Weekly Update - February 11, 2022
Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors
Appoints New Health Officer
The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors appointed Dr. Ori Tzvieli as the county's new Health Officer at their February 8 Board meeting.

Dr. Tzvieli has helped to lead the county's response to the COVID-19 pandemic for the past two years as a deputy health officer.

He fills a vacancy left by Dr. Chris Farnitano, who has stepped down from the role in preparation for retirement after more than 30 years caring for Contra Costa County residents.

Each county in California appoints a health officer who has broad authority under state Health & Safety Code and are responsible for protecting the health of residents within their jurisdictions.

Dr. Tzvieli joined Contra Costa Health (CCH) as a family medicine resident at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center (CCRMC) in 2000, launching a career in the county's healthcare delivery system that has led to several leadership roles, including Medical Staff President, Ambulatory Care Medical Director, Public Health Medical Director and now Director of Public Health, serving under Director Roth.

During his time with CCH, Dr. Tzvieli has championed collaborative efforts to address opioid addiction and cared for some of the county's most vulnerable residents as medical director of the Health Care for the Homeless program.
Dr. Farnitano will formally retire in March after a celebrated career at CCH. He became Contra Costa County Health Officer in July 2018, after previously serving as Ambulatory Care Medical Director at CCRMC and Family Medicine Department Chair, among other roles.
Contra Costa to Lift Most Indoor Mask Mandates on February 16
In alignment with the State, Contra Costa and 10 other Bay Area counties and the City of Berkeley will lift universal mask requirements for vaccinated people in most indoor public settings beginning Wednesday, February 16. The move comes as cases and hospitalizations have begun to rapidly drop around the state and region.

“We are able to take this next major step of removing the universal indoor mask requirement because we have laid a strong foundation in good public health protections – especially vaccines and boosters – and know we can reduce severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths,” said Dr. Ori Tzvieli, health officer for Contra Costa County. 

Unvaccinated individuals over age 2 will continue to be required to wear masks in all indoor public settings. Businesses, venue operators, and hosts may determine their own paths forward to protect staff and patrons and may choose to require all patrons to wear masks.

Bay Area health officers continue to strongly recommend masks be used as an effective tool to prevent the spread of the virus especially when case rates are high, or when additional personal protection is needed.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) continues to require masking in K-12 school settings but has indicated adjustments to the state’s policies will be shared in the coming weeks. For early education programs, such as preschool and childcare settings, CDPH continues to require masking for children older than age two. Workplaces will continue to follow the COVID-19 prevention standards set by CalOSHA.
Free Expired N95 Masks Available for Pickup
During Select Hours at Our Danville Office
We have a large supply of expired N95 masks. They can no longer be used for medical purposes per the FDA but can still be used in non-medical settings as regular disposable masks. We can distribute 10 masks per family.

They are available for pick-up from our Danville office, 309 Diablo Road, Monday through Thursday between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. until the current supply is gone. No appointment or reservation is needed.

Please do not park in the spaces marked "Diablo Physical Therapy" and be courteous to our neighbor businesses.

We may be able to receive future shipments and will keep you updated via this weekly e-Blast.
Free Covid-19 Home Test Kits
We have a recent shipment of Covid-19 home test kits. If you have a need for tests, please respond to this email, or email us here, and we will let you know by email when you can come to our Danville office to pick up two kits (four tests). They will be available as long as our supply lasts. Please include your first and last name and address in the email.

We hope to continue receiving shipments, but they are dependent upon availability. 

More reliable PCR testing continues to be available for free by appointment only at various County sites. The demand continues to decline and more appointments are now available. More information about where to get tested can be found here: coronavirus.cchealth.org/get-tested.
Please Note: County and State Testing Sites Will Be
Closed Monday, February 21, 2022
Schedule Your Booster Today
Throughout the pandemic, medical professionals are constantly learning more about Covid. It is now clear that the effectiveness of the vaccines declines over time. While the original series of vaccines do a great job protecting against severe disease from COVID, data clearly shows that boosters provide the best protection against COVID:

  • You are 2 times as likely to get infected with COVID if you haven’t received a booster
  • You are nearly 3 times as likely to be hospitalized for COVID if you haven’t received a booster
  • Unvaccinated people are almost 9 times as likely to be hospitalized for COVID than people who have been vaccinated and boosted

