Update from Alameda County Health Care Services Ageny

Public Health – Emergency Medical Services – Behavioral Health – Environmental Health
Homeless Care & Coordination – HealthPAC – Center for Healthy Schools & Communities
Week of August 17
Alameda County Health Care Services Agency Update
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Today, we issued modifications to our Shelter in Place order to allow limited lower-risk outdoor activities as permitted by the state, effective August 28th. This includes outdoor pools as well as outdoor personal services at hair salons, barbershops, and nail salons.
We’re also planning for in-person learning when epidemic trends are favorable, while schools continue distance learning. Our Agency is developing guidelines to facilitate safe in-person learning, which will be available in the coming weeks to give schools and families time to plan. Schools are currently prohibited from opening until Alameda County has been off the California State Data Monitoring List for two weeks. We are not accepting waivers for in-person learning at this time. A safe return will depend on disease conditions and readiness of public health and school infrastructure.
Until in-person learning begins, limited group activities for children may continue with restrictions, and in-person learning supports may be provided to children living in psychiatric facilities, juvenile detention facilities or crisis housing.
As we prepare for the next phases of COVID-19 response and the upcoming school year, we are also preparing for flu while managing heat, wildfire smoke, and unhealthy air quality. To stay safe during wildfire smoke, heatwave, and the pandemic, please remember to:
  • Stay hydrated,
  • Stay in cooler locations away from smoke,
  • Avoid strenuous activities,
  • Wear face coverings when in public and within 30 feet of others,
  • Maintain at least six feet distance from others,
  • Sanitize or wash hands frequently, and
  • Stay home when sick.
Each week we provide a digest of new information on the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic along with emerging and relevant news. We hope you find this summary useful, and we appreciate your readership and support!
Flu Vaccines Available
Alameda County Public Health has received additional flu vaccination funding and will distribute 26,000 doses of influenza vaccine to medical providers who serve high risk, low-income adults. Enhancing influenza vaccination coverage is considered as a critical part of COVID-19 response work this year to ensure that health care facilities and systems are not overwhelmed by the burden of “twindemics” (a flu epidemic amidst the COVID-19 pandemic). Anyone who is interested in helping with creative flu vaccine access and administration should please contact Amy Pine at [email protected] or 510-268-2135.
Progress on COVID-19 Indicators
COVID-19 cases started to decrease after peaks in July and hospitalizations increased this week. Hospital capacity is 36% of our inpatient beds and 29% of ICU beds available which is within our goal to be above 20%. We are conducting over 4,000 tests per day which exceeds our goal of 3,100 test per day. Health facilities continue to make requests for PPE from the County.
Trends in Cases, Hospitalizations, and Surge Planning
The statewide case data backlog has been cleared and corrected case rates show a peak in July followed by decreases. On August 19, there were 15,836 reported cases of COVID-19 and 228 deaths.
As of August 18:
  • 8.4% confirmed COVID-19 positive in hospital beds across Alameda County (highest was of 10.8% on 7/22).
  • 200 confirmed COVID-19 positive patients (213 on 7/28), including 70 ICU patients (new high) with confirmed COVID-19.
  • 22% COVID-19 positive ICU patients (new high) and within our goal of 50% of less.
  • 36% of the staffed inpatient hospital beds and 29% of the ICU beds were available, which is within our goal of above 20%.
  • 66% of the mechanical ventilators were available.
The LEMMA COVID-19 prediction model using hospital data through August 15 estimates the median Alameda County transmission rate (Rt) to be 0.89, down from 1.28 in mid-June. When the transmission rate is less than one, each person with COVID-19 transmits the virus to fewer than one other person. As a result, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths decrease.  The California COVID Assessment Tool (Cal-CAT) uses an ensemble of eight models and estimates the current transmission rate in Alameda County to be 1.04. Our goal is to keep the transmission rate at less than 1.0 by ensuring preventive measures are implemented and sustained in our communities and work places. This includes everyone wearing face coverings and maintaining distance in all settings including social gatherings at parks and in homes.
Testing, Positivity Rates, and Sites
The overall positivity rate is 5.3% (within less than 8% goal) and varies by zip code and race/ethnicity. Lantix people tested continue to have the highest positivity rates.
This weekend’s Umoja Health Town and All Around test and respond event at the Eastmont Mall is postponed due to poor air quality. Please consider registering as a clinical volunteer or community volunteer for when the event is rescheduled.
Native American Health Center has reserved testing days for health care workers for COVID-19, including health care workers and staff, congregate facility workers, public safety and first responders.
Updated testing locations and appointment links are posted on the COVID-19 testing webpage and searchable in this interactive map of COVID-19 services. 11 community sites offer free tests for any community member with symptoms and all essential workers, people who have protested, and those at higher medical risk regardless of symptoms. Bay Area Community Health is listed under Tri-City Health Center and is included on the map.
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, demographics, addresses, dates of birth, and phone numbers for all positive case reports.
Case and Contact Investigation, Isolation and Quarantine
Last week 68% of cases had contact tracing investigations completed. Data reveals that most of the cases had attended a gathering with friends and/or family.
When outdoors including parks, yards, or neighborhood streets, please wear a face covering and maintain six feet of distance from people outside of your home.
The new due date for COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing services funding opportunity is August 28 at 2 pm for the first round of evaluations, then every first and third Friday after September 1. For more information visit Request for Qualification (RFQ) No. HCSA-900420Emergency COVID-19 Case Investigation, and Contact Tracing Services Vendor Pool.
Health Disparities and Equity
Updated race and ethnicity data show that Latinx people have the highest case rates and Blacks/African Americans have the highest death rate disparities.
Latinx people have 6.9 times the case rate and 1.6 the death rate compared to Whites. Blacks/African Americans have 2.2 times the case rate and 2.7 times the death rate compared to Whites. Native Americans and Pacific Islanders also have more than 2 times the case rate compared to Whites.
Mental Health Study
A CDC new study on mental health reports that during June 24–30, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use associated with COVID-19. Younger adults, people of color, essential workers, and unpaid adult caregivers reported having disproportionately worse mental health outcomes, increased substance use, and elevated suicidal ideation. The prevalence of anxiety symptoms was three times as high as those reported in the second quarter of 2019, and depression was four times as high. Of note, the study time frame overlaps with the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and an increased national focus on racism and violence directed against people of color. These events are taking their own toll on the mental health of the community as well. Now more than ever, we must support each other and move forward together with a sense of light and hope and shared purpose.
2020-08-24T10:27:08-07:00August 24, 2020|News|0 Comments

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