News & Updates ∙ January 7, 2021
Regional Stay-Home Order Remains in Effect, Hospitals Experiencing High Volume of Patients
Nearly three weeks after going into effect, the Bay Area's regional stay-home order remains in effect due to the lack of hospital beds for patients in need of intensive care. As of Jan. 7, the Bay Area had just 3.5% ICU availability, according to state data.

Health officials say capacity must meet or exceed 15% before the stay-at-home order will be lifted.

In Contra Costa County, health officials announced on Jan. 5 that all hospital facilities in the County - including John Muir Medical Center in Concord - are now operating under contingency care status in response to an unusually high volume of patients. People who have appointments or other business at these facilities should be aware that some care and services may be delayed. Residents are asked to avoid nonessential trips to these facilities and to contact their providers for more information.

COVID-19 vaccinations are still underway and people in all tiers of Phase 1A of the County's vaccine plan are now eligible for no-cost immunizations. Phase 1A includes healthcare workers along with employees and residents of long-term care facilities. As of Jan. 7, more than 20,000 vaccine doses have been administered in Contra Costa County. People who live and work in the County are encouraged visit the CCHS vaccine web page.

Since testing began, Contra Costa County has reported 44,274 positive cases, with 5,340 positive cases in Concord, including 945 cases in the last 14 days. To review a demographic and geographic breakdown of cases, please see the County's COVID-19 dashboard.

Contra Costa residents and businesses can also call the COVID-19 Call Center at (844) 729-8410 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily. 
City Launches Podcast, Vaccine Distribution Highlighted in Episode 1
The City has launched a new bimonthly podcast, "Concord Connected," to highlight news, information and events happening in and around Concord.

The first episode debuted on Jan. 7 and features Concord Mayor Tim McGallian interviewing Contra Costa Health Services' Dr. Ori Tzvieli, who is overseeing the county's COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Listen now on any of these platforms:

Please subscribe, rate and review the podcast, and tell your neighbors about it!
Mailer Explains State Law Protecting Renters
The City of Concord's Housing Division recently published and mailed informational materials to all renters and landlords explaining the new state law around eviction protection and limits on rent increases.

The detailed flyers with additional resources can be found on the City's Tenant and Landlord Resources web page.
No Smoking Ordinance Takes Effect
Last January, the Concord City Council adopted an ordinance prohibiting smoking and vaping in and around multiunit and attached housing units.

This restriction applies to both interior and exterior areas (patios, balconies, decks or porches) of rental and ownership housing types including apartments, attached condominiums, and townhomes. There are provisions in the regulations that allow for designated smoking areas meeting certain criteria, such as being 25 feet from an area used by children.

The ordinance went into effect on February 6, 2020, and became immediately effective for new units (new construction), but provided for a phase-in period for existing housing units.

For existing units, the ban went into effect on January 1, 2021.

More information about the ordinance, including frequently asked questions (FAQs), is available on the City's Smoking Regulations web page.
State Grant Deadline Extended
California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate announced that the deadline for the first round of applications for the state's Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program will be extended until January 13, 2021.
Through this grant relief program, all eligible California small businesses and nonprofits can apply for grants of up to $25,000.

The program, which officially opened December 30, experienced high traffic – receiving thousands of completed applications. Due to the high traffic, some businesses may have had trouble accessing the application. Adjustments to the program’s website have been made and the application period has been extended to ensure that all interested applicants have the opportunity to apply. The Round 1 application deadline has been extended from January 8 to January 13, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. 
Crisis Center Seeks Volunteers
With help comes hope. The Contra Costa Crisis Center is seeking volunteers for its crisis and suicide help hotline.

They are hosting a volunteer orientation meeting on Thursday, Jan. 7 and another on Thursday, Jan. 14, both from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Register here.

The Center is also hosting a meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 12 to provide information from current volunteers who will discus what it's like to answer crisis calls. Register here.

Founded in 1963, the Contra Costa Crisis Center has provided crisis support for more than 55 years.

For information or for support 24/7 for yourself or others, call 211 or 1-800-833-2900 or text HOPE to 20121.
Concord Live Returns
Concord Live is back tonight with a fun, free virtual concert by The Unoriginals. Tune in at 6 p.m. for some rockin' tunes to help ring in the new year.

Join us tonight on Facebook live.

Next week: Join Concord Live to celebrate Comfort Food Week. The Jan. 14 episode will feature local restaurant, La Fritanguera, which will host a virtual cooking demo on how to make your own Nicaraguan Nacatamal (tamale). An ingredients list will be posted soon. Or, you can always call the restaurant and order the dish for takeaway!

Concord Comfort Food Week runs January 15-31. Find all the details at Visit Concord.
Stay Informed
Stay up-to-date on news and information related to the local and state response to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Information for businesses, frequently asked questions about City services, as well as City resources are available through our website.
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