There are free vaccine appointments available today at sites across the county. Schedule an appointment online or call 1-833-829-2626.
COVID Status of Contra Costa County
It is estimated by our Deputy Health Officer that approximately 50% of COVID hospitalizations are for patients who have been admitted for COVID, and the other half were admitted for something else and then found to be infected during intake screening. For more data and information about current COVID rates in California, please go to coronavirus.cchealth.org.
Because so many people are now being diagnosed with home test kits, and those cases are seldom reported, these numbers are likely higher.
Contra Costa County Public Works to Install Shade Structures at Hemme Station Park in Alamo
The Contra Costa County Public Works Department will be installing new shade structures at Hemme Station Park in Alamo. Work will take place on Tuesday, February 15, 2022, through Thursday, March 3, 2022, barring unforeseen circumstances. Work will occur between 8 a.m. through 4 p.m., weather permitting. The playground portion of the park will be fenced off and closed to users during the installation for safety. Restrooms and drinking fountains will remain open during this time. These shade structures are designed to improve visitor experience and safety for users of the park.
Seeking Nominations for Contra Costa Youth Hall of Fame
Pruning Trees and Ornamentals Webinar - February 15
The UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County, along with the Contra Costa Library, is offering a webinar on pruning trees and ornamentals.

Pruning can be confusing and even terrifying for the home gardener. Despite the huge variety of plants in the garden and pruning tools available, basic techniques exist for maintaining safety and plant health, beauty, and productivity. Join us as Anne Sutherland, UC Master Gardener volunteer, provides an overview of the specific techniques and resources for the pruning needs of both trees and ornamental plants.

Presenter Anne Sutherland’s fascination with watching plants grow began in her Kansas grandmother’s garden, digging for peanuts in the rich, dark soil. She first began gardening with her husband George when they were both medical residents at UC Davis Medical Center. It was then that she met her first tomato hornworm and discovered that rice hulls take longer than her residency to turn into compost. Now that Anne has retired from medicine, she takes care of plants. They never ask for the prescription pad.
Anne is a UC Master Gardener volunteer from the class of 2020 involved with the Help Desk, Continuing Education, Great Tomato Plant Sale, and Spanish Growing Gardeners program. Her latest passion has been bringing Jardineros en el Huerto to life along with a dedicated, talented team of UC Master Gardeners.
For more information on this and other webinars, the Master Gardener web page at https://ccmg.ucanr.edu/Webinars_and_Programming_/.
Defensible Space Fuel Reduction Project Funding Available
Periodically the Diablo FireSafe Council has funding to directly help homeowners in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. To learn more about the program, or apply for funding see the Program Description and Funding Application Package, or email DFSC at DFSCMiller@comcast.net or call (510) 282-1265.

Cost-share assistance up to $5,000 per Defensible Space Fuel Reduction Project funding is available to Alameda and Contra Costa County residents. Project applications will be reviewed on a quarterly basis. For the upcoming submission deadline see the Program Description and Funding Application Package.
Funding has been provided by a grant from the Cooperative Fire Program of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Pacific Southwest Region, through the California Fire Safe Council.  
To be added to the Firewise distribution list, please email Cheryl Miller at  dfscmiller@comcast.net.
Join a Workshop for Parents to Better Communicate
With Their Teenagers
National Blood Crisis - Donations Needed
The Red Cross is experiencing the worst blood shortage in over a decade. The dangerously low blood supply levels have forced some hospitals to defer patients from major surgery, including organ transplants. Your donation is desperately needed. One donation may help save more than one life and healthy individuals are needed to donate now to help patients. You can donate blood, platelets, or plasma at a Red Cross Blood Donation site near you.

Appointments are strongly encouraged. Blood products cannot be manufactured, they can only come from the generosity of volunteer donors. Schedule an appointment and help give more life to patients in need now.

Click here to schedule an appointment. See below for a list of upcoming blood donation sites in your area.

  • February 12 St. Joan of Arc Parish - Gym 2601 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon
  • February 12 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - 2949 Stone Valley Rd, Danville
  • February 17 SR Regional Medical Center - South Bldg 6001 Norris Canyon Road, San Ramon
  • February 17 Alamo Women's Club 1401 Danville Blvd., Alamo
You May Qualify for the California
Earned Income Tax Credit
The California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) provides critical support to working families across the state, helping them cover bills, pay for groceries, and other daily expenses. It is an annual tax credit for working people making between $1-$30,000. As of tax year 2021, both individuals filing with a Social Security Number OR an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) are eligible to receive the credit. More than 4 million families may be eligible for the credit in tax filing year 2022.
Community members can learn more about getting tax help at org/taxhelp
Information about EITC is also available on ehsd.org.
2022 Contra Costa Point-in-Time (PIT) Count
Contra Costa Health, Housing and Homeless Services needs your support for the 2022 Contra Costa Point-in-Time (PIT) Count. They are seeking volunteers to help identify people experiencing unsheltered homelessness on Thursday, February 24, 2022
  • They are requesting volunteers to sign up in teams of two or three people and walk/drive their assigned route from approximately 5 AM - 10 AM. 
  • Similar to previous years, the morning of the PIT Count will be observation only and data collection will take place on your smart phones using a downloaded app.
  • Due to safety considerations in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, all trainings will be conducted virtually and volunteers will be self-deploying to their assigned routes on the morning of February 24th 
For more information about the PIT Count and to register as a volunteer, please fill out the short survey using the "Register" button below. More information about safety considerations, training materials, and your route assignment will be emailed to you shortly after registering. 

