Coronavirus Updates, Sept. 11

Public Health – Emergency Medical Services – Behavioral Health – Environmental Health Homeless Care & Coordination – HealthPAC – Center for Healthy Schools & Communities
Week of September 7, 2020
Alameda County Health Care Services Agency Update
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The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) updated the Blueprint to Safer Reopening indicators on September 8, to track counties’ new case and testing positivity rates of COVID-19 and guide the reopening process. CDPH is also finalizing a health equity indicator. CDPH will assess the indicator data weekly using data from the previous week. A county’s tier level is determined by meeting either the new case rate or testing positivity rate threshold, or both. A county must remain in a tier for a minimum of three weeks before being able to advance to a less restrictive tier and can only move one tier at a time.
In addition ongoing pandemic response, Alameda County continues to experience unhealthy air quality due to wildfire smoke, causing testing events and other activities to be postponed. To check your local air quality rating, please visit AirNow. Download our Considerations for Extreme Heat and Unhealthy Air Quality FAQs including COVID-19 prevention for further guidance.
Many of us are fortunate to have places to call home during periods of extreme heat or unhealthy air. While we continue to outreach our unsheltered residents to provide street medicine and wellness checks including water and masks for those who cannot get indoors, we ask that you read the article at the bottom of this issue. If you, or someone you know, has a housing unit for rent, please see the Landlord Incentive Program and help us identify more places to call home.
Alameda County Current Ranking
Alameda County remains in the purple tier (most restricted) due to widespread COVID-19.
We are currently at 7.8 new cases per day per 100,000 residents and our testing positivity rate is 5%.
We can move into the red (next lower tier) when we consistently have fewer than 7 new cases per day per 100,000 residents anda test positivity rate below 8%.
Schools may not open for in-person learning when a county is in the purple tier but can accept waivers for elementary schools. Schools are encouraged to completed the In-Person Readiness Questionnaire by September 11, 2020 to help us plan for public health infrastructure needs.
Check out the Alameda County Public Health Department and the Alameda County Office of Education joint school reopening plan. More details will be shared in the coming weeks.
Trends in Cases and Hospitalizations
Case rates continue to slowly trend downward. Hospitalization rates have started to slowly trend down as well. Our goal is for cases to be flat or decreasing:
The LEMMA COVID-19 prediction model using hospital data through September 5 estimates the median Alameda County transmission rate (Rt) to be 0.69, down from 0.90 last week, and a peak of 1.24 in late June. This means each person with COVID-19 transmits the virus to 0.69 other people. If we keep the transmission rate less than 1, new cases will decrease. The California COVID Assessment Tool uses an ensemble of 8 models and estimates our transmission rate to be 0.91, down from 0.99 last week and compared to 0.87 in California overall.
To keep the transmission rate less than 1 and reduce the risk of transmissions, please:
  • Wear face coverings within 30 feet of others indoors and outdoors,
  • Maintain at least six feet distance from others, especially when eating and not masked,
  • Sanitize or wash hands frequently, and
  • Stay home when sick.
For help with enforcement or report violations of workplace safety orders in Alameda County, please email: [email protected]
We continue to exceed our goal of 3,100 tests per day by conducted over 3,500 tests per dayin the past week. The percentage of people testing positive is 5% using the CDPH calculation method for the week ending August 31. This is within our positivity rate goal of less than 8% and varies greatly by zip code and race/ethnicity.
Please note unhealthy air quality is affecting some testing site operations and the Resilient Fruitvale Task Force mass testing event planned for this weekend is postponed due to unhealthy air quality. Please check the Sanando Juntos/United in Health website for updates.
Updated testing locations and appointment links are posted on the COVID-19 testing webpage. 11 community testing sites offer free tests using county testing guidance for any community member with symptoms, all essential workers, and those at higher medical risk regardless of symptoms.
Testing sites provide critical support with disease containment by:
  • distributing isolation orders and contact tracing information for all people getting tested,
  • reminding people to stay home until they get test results and to pick up calls from the health department, and
  • submitting full names, addresses, dates of birth and phone numbers and demographics (including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity) for all positive cases, including positive antigen results, using the COVID-19 Confidential Mortality Report (CMR).
Case and Contact Investigation, Isolation and Quarantine
Public Health currently has 47 outbreak investigators. Trained case investigators and contact tracers (CI/CT) include 128 public health and 29 CBO staff. 55% of 978 cases were reached and 67% of 663 contacts were reached on average within the last week.
Rolling applications for the COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing services funding opportunity are due every first and third Friday. The first batch of proposals are under review. For more information, go to Request for Qualification (RFQ) No. HCSA-900420. Applicants may submit proposals for any of the following: CI/CT unit, outreach/health education, and isolation care kit distribution.
Project Roomkey continues to provide isolation/quarantine housing for people living in crowded conditions or is experiencing homelessness.
The Alameda County Responsibility to Community Health (ARCH) Program provides financial assistance to self-isolating County residents in high-risk communities who have tested positive for COVID-19. For more information, please see the FAQ and press release.
Hospital Capacity and Surge Planning
Hospital capacity indicators as of September 7:
  • 6.2% of the patients in hospital beds across Alameda County were confirmed COVID-19 positive, 12% of ICU patients were COVID-19 positive and within our goal of 50% or less.
  • 38% of the staffed inpatient hospital beds and 37% of the ICU beds were available, which is within goal above 20%.
  • 71% of the mechanical ventilators were available.
If your facility needs COVID-related supplies or staffing please visit the Emergency Medical Services website to request PPErequest staffing and request testing supplies.
Disparities and Equity
A statewide survey shows that 1 in 5 Californians knows someone who died of COVID-19, and Black, Latinx, and low-income Californians are disproportionately impactedThe survey was conducted in Spanish and English in August by the California Health Care Foundation. 1,209 representative California residents were interviewed. 28% of Black/African-American residents, 29% of Latinx residents, 19% of Asian residents, and 26% of low-income people reported that they know someone who died of COVID-19 while 10% of White Californians did. Black, Latinx, Asian, and “liberal” respondents were more likely to support stricter shelter-in-place rules if they allowed workplaces and schools to reopen sooner or prevented more deaths.
A Place to Call Home
Housing is a basic need that is critical to ensuring that residents remain safe and healthy. Building strong and lasting partnerships with property owners is a critical step towards ending homelessness in Alameda County. Identifying available housing units will also enable those exiting Project Roomkey to be permanently placed in safe and stable housing.
The program offers a number of benefits including payment of a security deposit, a $4,000 damage guarantee, and a bonus of $1,000 to new landlords and $500 to current landlords per new unit dedicated to the program. If you, or someone you know has a housing unit for rent, please call 510-777-2100 or email [email protected].
2020-09-11T10:18:10-07:00September 11, 2020|News|0 Comments

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