Week of March 15

 

Alameda County Health Care Services Agency Update

 

March 17 marked the one-year anniversary of Health Officer Shelter in Place Orders prohibiting all nonessential travel, business, and personal activities. Our County has experienced many losses due to COVID-19 over the past year, but with the development and release of the COVID-19 vaccines, and residents continued compliance with precautionary measures, we are confident that we will recover from this pandemic. The Alameda County the Board of Supervisors extended a thank you to our dedicated staff and community partners for their hard work over the last year. We would not have made it through this difficult year without you.

Our COVID-19 metrics continue to improve each week, and although we are still in the Red Tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, we now meet the Orange Tier metrics. While we must remain in the current tier for a minimum of three weeks, we could transition to the Orange Tier toward the end of the month if favorable trends continue.

Please keep our recovery momentum going by continuing to wear masks, avoiding nonessential travel, getting vaccinated, and avoiding large gatherings. We understand the desire to see the people you miss and celebrate upcoming holidays and religious observances, but we must remain cautious. While nearly 16% of our Alameda County residents are fully vaccinated, COVID-19 remains widespread. We’ve made tremendous progress in reducing and preventing this deadly disease so please don’t let your guard down. Our recovery depends on it

We appreciate your readership and continued support. Past issues of this newsletter and updates to our Board of Supervisors can be found here.

Alameda County Dashboard
Public Health Department Website

 

 

COVID-19 Vaccines: All reduce the severity of disease

 

Getting vaccinated will protect all of us from COVID-19 and we recommend taking the first vaccine you are offered. Any of the COVID-19 vaccines will reduce severe disease, including the recently approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Head to head comparisons across the three vaccines are difficult, because each vaccine was studied in slightly different groups of people and tested at different phases of the pandemic. Researchers and our local Bay Area Health Officers note that all three vaccines:

·     Prevent death from COVID-19

·     Are safe and effective at preventing symptomatic illness and hospitalization

·     Prevent asymptomatic illness, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 to others who are not vaccinated

·     Provide levels of protection that are comparable to some of the best vaccines used for preventing other serious illnesses

We encourage individuals with medical concerns to talk to their providers and together they can make the best decision. Additional information about the vaccines can be found on our vaccine webpage and on the state’s COVID-19 website.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

 

As of March 17, over 630,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Alameda County, representing over 412,000 first and over 199,000-second doses. This is 16% of our population over the age of 16. We are actively working to vaccinate tier eligible residents:

·     Older adults (age 65+)

·     Essential workers in education, childcare, emergency services, food/agriculture

·     People with disabilities and underlying conditions*

·     Public transit workers*

·     Utility workers*

·     Janitors*

*Newly eligible March 15 L-R above: Health Care Services Agency staff Lauren Baranco,

Paola Zuniga, and Tram Nguyen at the Fremont Community POD. 

While eligibility has expanded, our vaccine supply remains relatively flat and appointments are limited at this time. We continue to operate our Fairgrounds and community PODs in partnership with community and faith-based organizations, and we’re partnering with CalOES/FEMA to bring the mobile unit to our priority neighborhoods. To date, mobile clinics have been hosted by Allen Temple, True Vine Ministries, Native American Health Center, and La Familia.

We are finalizing our next community-based PODs using our very successful model at Fremont High School in the Fruitvale. We look forward to additional sites in Ashland/Cherryland and Deep East Oakland in the coming weeks in partnership with the Ashland/Cherryland Healthy Communities Collaborative and Allen Temple Church.

Please help get the word out about vaccine registration. Individuals who have completed a notification form and are part of groups eligible will hear from us as we have appointments available.

 

The State Adds Vaccine Equity to the Safer Economy Blueprint

 

The State updated its metrics in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy last week after reaching the goal administer 2 million vaccines in underserved communities. These changes raised the case rate thresholds for the Purple and Red tiers.

Additional changes to the blueprint include:

·     Breweries and distilleries being allowed to open along with wineries in the Red Tier – with outdoor restrictions

·     Outdoor live events with assigned seats being allowed in the Red Tier effective April 1

·     Sleepaway camps being allowed starting June 1

The size of private gatherings did not change and remains limited to 3 households under the Red Tier. Once the state administers 4 million vaccines in underserved communities, the State’s Blueprint will be updated again.

COVID-19 Data Update
The following data reflects the state’s 7-day average and 7-day lag data reported March 9 through March 16:

·     82,034 cumulative cases

·     1,329 cumulative deaths

·     3.6 adjusted case rate per 100,000

·     1.5% overall test positivity rate

·     2.4% lowest HPI quartile test positivity

·     8,000+ testing 7-day average

·     114 patients currently hospitalized

·     33 patients in ICU

·     44 Outbreak Investigators

·     160 Contact Investigators and Tracers

·     16 Community Resource Navigators

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