses to reopen, following the state health guidelines for their industries:

  • Personal care services that involve close contact with the face may begin operating outdoors, except for tattooing, piercing and nonmedical electrolysis
  • Racetracks and cardrooms may operate outdoors
  • Music, television and film production may resume
  • Professional sports without live audiences may resume

These changes are consistent with Contra Costa’s placement in the purple tier of the state’s blueprint, indicating that COVID-19 is widespread in the county. When the data tracked by the state show sustained improvement for two weeks, the county will move into the red tier, allowing more businesses and activities to reopen.

Information about the state’s blueprint, including health guidelines for businesses and activities, which business sectors are not currently safe to operate in Contra Costa, and how the guidelines will change as the county makes progress against COVID-19, are all available at covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy.

Contra Costa’s current health orders retain health guidelines for social bubbles and structured contact between people from different households, face coverings and physical distancing. The FAQ and Safer Social Interactions pages at cchealth.org/coronavirus have information about keeping safer during the pandemic.

Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) continues to monitor data that show how the virus is spreading through our community, including hospitalizations and how the pandemic is impacting the county’s healthcare system. If there is a sudden surge in COVID-19 transmission in the future, the county may need to temporarily impose more restrictions to protect the public health.

One way Contra Costans can help keep our county’s healthcare system running smoothly is to get a flu vaccine – talk to your health provider about getting one. CCHS is also planning community vaccination clinics beginning in October.

Anyone who lives or works in Contra Costa can help make the county safer from COVID-19 and reopen more quickly is to get a fast, free COVID-19 test at a community testing site. The state has reduced the requirements for moving into less restrictive tiers for counties that test many people every day, and other Bay Area counties have already qualified for this benefit.

Make a COVID-19 testing appointment today by calling 1-844-421-0804 or booking online at cchealth.org/coronavirus – hit the “Get Tested” button. This site is also an official source for local information regarding 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

Teepa Snow returns to Antioch’s TreVista for virtual event Sept. 22

Friday, September 11th, 2020

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

Gov. Newsom signs statewide COVID-19 tenant and landlord protection legislation, extended through Jan. 31, 2021

Friday, September 4th, 2020

New law includes targeted protections for tenants to shield them from evictions due to COVID-19-related back rent through February 1, 2021 

Extends anti-foreclosure protections in the Homeowner Bill of Rights to small landlords

SACRAMENTO — Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday announced that he had signed legislation to protect millions of tenants from eviction and property owners from foreclosure due to the economic impacts of COVID-19. These protections apply to tenants who declare an inability to pay all or part of the rent due to a COVID-related reason.

Under the legislation, no tenant can be evicted before February 1, 2021 as a result of rent owed due to a COVID-19 related hardship accrued between March 4 – August 31, 2020, if the tenant provides a declaration of hardship according to the legislation’s timelines. For a COVID-19 related hardship that accrues between September 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021, tenants must also pay at least 25 percent of the rent due to avoid eviction.

“COVID-19 has impacted everyone in California – but some bear much more of the burden than others, especially tenants struggling to stitch together the monthly rent, and they deserve protection from eviction,” said Governor Newsom. “This new law protects tenants from eviction for non-payment of rent and helps keep homeowners out of foreclosure as a result of economic hardship caused by this terrible pandemic. California is stepping up to protect those most at-risk because of COVID-related nonpayment, but it’s just a bridge to a more permanent solution once the federal government finally recognizes its role in stabilizing the housing market. We need a real, federal commitment of significant new funding to assist struggling tenants and homeowners in California and across the nation.”

On Friday, the Governor, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced an agreement on the legislation, AB 3088, co-authored by Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) and Senators Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) and Anna Caballero (D-Salinas).

Tenants are still responsible for paying unpaid amounts to landlords, but those unpaid amounts cannot be the basis for an eviction. Landlords may begin to recover this debt on March 1, 2021, and small claims court jurisdiction is temporarily expanded to allow landlords to recover these amounts. Landlords who do not follow the court evictions process will face increased penalties under the Act.

The legislation also extends anti-foreclosure protections in the Homeowner Bill of Rights to small landlords; provides new accountability and transparency provisions to protect small landlord borrowers who request CARES-compliant forbearance; and provides the borrower who is harmed by a material violation with a cause of action.

