Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

Contra Costa moving into Orange Tier Wednesday opening churches, restaurants, theaters to 50%, gyms to 25%

Tuesday, April 6th, 2021


The State of California announced today that Contra Costa County will be able to move into the less restrictive Orange Tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy on Wednesday, April 7.

Contra Costa County currently has a COVID case-rate of 4.9 cases per 100,000 people and an overall testing-rate positivity of 1.8% (and 3% for the health equity metric). COVID-related hospitalizations are down to their lowest point since October. Meanwhile, nearly 500,000 county residents are at least partially vaccinated.

It has been five months since the last time the county qualified for the Orange Tier.

“This is great news for our community,” said Diane Burgis, chair of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors. “The last few months have been difficult for everyone and it’s nice to see us make more progress in the fight against COVID.”

Contra Costa Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said people should not let down their guard yet. He noted that case rates have plateaued recently, suggesting a slowdown in the recovery. “We are still in a pandemic and people should continue to act accordingly: Keep wearing masks in public and get vaccinated as soon as you can. I still strongly recommend people to avoid most indoor activities with people outside of their own household until they are fully vaccinated,” Dr. Farnitano said.

Last week, Contra Costa extended vaccine eligibility to everyone ages 16 and over who lives, works or goes to school in the county. Currently, people between the ages of 16-49 must schedule appointments through Contra Costa Health Services at or by calling 833-829-2626. Other healthcare providers, including the state’s MyTurn system, do not yet offer vaccine to people below the age of 50.

Starting Wednesday, April 7 several business sectors and community services can reopen or expand capacity:

  • Places of worship: 50% maximum capacity
  • Restaurants: 50% maximum capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer
  • Gyms, fitness centers and studios (including at hotels): 25% maximum capacity and indoor pools are permitted; Indoor hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms continue to be closed
  • Movie Theaters: 50% maximum capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer encouraged
  • Amusement parks: Overall park capacity and indoor capacity will be limited to 25%, including indoor dining.
  • Bars: Outdoors with modifications; no meals required to be served
  • Breweries, Distilleries, and Wineries: Indoors at 25% maximum capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer; no meals required to be served
  • Family entertainment centers: Indoors for naturally distanced activities like bowling, escape rooms, and billiards; 25% maximum capacity
  • Outdoor sports and live performances with fans/attendees: Up to 33% and with advanced reservations only. Concession sales will be primarily in-seat (no concourse sales). Designated indoor seated dining area capacity will be limited to 25%. Attendance will be limited to in-state spectators and guests must attest their reserved seats are only for one household.
  • Retail: Open indoors with modifications and food courts permitted with indoor dining restrictions

Contra Costa County must remain in the Orange Tier for at least three weeks before moving into the next, less restrictive yellow tier.


Contra Costa to close indoor dining, fitness centers, movie theater concessions Tuesday to contain spread of COVID-19

Friday, November 13th, 2020

In coordination with other Bay Ara counties

If the current restrictions don’t work “we are prepared for further restrictions” – Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa Health Officer during Friday afternoon press conference

On Thursday, California reached the unfortunate milestone of 1 million COVID cases statewide. With transmission and hospitalizations on the rise, health officers representing counties across the Bay Area are tightening local rules for high-risk indoor activities where the virus can spread more easily.

Contra Costa Health Services today issued an order to close, effective Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 8 a.m.:

  • Indoor dining
  • Indoor fitness centers
  • Concession stands at movie theaters

Dine-in restaurant and gyms reopened at reduced capacities when the county entered the state’s red tier in late September. But recent increases in COVID cases and hospitalizations make the closures necessary to help contain spread of the virus.

“Indoor interactions at restaurants, movie theaters, and indoor gyms and fitness centers are high-risk activities,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County Health Officer. “And given what we’re seeing happen across the country and the region, we must act now.”

Diners at restaurants remove their masks to eat or drink, as do movie patrons when snacking on food from concession stands. People also breathe heavily while they exercise at indoor gyms, increasing the risk of droplet and aerosol transmission of COVID-19, which can be only partially reduced by wearing a face covering.

