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Alameda County added to state's COVID-19 monitoring list

If case rate stays high, county could be subject to harsher restrictions, enforcement

Alameda County now finds itself on the state of California's "county monitoring list" due to a high rate of COVID-19 cases during the past two weeks, which is considered to be a sign of elevated disease transmission, county officials said Sunday.

The new designation comes with restrictions on business operations -- many of which were already prohibited locally because of Alameda County's slower reopening plan -- as well as targeted support from the state. But if the county stays on the watch list for three straight days, it would become subject to potential enforcement from state agencies.

"The magnitude of the (case rate) change is above what would be expected as a result of the County's substantial expansion of testing, and we have been placed on the State’s County Monitoring List," officials with the Alameda County Public Health Department said in a statement Sunday.

"Although Alameda County reopened more slowly, our epidemic is affected by accelerated reopening across the region and state, as our residents often live, work and recreate across county boundaries," they added. "While Alameda County has the highest number of cases among Bay Area counties, the County's case rate is 3rd highest in the Bay Area and less than half of California’s overall case rate at the time of writing."

News of the designation comes one day after ACPHD clarified that the state's latest COVID-19 guidance for restaurants effectively prohibits outdoor dining in the county -- although the three Tri-Valley cities didn't change plans for their jurisdictions over the weekend.

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As of Saturday morning's data, Alameda County continues to lead all Bay Area counties with 7,725 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The county reports 148 deaths on record caused by the virus.

From the state's perspective, the county's case rate of 104 per 100,000 residents over the past 14 days is particularly alarming, resulting in the state placing Alameda County on the monitoring list Sunday. "Elevated disease transmission" is the only problem category for which the county didn't meet state criteria to avoid the watch list -- hospitalization rates and hospital capacity metrics were still below the state's minimum threshold as of Sunday.

"Factors driving increased case rates include increased interpersonal interactions without face coverings and physical distancing, and ongoing transmission among health care workers, within households, in frontline workplace settings, and in skilled nursing and other congregate living facilities," ACPHD said.

Placement on the monitoring list means a county must shut down many indoor activities for at least three weeks -- operations such as dine-in restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, and cardrooms. Those were all already closed under Alameda County's current shelter-in-place order.

All brewpubs, breweries, bars and pubs must stop all activities, indoor or outdoor, due to the county's new designation.

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ACPHD officials said they are still moving forward with formally requesting a variance this week to allow outdoor dining and other activities to occur locally with the state's blessing

"Applying for a variance is a procedural action that would provide us with the flexibility to ensure that we can continue to allow the activities that the Health Officer determines are lower risk for our community," they said. "Approval of a variance is not an indication that we will pursue additional reopenings of other industries or sectors at this time."

As for potential enforcement, the county said the state this month launched a multi-agency strike team to make sure COVID-19 restrictions for counties on the monitoring list are being adhered to. The teams include the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), the Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CalOSHA) and other state agencies.

ACPHD officials also highlighted actions the county is taking to help reduce COVID-19 transmission rates.

Their list included pausing the reopening schedule, outreach and messaging about face coverings and physical distancing, continuing to ramp up testing, expanded case investigation and contact tracing, guidance and technical assistance for workplace safety, ongoing outbreak prevention and response efforts, and engaging the state and regional partners for assistance.

Of Alameda County's 7,725 coronavirus cases, communities with high positive counts include Oakland (3,001) and Hayward (1,191), with Fremont (409) and San Leandro (384) on the next tier.

The Tri-Valley cities have been on the lower end in comparison but their positive tallies have increased over recent weeks as well. Livermore now stands at 271 confirmed cases, Pleasanton with 148 and Dublin with 77.

It is unclear how many of the county's 148 deaths from COVID-19 have occurred in the Tri-Valley, but one confirmed death involved a resident of the Livermore Community Living Center, a residential facility for military veterans.

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Alameda County added to state's COVID-19 monitoring list

If case rate stays high, county could be subject to harsher restrictions, enforcement

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Sun, Jul 12, 2020, 5:25 pm

Alameda County now finds itself on the state of California's "county monitoring list" due to a high rate of COVID-19 cases during the past two weeks, which is considered to be a sign of elevated disease transmission, county officials said Sunday.

The new designation comes with restrictions on business operations -- many of which were already prohibited locally because of Alameda County's slower reopening plan -- as well as targeted support from the state. But if the county stays on the watch list for three straight days, it would become subject to potential enforcement from state agencies.

"The magnitude of the (case rate) change is above what would be expected as a result of the County's substantial expansion of testing, and we have been placed on the State’s County Monitoring List," officials with the Alameda County Public Health Department said in a statement Sunday.

"Although Alameda County reopened more slowly, our epidemic is affected by accelerated reopening across the region and state, as our residents often live, work and recreate across county boundaries," they added. "While Alameda County has the highest number of cases among Bay Area counties, the County's case rate is 3rd highest in the Bay Area and less than half of California’s overall case rate at the time of writing."

News of the designation comes one day after ACPHD clarified that the state's latest COVID-19 guidance for restaurants effectively prohibits outdoor dining in the county -- although the three Tri-Valley cities didn't change plans for their jurisdictions over the weekend.

As of Saturday morning's data, Alameda County continues to lead all Bay Area counties with 7,725 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The county reports 148 deaths on record caused by the virus.

