COVID-19 Update – April 23, 2020
CMA Guidelines for Reopening, ACPHD COVID-19 Testing, HHS Funds

As of April 23, there are 1,350 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alameda County and 46 deaths (including City of Berkeley information). As of April 23, there are 770 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Contra Costa County and 23 deaths. Please check   for the latest updates.   
CMA Issues Guidelines for Reopening California's Health Care System

The California Medical Association has released guidelines for reopening California's health care system, which were developed by a task force comprised of practicing physicians from different parts of the state and different sized practices.

While California's Shelter in Place Order has helped flatten the curve, p hysician practices and health care facilities have seen massive drops in patient visits, caused by a combination of shelter in place orders and patient fear. This may lead to much more complex problems in the future, as patients miss routine screenings and preventative care. Reopening the health care system in a thoughtful and safe way is a necessary and important step for California to take.

On Wednesday, April 22, Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted the restrictions placed upon hospitals that had put on hold all scheduled surgical procedures in anticipation of a massive wave of COVID-19 patients, allowing for some elective surgeries to take place. While the health care system will not open all at once, this is a necessary first step by Gov. Gavin Newsom and supported by CMA. As we begin to reopen our health care system, CMA proposes several steps that will be instrumental to ensuring the ongoing safety of patients and the health care workforce, including a regional approach to reopening the health care system, the need for continuing regulatory flexibility, new safety protocols and the need for a public education campaign to let Californians know it is safe to go back to the doctor’s office. Review the full set of guidelines .
ACPHD Forms COVID-19 Testing Task Force

The Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) recently sent out a memo regarding the newly formed COVID-19 Testing Task Force. This new task force will work to "develop and implement a coordinated testing program to address disparities, ensure countywide access, and support the County's COVID response." The ACPHD aims to administer 2,500 COVID-19 tests per day countywide and ensure testing of all symptomatic patients.

In addition, ACPHD is working to align the County Public Health Laboratory testing priorities with recently updated state guidance. Testing priorities will include:

  • Staff and residents from long term care facilities,
  • Health care personnel, first responders, and essential infrastructure workers,
  • People living in congregate settings,
  • People experiencing homelessness,
  • Contacts of reported cases, and
  • People who are hospitalized.

Review the full memo here, including an attached list of all known COVID-19 testing sites in Alameda County as of 04/23/20.
HHS to Release COVID-19 Treatment Funds and Provider Relief Funds

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be processing distribution of approximately $10 billion of the $100 billion Public Health and Emergency Fund to cover treatment of uninsured patients diagnosed with COVID-19. In addition, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act appropriated $1 billion to reimburse providers for conducting coronavirus testing for the uninsured. The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will begin distributing funds on April 27, 2020.

HHS will also be distributing $20 billion in payments from CARES Act Provider Relief Fund. These payments will not require repayment. On April 10, 2020, HHS deposited $30 billion of the $100 billion in Medicare physician TIN bank accounts based on each provider’s portion of Medicare fee-for-service spending in 2019. HHS is now dispersing the additional $20 billion to providers based on a percentage of each provider’s 2018 net patient revenue from all payors, not just Medicare fee-for-service payments. Physicians must use the funding to cover unreimbursed expenses or lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While HHS has not released further details, it appears that most physicians will need to apply for funding through a portal that HHS said will open this week. Physicians will likely be asked to submit revenue data for HHS to determine payment. For providers that already provide cost reports to HHS—such as hospitals and other health care facilities—allocations will be direct deposited on April 24, 2020. These providers must subsequently submit revenue data for verification. HHS also announced that a third wave of funding will be distributed soon to other clinicians that rely more on Medicaid revenues, such as pediatricians and OB-GYNs.
Contra Costa Opens Drive-Through Testing Sites for COVID-19 Regardless of Insurance

Contra Costa residents who have fever, cough or similar symptoms can make an appointment for free COVID-19 testing at one of four drive-through sites around the county. The sites will be open on Wednesday and are available to anyone regardless of insurance. Appointments are required and no walk-ins are available. 
ACCMA & CMA COVID-19 Resource Toolkits
The ACCMA has put together a free toolkit of resources that address the day-to-day needs of East Bay physicians of all career stages and in all modes of practice, from food and grocery delivery services to exercises that can be done at home. Click here to access and download the toolkit.

To help physicians understand the rapidly evolving personnel and other employment-related issues during the COVID-19 public health emergency, the California Medical Association has published the  CMA COVID-19 Toolkit for Physician Employers . This resource is free to all and available on CMA’s COVID-19 resource page, .
Intuit Aid Assist - Financial Assistance Resource

Intuit Aid Assist  is a free service that allows businesses, self-employed, contractors, and others to understand and access different business relief programs. Individuals and businesses can complete a loan eligibility assessment to see if they qualify for any federal funding programs.
Alameda & Contra Costa County Recruiting Physicians for COVID-19

East Bay physicians can support COVID-19 response efforts through paid and/or voluntary service opportunities through the Alameda County, Contra Costa County, or the State of California. Please visit and scrolling to "COVID-19 Volunteer Opportunities" for application instructions.
Complimentary Peer Discussion Groups
RechargedMD  is offering ACCMA members  complimentary online peer discussion and coaching specifically for physicians. With the guidance of a certified physician coach, physicians can receive and offer support, as well as learn from one another. Small groups will meet beginning on April 25 for 45 minutes per week for three facilitated sessions. Go to
Tips for Physicians to Protect Themselves and Their Families During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Click here for tips on what to do before going to work, at work, and after work/coming home to protect yourself and your family. Tips include how to create a hot zone (contaminated area) near your home entrance and how to take care of your skin. Courtesy of the TPMG Diablo Health and Wellness Team.    
Upcoming Webinars
Friday, April 24, 2020 | 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM | FREE

Join a panel discussion with three physicians who successfully transitioned to using Telemedicine in their practices. To register , please click here and complete the form at the bottom of the page.

Marc Dean, MD 
Uli K. Chettipally, MD 
Richard Thorp, MD

Please contact ACCMA at 510-654-5383 or with any questions or concerns you have. Although we may not currently have an immediate answer to all questions, we want to know the information and resources that you need to continue to provide care for our community during this difficult time.  
This information will also be posted online at and will be updated frequently. Please check the ACCMA website regularly for updates.