Weekly Update - February 5, 2021
Vaccine Supply Shortages Prompt Public Health Leaders Throughout the Bay Area to Urge Prioritization of
Older Adults for Vaccination 
For the time being, the scarcity of COVID-19 vaccination doses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area has led health officials in eight jurisdictions to urge all health systems to prioritize shots for patients aged 65 and older because of the virus’ high mortality rate within that group.
County health departments and collaborating health care partners are coordinating efforts to streamline vaccine distribution and administration, moving as quickly as possible to provide shots to the most vulnerable residents. Marin, Monterey, Napa, Santa Cruz, and Solano counties are prioritizing residents age 75 and older. Similarly, Contra Costa, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties are prioritizing people age 65 and older. This is in addition to continuing vaccine Phase 1A-eligible health care workers, many of whom are now expecting their second doses.
Across the region, most COVID-19 deaths have been in the 65-and-up age group. In Contra Costa, 82% of COVID-19 deaths have been in the 65-and-up age group. Thus, focusing vaccination efforts on those at greatest risk of death will have the biggest immediate impact on saving lives. 
"While we are still in the midst of a severe winter COVID surge, one of our best ways to prevent further deaths is to vaccinate those at greatest risk of dying from COVID, our senior citizens.,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, health officer for Contra Costa County.
The Bay Area continues to receive only a small fraction of the vaccines needed to vaccinate residents aged 65 and older, much less the broader occupation-based groups the state has included in Phase 1B Tier 1, including educators, food and agricultural workers, and emergency services personnel. Across the Bay Area, weekly dose allocations from the State of California – based on a formula designed to ensure fair distribution statewide – have slowed compared to shipments in December and early January. With the current pace of supply, it will take several weeks to offer a first dose to all older adults who would like to be vaccinated.
Limited vaccine supply is resulting in a widespread inability to make new appointments, and in some cases, can lead to cancellations of existing appointments. In addition, administering Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine requires a parallel effort to provide a second dose a few weeks after the first. The need for second doses limits the number of people who can be newly vaccinated each week.
Some counties have had to consider extending vaccine availability by following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated  COVID-19 vaccine guidance to allow for second dose administration up to six weeks (42 days) after the first dose, if the second dose cannot be scheduled in the recommended timeframe. The CDC states that the data from clinical trials supports this range. “Modest delays in the administration of the second dose, if absolutely necessary, would not be expected to decrease the protection conferred by the second dose,” the FDA said in a statement.
Despite supply bottlenecks, the Bay Area’s network of health care providers has vaccinated most of the local health care workforce and estimates nearly 9% of residents across the region have received at least one dose of vaccine, including some of the most vulnerable residents.
Contra Costa residents can learn the latest information about vaccine distribution and prepare for when it’s their turn for a shot by visiting our website.
State Clarifies Vaccine Eligibility of Essential Workers
in Phase 1a and Phase 1b
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) yesterday released clarifications on what subgroups are eligible within Phase 1a and Phase 1b of vaccine distribution.

Included in Phase 1a:
  • Persons at risk of direct patient exposure in settings included in the Health Care and Public Health Sector from the CA Essential Workforce list. This includes both clinical and non-clinical roles.  
  • In addition, workers who come into direct contact with the virus through research, development, manufacturing or testing are included.  
  • Workers who are manufacturing vaccine, therapeutics, devices, supplies or personal protective equipment supporting the COVID-19 response are included due to the adverse public health impact that delays in production would cause.
  • Cannabis industry employees are included in Phase 1a for medicinal cannabis
Not included in Phase 1a:
  • Workers that manage health plans, billing, and health information (as opposed to administrative workers in clinical or other settings referenced elsewhere in this sector).
  • Workers supporting operations of outdoor recreational facilities for the purpose of facilitating physically distanced personal health and wellness through outdoor exercise. Activities to facilitate outdoor exercise does not translate to direct occupational risk for COVID-19 patient exposures.

Essential workers included in Phase 1b:
  • Cannabis industry employees involved in growing, production, storage, transport and distribution are included in Phase 1a for medicinal cannabis and Phase 1b Food and Agriculture sector
  • Phase 1b, Tier 1 Food & Agricultural workers, includes veterinary work in a wider variety of work settings.  
  • Persons at risk of occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 through their work in any role in the Emergency Services & Food and Agriculture Sectors from CA Essential Workforce list
  1. Any employee working in a restaurant to the extent not described in the Food and Agriculture Sectors from the CA Essential Worker list.
  2. Persons at risk of occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 through their work in any role in the following Education and Child Care settings
  3. All formal and informal childcare workers, including day care providers
  4. All staff in colleges, universities, junior colleges, community colleges, and other postsecondary education facilities
  5. All staff in educational support services and administration
  6. All staff in Pre-kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high schools
  7. All staff in technical and trade schools
  8. Any other workers involved in child and/or student care, including school bus drivers and monitors, crosswalk guards, etc.
Help Your Neighbor: A New Call to Vaccinate Contra Costa
Not everyone who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine can navigate a web page, download an app, or locate a stray email. For many of us, signing up to get an appointment can be a real challenge.

That is why Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) is sharing Help Your Neighbor, a new community call to action for everybody who lives or works in the county to ensure that our friends, family members and neighbors can get a COVID-19 immunization appointment when they are eligible.

There are plenty of ways to lend a hand. Can your organization start a phone bank to help its members get registered? Does your business have room for a window flier? Do you have a friend who is eligible – and have they made an appointment? The best way to find out is to ask.