Additional legal and financial protections for tenants include:

  • Extending the notice period for nonpayment of rent from 3 to 15 days to provide tenant additional time to respond to landlord’s notice to pay rent or quit.
  • Requiring landlords to provide hardship declaration forms in a different language if rental agreement was negotiated in a different language.
  • Providing tenants a backstop if they have a good reason for failing to return the hardship declaration within 15 days.
  • Requiring landlords to provide tenants a notice detailing their rights under the Act.
  • Limiting public disclosure of eviction cases involving nonpayment of rent between March 4, 2020 – January 31, 2021.
  • Protecting tenants against being evicted for “just cause” if the landlord is shown to be really evicting the tenant for COVID-19-related nonpayment of rent.

Existing local ordinances can generally remain in place until they expire and future local action cannot undermine this Act’s framework. Nothing in the legislation affects a local jurisdiction’s ability to adopt an ordinance that requires just cause, provided it does not affect rental payments before January 31, 2021.

The legislation builds on the state’s strongest-in-the-nation rent cap and eviction protections passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor last year. The Governor also signed major legislation last year to boost housing production, remove barriers to construction of accessory dwelling units and create an ongoing source of funding for borrower relief and legal aid to vulnerable homeowners and renters. Last year’s budget made a historic $1.75 billion investment in new housing and created major incentives – both sticks and carrots – to incentivize cities to approve new home construction. In the first weeks of his administration, Governor Newsom signed an executive order that created an inventory of all excess state land and has launched partnerships with California cities to develop affordable housing on that land. This year, the Governor prioritized $550 million in federal stimulus funding to purchase and rehabilitate thousands of motels around the state for use as permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness and provided an additional $350 million in general fund support to California’s cities and counties for homeless services and housing.

Local leaders and advocates welcomed the signing of the Act:

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti: “No one should lose their home due to this public health crisis — and while cities like Los Angeles have strong tenant protections in place, there is no substitute for a clear, statewide framework that keeps hard-hit Californians under a roof. With the state legislature’s action and Governor Newsom’s signature, tenants and landlords can rest easier tonight, but the fight continues for every dollar in federal assistance to help struggling families survive the choppy waters of COVID-19 and navigate the economic destruction left in its wake.”

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg: “The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated low-income families across the state and right here in the City of Sacramento. The eviction protections signed into law today will protect some of the most vulnerable – those who have lost income or suffered other unimaginable hardships in these past few months — from falling into homelessness. I appreciate the work of the Legislature and the Governor to provide this meaningful relief.”

San Francisco Mayor London Breed: “Protecting people from eviction has been critical from Day One of the COVID crisis, when it became clear that this pandemic was going to threaten our residents and our economies like nothing we have ever seen. People are living in fear of losing their homes because they have lost their jobs, seen their wages cut, or have been forced to close their businesses. I want to thank Governor Newsom for working with our Legislative leaders to pass AB 3088, especially our own Assemblymember David Chiu who has been an early and tireless fighter for tenants on this issue.”

UC, Berkeley Terner Center Faculty Director Carol Galante: “California is taking a big step forward today to protect the most vulnerable tenants at this moment of acute crisis. As our research has shown, more than one million California renters households have experienced job loss during COVID-19, and this directly impacts their housing security. While today’s new laws are necessary, more must be done – and this means the Congress and the President stepping into their rightful role as provider of a meaningful renter relief package as part of the next stimulus. California deserves credit for acting, and now we must demand the Federal government follow suit.”

The Governor also announced that he has signed the following bills:

  • AB 2782 by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley) – Mobilehome parks: change of use: rent control.
  • AB 3364 by the Committee on Judiciary – Judiciary omnibus.

Additional information on the Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act can be found here. For full text of the bills signed today, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov

 

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

Antioch to open Rivertown cooling center, Water Park for family swimming Labor Day Weekend Sept 5-8

Friday, September 4th, 2020

With another heat wave on the horizon, the City of Antioch is committed to providing a safe, cool place for residents to spend the day. The cooling center located at the Nick Rodriguez Community Center will open Saturday, September 5th and remain open through Tuesday, September 8th for all residents. Citizens without home air conditioning, or with health conditions made worse with extreme heat and poor air quality are encouraged to seek out the cooling center. The Community Center is located historic, downtown Rivertown at 213 F Street, Antioch. The cooling center will be open from 12:00noon to 6:00pm each day.

