Contra Costa, Alameda Delay Reopening; Governor Calls Coronavirus Trend 'Troubling'

Carrie Hodousek
June 29, 2020 - 4:15 pm

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    Contra Costa County and Alameda County are delaying the reopening of some businesses and activities due to a rise in coronavirus cases.

    In guidance released Monday by Contra Costa Health Services, officials announced the planned reopening scheduled for Wednesday has been pushed back "until the COVID-19 outbreak in Contra Costa is better contained."

    The county announced it will scale back its timeline - meaning bars, indoor dining, fitness centers, museums, hotels and other indoor leisure activities are now being told to remain closed.

    "What we’re really seeing is that the percentage of positive tests coming back is going up quickly," Contra Costa Health Services Spokeswoman Kim McCarl said.

    The seven-day average number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals in the county has increased by 75% since June 15. More young people are testing positive. McCarl told KCBS Radio they won’t move forward with reopening plans until they see at least a week of stable case numbers.

    "We don’t anticipate that we’re going to back off any of the things that are open, and we don’t anticipate that we’re going to see numbers go down," McCarl said. "What we really want to see is that this surge really flattens."

    Gov. Gavin Newsom has already recommended Contra Costa and several other counties in the state not reopen bars due to a spike in coronavirus cases.

    The governor called the state’s spike "deeply troubling" in Monday’s briefingGov. Newsom added four more counties to the state’s watch list Monday afternoon, including Solano County.

    Alameda County has also announced a temporary pause for reopening plans. Over the last week, the county's case rate per 100,000 people has increased from 63 to more than 71. County officials say there's also been a daily increase in hospitalizations.

    Meanwhile, in Santa Clara County, a new health order is expected mid-week allowing for more businesses to reopen. The new order from County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody will mark the end of a sector-specific strategy and the beginning of a new phase.

    "Of course, many high-risk activities simply cannot safely resume here or elsewhere anytime soon," Dr. Cody said.

    Once the order is issued, it will go into effect several days later. Business owners looking for guidance are asked to check the county’s website.

    "The public health orders have changed a lot since March until now and are still going to be changing," Santa Clara County’s Abigail Avilucea said. "This website puts all the information in one location."

    There is also a business call center for questions about work safety procedures and employee coronavirus resources at 408-961-5500.

    "You can see here that we are on an uptrend," Santa Clara County Public Information Officer Larry Little said, in reference to recent coronavirus numbers.

    As of Sunday, the county has added 135 new coronavirus cases and currently has 82 hospitalizations.

    San Francisco and Marin have either paused or postponed certain parts of their coronavirus reopening.

    New numbers from the California Department of Public Health show 5,307 new coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours statewide.