Alameda County Health Care Services Agency Update Week of January 18
Public Health – Emergency Medical Services – Behavioral Health – Environmental Health
Homeless Care & Coordination – HealthPAC – Center for Healthy Schools & Communities
Week of January 18
Alameda County Health Care Services Agency Update
As the state continues to experience high levels of COVID-19, and the Bay Area remains under the Regional Stay at Home Order, we are observing small signs of improvement in our County. Recent data suggests we may have reached our peak in cases around January 7 and 8. COVID cases remain high but appear to be stabilizing along with our hospitalizations and we continue to closely monitor the situation.
We are expanding COVID vaccine distribution efforts as supply from the state allows, and posted a vaccination summary on our website. Future updates include a vaccine data dashboard. We are finalizing plans for Super Points of Dispensing (PODs) in February, while we await formal announcements about possible changes to the State vaccination plan. Additionally, we are encouraging statewide improvements in COVID-19 vaccine distribution planning. Last week, Colleen Chawla, our Health Care Services Agency Director and President of the County Health Executive Association of California, joined lawmakers in the call for a more organized and better-funded COVID-19 vaccine rollout by the state.
Finally, we asked our partners with the Moderna vaccine in question (Lot 41L20A) to pause the use of that vaccine following news out of San Diego on Monday. We have since lifted that restriction based on information from the State on January 21. We are confident that this vaccine is safe and effective. The County Points of Dispensing did not receive or administer vaccine from this Lot, but some local providers did receive doses. No Alameda County providers have reported unusual vaccine responses to the Public Health Department at this time.
As always, you will find various updates including back issues of our newsletter here. Thank you for helping us save lives in Alameda County and doing your part.
COVID Vaccine Update
Alameda County has received a little over 85,000 doses to date as noted on our website. We continue vaccinating many of the 145,000 health care workers who aren’t able to receive vaccination at their workplace. These people receive invitations to register for appointments at County Points of Dispensing (PODs). Phase 1a workers can also contact their health care provider directly and information for Kaiser members and Sutter patients can be found on our website.
Individuals who are outside of Phase 1a including individuals aged 65+ should register to be notified when we have received vaccine supply and have completed vaccinating health care workers who remain the top priority according to the state. Many health care providers and community clinics have received their own vaccination supplies and may be able to expand vaccinations to include older adults at this time. Patients should contact their health care providers directly since appointment availability will be based on their current vaccine supply.
We anticipate starting Phase 1b in the coming weeks as vaccine supply from the state allows. The Phase 1b Tier 1 group currently includes older adults aged 65+, essential workers education and childcare (formal and informal), emergency services (including law enforcement), and food and agriculture.
People who would like to be notified when accessing the vaccine through the County is possible can complete one of the following forms:
General inquiries regarding the vaccine may be directed to [email protected]
For COVID Vaccine Providers
Alameda County health care providers are encouraged to enroll in CalVax, the State’s system for requesting COVID-19 vaccine. If you have already enrolled as a provider and have offered vaccine to your health care staff, please begin vaccinating your patients aged 65 and older.
Important things to know about CalVax:
· Once your CalVax application has been approved by the State, Alameda County will be able to approve your requests for the vaccine.
· You will need a standard medical grade refrigerator or freezer to receive Moderna’s vaccine, similar to what you would use for influenza or shingles vaccines.
· As part of the process, you will be required to enroll in CAIR2, the updated California Immunization Registry for reporting patient immunizations.
· CalVax includes reminder tools for the second dose of vaccines.
· You will be able to request allocations of doses in multiples of 10.
· Until more vaccine doses are available, we ask that you do not request more than you can use in one week and that you plan to request allocations every week.
· Vaccines will be delivered to your clinic weekly.
· Link to sign up to be a vaccination site: https://calvax.cdph.ca.gov/s/
Thank you for your ongoing work and for joining the effort to vaccinate everyone in our county.
State Health Equity Metric
The overall County and Healthy Place Index (HPI) test positivity rate appears to be leveling off. Test positivity data reported for January 10 through January 16 was 8.6% for the County and 12.6% in the lowest HPI quartile.
Our Community-Based Organization partners continue to conduct Outreach and Health Education in priority neighborhoods. The work includes delivering COVID-19 prevention messaging, content, and collateral, and care kits.
Testing rates remain high, with a 7-day average for testing over 9,000. Community members can find information about our current testing sites, opportunities, and events on our COVID-19 testing page.
Cases, Hospitalizations and ICU
Case rates and hospitalizations in Alameda County appear to be stabilizing. Individuals ages 18-40 and the Latinx community continue to be impacted the most by COVID-19. Most of the reported cases are in Oakland (31%) and Hayward (16%).
As of January 19, the Bay Area Region ICU bed capacity was 7.4%. However, surge bed use is declining, and we remain hopeful this trend will continue.
January 18 case and hospitalization metrics reflect the state’s 7-day average and 7-day lag for data reported January 10 – January 16:
· The unadjusted case rate is 55.1 per 100,000.
· Cumulative cases were 67,096, and cumulative deaths were 764.
· COVID-19 positive patients: 446 hospitalized and 121 in ICU beds.
Contact Investigation/Contact Tracing (CI/CT)
The Contact Investigation/ Contact Tracing unassigned case queue was 2418 as of January 18. We continue to apply the zip code prioritization strategy to manage the high caseload. This prioritization strategy also includes mass mailing for cases dated beyond 6 days.
We currently have 48 outbreak investigators and 96 case investigators/contact tracers, in addition to 81 staff from our Community Based Organizations and 23 Public Health Community Resource Team staff. Between January 13 and January 19, 22.7% of cases were reached in 24 hours while 25.2% were reached in 48 hours. During the same time period, 54.7% of contacts were reached within 24 hours, and 55.6% of contacts were reached within 48 hours.
Project Roomkey (PRK) hotels provide private rooms as shelter. Alameda County has participated in the Governor’s Project Roomkey emergency response to COVID-19, leasing nine hotels and assisting more than 2,000 people over the course of the last ten months. PRK hotels operated with CARES Relief funding which has not been renewed in 2021. As PRK winds down, State, County, Cities, and Community-based shelter operators and housing providers are working together to provide safe and stable housing options for all guests being served in the hotels.
Through January 15:
· 1,425 individuals have been served,
· 889 are currently sheltering in hotel sites,
· 594 individuals have exited to temporary shelters, medical and treatment facilities, and other sites, and of those
· 316 individuals have exited to housing.
As of January 20, Safer Ground unit occupancy was 81% and serving 1,027 individuals in hotel rooms and trailers. For more information about PRK hotels, please visit our Homeless Solutions in Alameda County website and FAQ for more information.
Medical Baseline Program
PG&E residential customers who depend on power for certain medical and independent living needs may qualify for the Medical Baseline Program. The program includes a lower rate and extra notifications in advance of a Public Safety Power Shutoff. Signature by a qualified medical practitioner is not required at this time.