Please consider participating and encourage your colleagues, staff, and friends to register as a volunteer.
For questions about volunteer participation, please contact james@appliedsurveyresearch.org.
Contra Costa Welcomes Refugees, Immigrants, and All Community Members
The Employment & Human Services Department (EHSD) welcomes and serves all Contra Costa County community members and wants them to know about the benefits, services, and resources that may be available for their families.

EHSD Welcomes You to Contra Costa County is a brochure that outlines the department's many programs. Anybody, including refugees, immigrants, and all Contra Costa residents, can apply for benefits and services. The brochure has information and contact details related to health care services, food resources, jobs, housing, protective services for children and adults, and more.

In addition to English, the "EHSD Welcomes You" brochure is available in Spanish,Chinese, Tagalog, Farsi, Korean, Vietnamese, Dari, and Pashto. 

Not everyone is eligible for all programs, but many resources are in place to support, protect and empower individuals and families on their paths to self-sufficiency. 

EHSD Welcomes You to Contra Costa County and other resources for immigrant community members are available on the EHSD.org Immigration page. We encourage you to forward, download, or print this information for anyone who may find it helpful.
Family and Children's Trust (FACT) Committee
Seeking Applicants
The FACT Committee was established in 1985 to make funding recommendations for the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect and supportive services for families and children. The Committee is also responsible to provide oversight of the use of those funds.
Applicants should be committed to promoting the safety and well-being of children and families in our community. The following seats are available:
3 At Large Seats available – Education and/or experience in the following fields are highly desirable, but not required: child abuse and neglect, childcare, out-of-home placement, homelessness, substance abuse services, family systems, multi-ethnic services and/or program planning, analysis, and evaluation
3 Sector Seats available to individuals from the following fields: Child Development/Early Childhood Education field, Mental Health, School Representative. Experience could include, but is not limited to, Mental Health Commission, Local Child Care and Development Planning Council, Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council, First Five Commission
To learn more about the committee as well as their meeting schedule, please go to family-and-childrens-trust-fund-fact, To apply, click here: Appointed-Bodies-Committees-Commissions
Contra Costa Commission for Women & Girls has Openings
Contra Costa County Commission for Women & Girls is looking for interested community members to fill vacant At Large Seats. 

The Commission’s mission is to improve the economic status, social welfare, and overall quality of life for women in Contra Costa County. The number one piece of actionable work the Contra Costa County Commission for Women & Girls is primarily dedicated to advising the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors as well as assisting with potential legislation or relevant topics.

The Commission also conducts educational events for the community, which is where the commission has its primary impact.

For more information, visit their website at womens and girls commission.
District 2 Volunteer Opportunities
Now is a great time to consider ways you might want to give back to your community. 2020 saw our advisory bodies pivot to virtual meetings, which has continued throughout 2021 and into 2022. The benefit of these meeting platforms is that more people can participate than ever before.

If you are interested in participating in government, then perhaps one of these volunteer opportunities are of interest to you:

Alamo Police Services Advisory Committee (CSA P-2B/APSAC)
To advise the Board of Supervisors and the Sheriff's Department on the needs of the Alamo/Danville community for police services.
2 Alternate Seats
To advise the Board of Supervisors and the Sheriff's Department on the needs of the Alamo community for police services.

In-Home Support Services Public Authority Advisory Committee (IHSS)
1 Seat
Public Authority has an Advisory Committee whose membership is composed of individuals who are current or past users of personal assistance services paid for through public or private funds and professional representatives from the Community https://ehsd.org/elderly-disabled/public-authority/ihss-public-authority-advisory-committee/.

Find out more information about volunteering for an advisory body here co.contra-costa.ca.us/3418. To apply online go to www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/.