Contra Costa recently moved from the state’s orange tier to the more restrictive red tier because of an increasing number of cases in the county. Meanwhile, hospitalizations in Contra Costa have returned to levels not seen in several weeks. On Nov. 11, 50 people with COVID were hospitalized in the county – the highest number since September.

“I’ve said this many times before, but it’s so important I can’t repeat it enough: The best way to protect against COVID-19 is to wear a face covering whenever you are near people who do not live with you, and whenever you go in a building that is not your home,” said Dr. Farnitano.

Health officials are especially worried about people gathering indoors with the holidays coming up and may consider other closures in the days and weeks ahead. Contra Costa County, which is now in the red tier, could move into the state’s most restrictive tier, the purple tier, within the coming weeks. If the county moves into the purple tier, schools that haven’t reopened will have to remain closed until the county moves back into the red tier or until they receive a waiver from the state.

“Our hope is that this new health order will slow down the spread of COVID so schools will have a better chance to reopen,” Dr. Farnitano said.

Screenshot of Dr. Chris Farnitano during press conference on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020.

Dr. Farnitano Press Conference

During a Zoom press conference Friday afternoon Farnitano was asked by the Herald, “Is this decision based on what’s actually happening in our county, or what’s happening in other Bay Area counties and elsewhere?” he responded, “We’re really looking at all of it.”

Where people are getting COVID, “many if not most cannot pinpoint any specific locations,” Farnitano explained. “But where we can identify, restaurants, gyms we are imposing restrictions.”

“Why can’t we just protect the vulnerable and allow the rest of us get back to living our lives?” the Herald asked.

“That would be an ideal strategy if it can work. But it can’t. The vulnerable can’t live in a bubble,” Farnitano stated. “We see it in our nursing homes. Those who work there go home, go shopping, and are with their families where they can be exposed.”

“To protect the most vulnerable in our society we need to keep the overall transmission to a minimum,” he added.

“What is the basis for closing indoor fitness centers and not other indoor activities,” he was asked.

“We have seen looking across the country and across the state there have been outbreaks in gyms and fitness centers,” Farnitano said during a press conference Friday afternoon. “People can exercise outside or at home. Outdoor fitness operations are still allowed. This current order doesn’t have an endpoint. When our hospital case rates come down…then we can reconsider these orders.

“Masks does not provide the same level of protection when youre around someone breathing heavily and exercising,” he added.

The actions are “due to the rapidly rising of rates in our community,” Farnitano explained.

One person asked about the county “moving the goal posts instead of enforcing existing rules”.

“The enforcement efforts have not proven sufficient,” Farnitano responded. “The more we can wear our masks and stay away from others outside of our households the sooner we can get past this upsurge.”

“Our case rate in the past seven days are already in the Purple Tier. We are testing at higher levels than state averages. Our adjusted case rate is even in the Purple Tier,” he said. “We have seen the case rate increase in the last several days in our hospitals.”

The county is issuing these orders, now so, “We can hope to blunt that wave, blunt that surge…to get us through a winter surge quicker and with less harm to the community as far as illness and death,” Farnitano explained.

“Are church services impacted further,” he was asked.

“Not at this point,” Farnitano responded. “We implemented restrictions on churches last week for the Red Tier. We are prepared to add additional restrictions in the future if our hospitalizations rise, in advance of state restrictions.”

“We are looking at all of our health care systems and how we can get through the latest wave,” he explained.

“Will it be enough? I am not sure. We will have to watch the data and see,” said Farnitano. “We all have to do our part, wear our masks, six feet of social distancing.

“But if it doesn’t we are prepared for further restrictions,” Farnitano added. “The state could move us into Purple the day after Thanksgiving.”

“Why don’t you believe in herd immunity,” he was asked.

“Herd immunity would take an enormous toll on the community and lead to enormous deaths, more than we’ve seen,” Farnitano responded. “We would need 70 to 80% levels of herd immunity. It would take uncontrollable disease for months and months and months and that would be too high of a toll for the community.”

Allen Payton contributed to this report.



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?, 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 “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!”

East County Muscle presents The Novice IV bodybuilding show in Antioch Jan. 26

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019