CCHS has an online request form for eligible county residents who need appointments and a call center, 1-833-829-2626.

CCHS encourages you to use their new Help Your Neighbor web page, which has videos and how-to resources to help residents and their helpers make COVID-19 immunization appointments, and a growing selection of printable fliers and COVID-19 vaccination resources.
Updated Openings at a Glance
Beware of COVID-19 Vaccine Scams
Unfortunately, we are becoming more aware of vaccine scammers trying to take advantage of vulnerable people during the pandemic.

Common scams include fraudulent businesses or people offering to sell COVID-19 vaccines through the internet, emails, phone calls or even home visits.

Seniors or older adults are often targeted, with scammers preying on their fear of the virus. Please help keep an eye out for anyone you know who is vulnerable, and share this information. 

If you hear of scam calls, please report them to California Senior Medicare Patrol at 855-613-7080.

Go to this one-page tip sheet for a quick summary of what to watch for and how to protect yourself from COVID-19 scams and healthcare fraud.
County Tier Metrics
These numbers reflect the 7 day average of 1/21-1/27. The most recent 7 days are not used because that data is still being reported. Although our numbers continue to improve, the COVID virus is still very prevalent in our community. Please continue to be vigilant in following local health orders and recommendations.

Hospitalization Data in Contra Costa County
For more information go to Hospital Dashboard webpage, click here.
K - 6 School Reopening - Understanding School Reopening
Contra Costa is currently in the Purple Tier. Schools may not reopen for grades 7 - 12 while in the Purple Tier. Schools serving grades K - 6 may reopen for in-person instruction in the Purple Tier if the adjusted case rate has been less than 25 per 100,000 population per day for at least 5 consecutive days and the school has an approved COVID safety plan.

Local school officials will decide whether and when to reopen once these criteria are met.

To learn more about school reopening guidelines click here.
Board of Supervisors Pass Ordinance to Cap
Food Delivery Service Fees
At a Board meeting on February 2, 2021, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an urgency ordinance to put a temporary cap on commissions and fees charged by third-party food delivery services to local restaurants.

The Urgency Ordinance became effective immediately. It applies throughout Contra Costa County except in cities that have adopted their own meal delivery ordinance. Under Urgency Ordinance No. 2021-05, if a customer places an online order for delivery or pickup at a restaurant through a platform operated by a third-party delivery firm, the delivery firm cannot charge the restaurant more than 15 percent of the order. Similarly, if a third-party delivery firm provides a service such as processing online orders for a restaurant, the delivery firm cannot charge the restaurant more than 10 percent of the order for providing that service.

"Local restaurants throughout Contra Costa County help ensure the availability of essential food services, sustain employment, and are important to our communities' economic vitality," said Supervisor Diane Burgis, Board Chair. "We must continue to follow public health orders and guidance during this pandemic while supporting local businesses however we can."

“We hope to support local restaurants in all cities throughout the county, as we have seen that the cities of Danville, Lafayette, and Walnut Creek have their own city delivery ordinances in place to assist businesses,” added Supervisor Burgis.

The ordinance will expire when public health orders allow all restaurants in the County to seat customers at their indoor dining at 100 percent capacity. Read the full document Ordinance No. 2021-05 (PDF). For information and resources, visit Contra Costa County at www.contracosta.ca.gov. For COVID-19 updates, visit Contra Costa Health Services at cchealth.org/coronavirus.

If you have questions about the coronavirus, contact the multilingual Call Center at 1-844-729-8410, open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. For assistance after hours in multiple languages, please call 211 or 800-833-2900 or text HOPE to 20121.
Supervisors Pass Ordinance to Extend
Eviction Protection and Rent Freeze
At the Board of Supervisors meeting on February 2, 2021, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an Urgency Ordinance that continues a temporary eviction moratorium for certain residential tenants and a moratorium on certain residential rent increases through June 30, 2021.

The Urgency Ordinance also continues a temporary eviction moratorium for certain commercial tenants through March 31, 2021.

State's Business Relief Grant - Round 2 Application Period Open
The state has issued a news release about ROUND 2 of the CA Relief Grant Program. The application period is now open through 6 PM PST on Feb. 8, 2021. Grants range from $5,000 to $25,000. Visit https://careliefgrant.com for more information.
Drop Off Your New or Gently Loved Teddy Bears in Danville
Bins Available until February 24th.
Limited Access to Contra Costa Superior Court through 2/11/21
The limited public access period for the Contra Costa County Superior Court has been extended through and including February 11th. The Court will be closed in observance of court holidays on both Friday February 12th and Monday, February 15th

Please see this announcement for additional information.
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 meeting, which will likely continue well into 2021. The benefit of these meeting platforms is that more people are able to 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.

Assessment Appeals Board - co.contra-costa.ca.us/2924/Assessment-Appeals
Alternate Seat Available
The Assessment Appeals Board conducts impartial hearings on property assessment disputes between taxpayers and the county assessor. Based on the evidence presented at these hearings, the appeals board determined the value of the disputed property or determines other matters of property tax assessment within the board’s jurisdiction.

County Service Area P-5 Citizen Advisory Committee (Roundhill Residents only)
The P-5 Committee advises the Board of Supervisors on the needs of the Alamo community for extended police services for Roundhill.

In-Home Support Services Public Authority Advisory Committee (IHSS) 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/.