COVID-19 Health Orders remain in full effect and the following modifications are activated and required by all individuals coming to the cooling center:

– Everyone must wear masks and/or acceptable face coverings; one will be provided if needed

– Social distancing will be enforced; only families may sit or stand together

– All visitors must answer the COVID health questions; if you feel sick stay home, you will not be admitted into the center

– Bring your own snacks; sharing food is not allowed. Bring books and games also.

The cooling center has been an important resource for families that need some respite during this time. The change in air quality due to recent fires makes the cooling center invaluable for individuals with breathing difficulties. All residents are encouraged to visit the center as needed.

Family Swimming at Water Park

The Antioch Water Park will offer family swimming sessions on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Families or households up to six individuals can enjoy a refreshing dip in a specific area of the water park this holiday weekend. Social distancing and other COVID health rules are in place. The entry fee is $5 per person payable by credit card. Reservations are required, and residents are encouraged to call the water park at (925) 776-3070 to secure a swim time for this weekend. The pools reach capacity quickly! The water park is located in Prewett Park at 4701 Lone Tree Way.

Residents are encouraged to stay connected with the City of Antioch by following the daily announcements posted on the website www.antiochca.gov. For more information about park use and the activities allowed at this time please call the Recreation Department at 925-776-3050.

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

Commentary: Doctor says get the health care you need during COVID-19

Friday, September 4th, 2020

By Dr. Jeffrey McManus, Desert Pacific Regional Vice President for Health Services, Humana

Dr. Jeffrey McManus. From his LinkedIn profile.

Contra Costa County residents have been turning to medical virtual visits, also known as telemedicine, more than ever during the coronavirus pandemic.  While telemedicine companies have been around for years, the pandemic has led to a dramatic increase in virtual visits as primary care doctors, specialists and hospitals began offering the service as a way to help keep patients safe.

Now that most medical offices and hospitals are accepting patients for in-person visits and elective procedures, you may be wondering if you should go to your doctor’s office or stick to a virtual visit.  Rest assured, your health care providers can help you decide what’s best as they work to ensure safe care for patients and staff. This includes changing the ways they deliver care like screening patients ahead of time to help determine if it’s best to go to a medical office or stay at home.

In-person Visits

If it’s determined that an in-person visit is best for you, you’ll find that to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, many facilities are taking the following steps:

  • Screening arriving patients for COVID-19 symptoms and providing a mask and hand hygiene supplies before entering the center.
  • Screening every employee for COVID-19 every shift and requiring them to wear masks at all times and appropriate personal protective equipment.
  • Treating suspected and symptomatic COVID-19 patients in designated areas only.
  • Promoting physical distancing with new clinic layouts.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting exam rooms between each patient visit, and regularly disinfecting high-traffic and high-touch areas.

Virtual Visits

If you don’t require in-person attention, a virtual visit is still a good option. Many people are choosing virtual visits in non-emergency situations for routine follow-ups and non-life-threatening conditions. This option allows you to consult your doctor or other health care providers in your network via a secure video or phone appointment, all in the comfort of your home. Before your telehealth visits:

  • Make a list of all the medications – prescription and over-the-counter – that you take and include the name, address and phone number of your pharmacy.
  • Write down details about your symptoms, concerns, pain and feelings.
  • Take digital photos of any injury, rash or other visible concern.
  • Have your insurance ID card available.
  • Use a phone, tablet or computer that’s connected to the internet. If you’ve never video-chatted before, consider a practice run with a friend or family member to work out the process and check the microphone and speakers. Headphones or ear buds provide better sound quality and more privacy.
  • Have your home thermometer, bathroom scale, glucometer or blood-pressure monitor nearby.

Many area medical offices like John Muir Health, which serves Contra Costa County, offer both virtual and in-person visits.  John Muir Health has enhanced safety protocols for patients receiving care onsite, such as a universal mask policy, temperature and symptom screening and increased cleaning and disinfection.

Whether you choose a virtual or in-person visit, check with your health insurance provider to see if they’ve taken steps to help ease the burden during the health crisis. For example, Humana is waiving cost sharing (including copays, coinsurance and deductibles) for in-network primary care, outpatient behavioral health and virtual visits for our Medicare Advantage members for the remainder of the calendar year.

Getting the care you need is always important. Consider these options to stay safe and healthy. And remember, for life-threatening emergencies, such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, or suicidal thoughts, always call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Bottom line, don’t delay care because you are worried about contracting COVID-19.

 

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