From the state's perspective, the county's case rate of 104 per 100,000 residents over the past 14 days is particularly alarming, resulting in the state placing Alameda County on the monitoring list Sunday. "Elevated disease transmission" is the only problem category for which the county didn't meet state criteria to avoid the watch list -- hospitalization rates and hospital capacity metrics were still below the state's minimum threshold as of Sunday.

"Factors driving increased case rates include increased interpersonal interactions without face coverings and physical distancing, and ongoing transmission among health care workers, within households, in frontline workplace settings, and in skilled nursing and other congregate living facilities," ACPHD said.

Placement on the monitoring list means a county must shut down many indoor activities for at least three weeks -- operations such as dine-in restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, and cardrooms. Those were all already closed under Alameda County's current shelter-in-place order.

All brewpubs, breweries, bars and pubs must stop all activities, indoor or outdoor, due to the county's new designation.

ACPHD officials said they are still moving forward with formally requesting a variance this week to allow outdoor dining and other activities to occur locally with the state's blessing

"Applying for a variance is a procedural action that would provide us with the flexibility to ensure that we can continue to allow the activities that the Health Officer determines are lower risk for our community," they said. "Approval of a variance is not an indication that we will pursue additional reopenings of other industries or sectors at this time."

As for potential enforcement, the county said the state this month launched a multi-agency strike team to make sure COVID-19 restrictions for counties on the monitoring list are being adhered to. The teams include the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), the Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CalOSHA) and other state agencies.

ACPHD officials also highlighted actions the county is taking to help reduce COVID-19 transmission rates.

Their list included pausing the reopening schedule, outreach and messaging about face coverings and physical distancing, continuing to ramp up testing, expanded case investigation and contact tracing, guidance and technical assistance for workplace safety, ongoing outbreak prevention and response efforts, and engaging the state and regional partners for assistance.

Of Alameda County's 7,725 coronavirus cases, communities with high positive counts include Oakland (3,001) and Hayward (1,191), with Fremont (409) and San Leandro (384) on the next tier.

The Tri-Valley cities have been on the lower end in comparison but their positive tallies have increased over recent weeks as well. Livermore now stands at 271 confirmed cases, Pleasanton with 148 and Dublin with 77.

It is unclear how many of the county's 148 deaths from COVID-19 have occurred in the Tri-Valley, but one confirmed death involved a resident of the Livermore Community Living Center, a residential facility for military veterans.

Comments

Jake Waters
Birdland
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:59 pm
Jake Waters, Birdland
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:59 pm
29 people like this

Tri-Valley residents had to go get tested even though they were not sick. What value did they receive? All it did was boost the numbers in our area and give Gavin a reason to come down on us. Though our hospitals are not over-run, people are asymptomatic, we are achieving herd immunity, our immune system is working, oh no, now we will be punished by Gavins’s snitch unit. I have difficulty understanding how you Democrat’s voted in this group of Liberal Art Majors.


Gavin Numbskull
Downtown
on Jul 13, 2020 at 1:25 am
Gavin Numbskull, Downtown
on Jul 13, 2020 at 1:25 am
16 people like this

Confirmed cases in the Tri valley since this has started months ago is still below 500. How many active cases do we have as of right now? They don’t report that? Are these the same people getting tested over and over? They won’t tell you that. Why do they keep this running talley? They love to punch the #s up. It’s a bunch of you know what and they are killing our Tri valley economy. I feel for these poor family owned restaurants trying to stay afloat. The Alameda County leadership needs to resign and should be ashamed of how they handled the situation this weekend in regards to outdoor dining. These restaurants are trying to make an honest living and do some good in the world in times that are really screwed up. These restaurants bought food and invested in outdoor tents, chairs ....etc. There is no way they can survive this way. It’s not just restaurants - look around at how many big businesses or stores are shutting down. We are going to have an abundance of vacated huge commercial property after this is over. Honestly, the TriValley should be in a different county or we need some major change in Alameda County & California leadership . Time for change!! Kudos to our our mayors of the Tri Valley for trying to let restaurants stay open this weekend. Wake up people and stop being brainwashed. It appears our new public health official is even worse than the the interim one - from what I’ve read the new one is brainwashed version of the interim PHO since they worked together and was hand picked for a reason. I’ve lived here too long to watch them run our home into the ground. And yes, I social distance and wear my mask, wash my hands diligently. I get it but there are times when we need logic given the Tri Valley Covid numbers.


Benice
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2020 at 6:56 am
Benice, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2020 at 6:56 am
7 people like this

Jaqe, why the personal attack? Try common sense or logic. And stay home and NEVER LEAVE if your so scared.


Jake Waters
Birdland
on Jul 13, 2020 at 7:22 am
Jake Waters, Birdland
on Jul 13, 2020 at 7:22 am
3 people like this

Oh @Benice. @Michael has attacked me but I am not thinned skinned. If you are going to take a side, give an opinion, make a comment than you rightfully open yourself to that. I get the rules. And by the way, I’m not scared and that is my point. If you feel uncomfortable than wear that ‘little piece of magic cotton, just don’t force it upon us- the science isn’t there.

Secondly, how is the logic around one county being open, but another being closed. Does Gavin think we don’t move between counties. Talk about logic. This experiment has become so dumbed down that I think it is because people are wearing those basement made masks tooooo long.


Vigy
Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Jul 13, 2020 at 10:10 am
Vigy, Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Jul 13, 2020 at 10:10 am
14 people like this

My opinion is that we should to continue to close Main Street for outdoor activities until the ICUs are full, then we reconsider. I'm staying home.


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